Such is not the case, however, in the savage world of hot sauces. Here is one of the few areas of modern consumption where basic marketing laws can be tossed into the Dumpster. In the uvula-torching world of hot sauces, the outrageous thrive.
I’m not talking about hot salsas like Picante or Pace. I’m talking about hot sauces, like Tobasco, where the stuff drips out one belly-burnin’ drop at a time.
I was waiting to buy a meat loaf and a stuffed pork chop at the Butcher Boy Meat & Deli in Sparks when I came across their section of high-powered hot sauces. The first bottle to catch my eye was a dainty little number called “Ass in the Tub.” The label shows some guy cooling his rear end in a tub of water, a look of relief on his face. Obviously, Ass in the Tub isn’t touting its great flavor as much as it’s touting its napalm-like exit from your body. This might strike you as a heckuva thing to tout. I can’t remember the last time I put “stuff to make me yowl while sitting on the can” on my shopping list.
This particular theme, though, seems to be a strong and recurring one in the mondo bizarro world of hot sauces. The next bottle was called “See Dick Burn.” Here, the label depicts a stick figure guy named Dick, but he’s not running with Spot. No, here he’s jumping in the air, mouth in an “o” shape, with flames coming out of his ass. Again, we see the selling point is not flavor, but the somewhat curious and masochistically machismic scorching of delicate rectal tissues.
For those who like buxom, nasty women on their hot sauce, I’d recommend Pleasure and Pain, which features a leather-clad dominatrix wielding a whip and promising that “it hurts so good.” Then there’s Submission, a hot sauce featuring a curvy bondage wench with a sexy flaming derriere and promising the consumer a “gagged, bound and blistered” hot sauce experience because this stuff is “brutality in a bottle!” We are still, you’ll notice, not being pitched scrumptious flavor or delicious taste, but this persistent emphasis on turning your stool into a flaming, habanero-soaked meteorite.
The label for The Hottest F#&kin’ Sauce (exact spelling) was an eye-catcher, featuring a passionate essay explaining why the expletive was deemed essential in communicating this voodoo juice’s enamel-stripping powers to the consumer. The classic of classics, though, had to be Burn in Hell, Osama. I kid you not. Burn in Hell, Osama, described as “pure evil hot sauce.” This strongly opinionated label went on to assert that Mr. Bin Laden is “truly the world’s biggest scumbag” and invites the al Qaidan leader to “have a nice trip” to hell.
One gets the impression that all of these sauces have shelf lives measured in decades, not years.