CA State Spice Certification Board

Some families lie to their kids about Santa Claus (we have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy), but we have our own elaborate fiction about the California State Spice Certification Board. T-bird and I really like spicy food: Mexican, Thai, hot wings, tabasco, cholula, etc. This makes it tough to cook for a family that includes small boys that have not yet manned up to the good stuff. So we’re always “encouraging” the boys to step up to the plate and try some spicy food, with a glass of milk on standby.

One day, on a whim, I told #1 (who was lagging behind his younger brothers in bravery) that he needed to gradually build up his ability to eat spicy foods, because there’s a requirement for continued residency in the state of California. At age 18, all citizens of California must report to the Spice Board and eat a jalapeno pepper. Generally, #1 is a pretty smart kid, so I have no idea why he bought this line of horsefeathers I was slinging, but buy it he did, and that gradually led to a slew of questions that built my original fib into an intricate fabrication that rivals any family’s attempts to prop up the reality of Santa.

So by this point, here is what we know: The Spice Board has a special room for eaters, with tables and chairs, and monitored by security cameras (so nobody can fake it and not eat the pepper). You have to eat one whole pepper (but not the stem), it can be fresh or pickled (your choice), the pepper will be of “average” size (to within Spice Board specifications), you have 24 hours to complete the task, you can’t drink milk, or bring extra foods like bread or chips, but they supply as much water as you need. If you have some kind of medical condition that precludes you eating spicy food, you can be exempted from the requirement with a doctor’s note. The  requirement is in place because of our proximity to Mexico (for similar reasons we have signs and forms in Spanish all over the place).Without the certificate, you cannot be a California resident, which means higher tuition at State schools, as well as difficulty getting license plates and such. If you can’t get Spice Certified, you should probably consider moving to Michigan.


8 Responses

  1. WE haven’t picked ourselves up off the floor, weak with laughter, yet!!!

  2. Tell Lucas that he can come and live with us. We’ll take him in, no spices required :)

  3. When he finds out you lied to him, he’ll never believe you when you tell him there’s no Santa Claus.

  4. Hilarious. I took the liberty of sharing this article with my facebook family.

    I’ll never forget our “nuclear wing” experience in Baltimore with Shawn.

  5. Don’t they have the same requirement in TX?

  6. Generally, #1 is a pretty smart kid, so I have no idea why he bought this line of horsefeathers I was slinging, but buy it he did

    We believe what we want to believe – and who wouldn’t want to live in a world where states have spice boards?

    Absolutely fantastic post, it just built and built in riotousness. What have I been missing, not stopping by?

    I sent this to a colleague, who’s sending it to family members, so you may see a number of new referrers in your stats.

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