Intermixed with all the bouldering projects out on the rocks, another major project that Paul and Mike have been sessioning together over the last week is the small bottle of deadly hot sauce that Mike purchased at the Clanwilliam grocery store: Bushman’s Hot Az Hell, HOT12. This innocent-looking little bottle has proven to be one of the boys’ hardest projects of the trip. An 8 day epic. They’d been hitting it hard, working the bottle pour by pour, sip by sip, with no rest days.
After the first day’s session, it was readily apparent that this burly little red-hot fighter wouldn’t go down easily. A homegrown Cape Town recipe, rated a “12” on the 0-10 Hotness Scale, Bushman’s Hot Az Hell is not for the faint at heart (as depicted by the sketch on the label: a half-naked, bicep-bulging bushman with hunting bow drawn, ready to release his chili-pepper-speared arrow into his next beta-spraying victim). As Paul and Mike put in their first burns on the bottle, raving about the stellar taste, Raquel decided to give it a few go’s herself. A southwest native with tastebuds honed for this kind of torture, Raquel was absolutely devastated after her first attempt. She got totally shut down. Sadly, she realized this project was out of her league and had to leave the crankin’ to the boys.
And so it was on. The Boys versus The Bushman’s. Night after night, the boys burled their way through the bottle, sweating and swearing as they slowly inched toward completion. During each night’s session they would discover a new key technique that would get them closer to the send. The first key they figured out was to eat a few bites of the evening’s dinner *before* applying the sauce, to properly warm-up the tastebuds and reduce the risk of flash pump. The next breakthrough they learned was to administer the sauce through the use of “dipping ponds,” thus cutting the portions into smaller, more manageable moves, versus trying to tackle the whole gulp at once. And finally, Paul surprised us all by busting out an amazing link mid-week by means of ending his meal with a giant glass of milk. Mike (also a southwest native and much more of a hot sauce traditionalist than Pittsburgh-born Paul) taunted Paul for this approach, claiming it as “un-pure” style. Paul just brushed this off as mere jealousy of his amazing sporty power. Stupid trad’ies.
Slowly but surely though, the boys pressed on together. Indeed, there were a couple of nights when we’d all finish dinner with a feeling of dread, staring intently at the half finished bottle, desperately worried that Mike and Raquel’s short stay here wouldn’t be enough time to pull off the send. But our worries soon vanished around Day #6. “This bottle is GOIN’ DOWN!” And they were right.
Finally, on Day #8, the send was inevitable. Over a dinner of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, lit by candlelight and toasted with yummy glasses of Western Cape red wine, the last few drops of the Bushman’s Hot Az Hell went down, smooth as butter. The bottle was at last empty. Woohoo! Way to go boys. Congratulations on your hardest Rocklands send to date.
Now we’ll see if they’ve got the nerve to up the ante: Bushman’s Revenge, HOT14! This product is EXTREMELY HOT!!! Keep out of reach of children. Avoid skin contact. Watch out.
Paul sweatin’ out Bushman’s Hot Az Hell, HOT12
Mike working the final moves of Bushman’s Hot Az Hell, HOT12
The final sequence to Mike’s send of Bushman’s Hot Az Hell, HOT12 :
A backlogged post.
posted by arr
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