Spicy Heiß (Scharf)

Lake and I are both a bit sick with a Spring cold, so under heavy congestion it can be challenging to keep a good attitude and perspective. When Lake is quick to bust out the wailing, my exasperation wants to flare as well. It was a refreshing moment of comic relief tonight, then that Lake tried out a new application of his old trusty favorite: heiß, the German word for “hot.” He typically uses it to correctly, if not overly conservatively, express his caution regarding hot beverages, mummy’s coffee, mugs (full or empty), soups, and general suspicious fear of cooked dishes.

His new interest while waiting for food to be prepared at restaurants is to play with the condiments on the table. Last night it was salt and pepper at the Amazing Thai Cuisine, and tonight it started with just the salt and pepper at the vegan pizza restaurant. Yes, we’ve been eating out twice in a row this week; that’s what happens when you’re sick and live in the city surrounded by delicious moderately priced food within walking distance. So, the pizzas were taking extra long, and we’d already had a walk in the rain to the community pea patch garden. We’d admired all the garden beds, stomped in the puddles, and made our way back to Pizza Pi, where our attention started to wane. All the patrons who had been greeted with friendly charm, were now on their way.

The salt and pepper only took him so far. Soon he was insistent on exploring the other shakers on the table. Nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper flakes came next. I was counting on the hot pepper flakes to not really dispense when shaken by Lake. They have a certain notoriety in my mind for being difficult to shake out of a shaker like that. So I sat back at a watchful waiting distance and did just that. Well, he managed to shake out one cayenne pepper flake. He then also managed to apply it to his tongue. Not a half second later he made a little surprised expression, stuck out his tongue and gave it a determined swipe with his free hand and said in all seriousness:


Luisa and I looked at each other, both in astonishment. Neither of us had ever heard Lake use his beloved heiß to denote spiciness, only hot temperature. So refreshing that he made the connection for spicy hot so quickly. Unfortunately for Lake, however, Unlike in English, in German it is not used both ways. Heiß denotes only either high temperature or sexiness, and for spicy scharf is the word of choice. Still rather funny and fairly apropos! A perfect evening for a moment of comedy, Lake! I’m glad I heard it from you!

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