Do you know the feeling of sipping really hot coffee or chocolate that it burns your tongue so bad? Opps make it thrice that bad.
We were attending this regular weekly forum in Tagum City last week. A special table was set for lunch allocated for the speakers and the VIPs while the rest of us ordinary humans would line up and get food from a buffet table.
When I looked back, the special table was deserted because the guests decided to skip lunch. (We learned later that it was the birthday of a politician and our most of our guests trooped there).
I pointed to the empty table and eight of us proceeded to the table, patting our shoulders for being spared the agony of falling in line just to get food. As usual, I skipped breakfast and was quite hungry so without wasting time, I picked up my spoon and dipped it in a small bowl of chicken soup. I concluded that it must have been cooked that morning because it looked very cold already.
I took a sip of the soup and became the first victim.
I was taken aback because the soup was so hot although it looked cold and so calm on the surface. Tears welled in my eyes as I bravely put down my spoon and quietly bore the pain by rolling my tongue to sooth it.
If I had a choice, I would have made a frantic dash to the refrigerator to get ice to cool my burned tongue. I was embarrassed to tell anyone so I kept quiet and tried to eat my supposed-to-be delicious lunch, which by then had become tasteless.
The next thing I knew, the person sitting beside me did exactly what I did earlier and I was immobilized because I just knew their was no stopping him. He sipped chicken soup from his spoon and I just watched in helpless facination because I knew what would happen. My seatmate was momentarily stunned, then pretended nothing happened. He decided to keep quiet and so did I.
When Noynoy, a publisher from Tagum picked up his spoon and dipped it in his soup bowl, I raised my arm to warn him but I came too late. He became victim #3. Realizing that I knew what was happening, Noynoy burst out laughing after he guessed how I knew. It turned out that almost all of us in the table experienced a burned tongue because of those innocent-looking bowls of chicken soup.
I carried the tasteless feeling with me and went hungry for several days, never getting satisfaction because everything I ate seemed to feel like cardboard.
On the other hand, my tongue, which is a tough worker (what with all that talking, mixing food, germ fighting, tasting, and swallowing) finally got a rest.
I remember a tale my friend told me when he too, became a victim. He ordered a cup of hot chocolate at a sidewalk cafe early one morning on his way home from an internet cafe. The cup of chocolate looked so cool that he sipped it directly without testing. After a gulp, he spit it out and told me that whether I would believe him or not, the gabi leaf on which he spat upon just withered!
Lesson learned: Never underestimate a cup of coffee or chocolate that sits placidly on a table. It could be hotter than your tongue could bear, and #2, don’t wait for experience to teach you this hard lesson.