A whole new way to think about "flaming"
I heard a story on NPR on my way home about Flamin' Hot Cheetos and how they're the latest snack trend to "sweep the nation's playgrounds." Yeah, NPR, I could have told you that three years ago, when consumption at my school got so out of control that a 2nd grader landed in the hospital with a hole in her stomach and the school had to ban them in an effort to curb the spread of the horrific red powder they're covered in. (There was even a suspicion that some gang-affiliated youth had, shall we say, a greater-than-average interest in the distinctive indelible red coating they leave on one's fingers.) But what I didn't know, and what Dr. Fancypants Smartydegree explained during this segment, is that Hot Cheetos aren't just popular because they're trendy. Apparently, the body's reaction to spicy food is similar to the body's reaction to opiates- a particular nerve becomes irritated and inflamed by the burn of the spiciness, and the body compensates by releasing endorphins that make you feel high. You heard that right: hot cheetos make you high. (I KNEW it!) The best part of the story, though, was when the reporter asked a group of fifth graders what would happen if someone ate a whole bag and one student replied, rather solemnly, "you'd get the runs, and your booty might burn." Sigh. I miss 5th graders.