If you can’t stand the heat …

Welcome, ladies  and gentlemen, to the Really Bland cook-off.
This is for a different 1 percent — the sad minority who just can’t eat spicy food and feel really left out cook-off-wise.
I despair as clever top chefs are laying out what seems like a perfect meal, making my mouth water as they describe each ingredient. Then it happens. Every item from the amuse-bouche to the gol-danged ice cream gets some kind of pepper thrown in. Gack, gack … my mouth hurts just thinking of it.
That’s right. I am going to throw a cook-off for the few remaining souls on earth who cannot abide spicy food. And just for the record, it’s not our fault. It’s our receptors. But more about that later.
This week I read about a combination chili cook-off and curry cook-off, and I figured I should do something in support of cream of wheat, béchamel sauce, rice pudding, avocados, mashed potatoes and creamed corn.
Actually, I need to do something on behalf of chili, curry, barbecued anything, and all other dishes that could be served without searing your mouth off, but just aren’t anymore. 
Maybe I should call mine the cook-anything-you-like-and-just-leave-all-pepper-out-of-it cook-off. Oooh. I like the sound of that. So why can’t I abide hot chilies and such? I thought maybe most folks’ taste buds wore out or got bored and took a cruise. But no, it’s our vanilloid receptors.
Some of us, it seems, have receptors that bind really well with all that peppery stuff. Those would be mine. The rest of you, for one reason or another, have mediocre, inefficient receptors that peppery stuff doesn’t stick to well.            
If I knew I’d have some part of my body that worked extra-specially well, I’d have voted for eyes or maybe my back. Can I get a ballot recount?

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