Thursday, March 18, 2010

Napalm Wings of Death

Not a Swedish heavy metal band. Not a Viet Nam veterans group. Not just another bar in Europe serving ‘spicy’ pub grub. The napalm wings at The Bird bar in Berlin will kick you in the face and watch you drag your bleeding ass away.

The Irish barman working at The Bird warned me.  But I insisted on calling his bluff: “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before, yer wings are fuckin’ spicy.” He looked at me dead in the face and said, “No. I’m not bullshitting you. People have run out of here crying. Bigger Americans than you.”
Challenge given. Challenge accepted. I told him that I hoped they weren’t the usual soggy chicken wings soaked in ketchup and onions like all the other goddamnmotherfuckineuropeanpussyass establishments I’ve been to in the last 12 years. He smiled.
You may challenge the barman but never challenge the cook. Perhaps my bravado met with a surreptitious scrawl on the food order: ‘kill this cocksucker with the sauce.’

Usage of fire in warfare has a long history; thickened burning compositions proved their advantages.

The chicken wings appeared on a plate of deep blood red sauce. I could smell it from the time it hit the bar in front of me. The usual shrunken, folded chicken meat served in every American bar. I took the tiniest nibble from the first wing and

The firebombing raids on German cities, e.g. Hamburg, frequently caused death by this mechanism; the resulting deformation to the baked corpses was referred to as Bombenbrandschrumpfleichen (incendiary-bomb-shrunken bodies).

My lips burned, followed by the tongue and throat. I gulped my beer and waited for the after burn. It came, it saw, it kicked my ass. I looked at my girlfriend and coughed and spewed ‘honey, you REALLY don’t want to even TOUCH these with your pinky finger.’

"Napalm is the most terrible pain you can imagine," said Kim Phúc, a napalm bombing survivor known from a famous Vietnam War photograph. "Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. Napalm generates temperatures of 800 to 1,200 degrees Celsius.

I am well experienced in the fine art of eating death-dealing spicy foods in the real Mexican restaurants of any Californian city and the Indian hole-in-the-wall curry houses of London. So this culinary assault went well beyond what I was expecting. I didn’t believe it was real even in the midst of my pain, so I asked the barman to explain to me how they could serve something so insulting to the customers. He hauled out a small black glass bottle and said that he knows an Indian woman who comes in and adds the contents of the black spice vial ON TOP OF the blood red napalm death swimming in front of me. Then he said that the guys sitting to my left were also partaking of the Evil Napalm Death Wings. I couldn’t believe that they had served this blatant culinary fuck you to other guests. What did we do to this barman?

Napalm is suitable for use against dug-in enemy personnel. The burning incendiary composition flows into foxholes, trenches and bunkers, and drainage and irrigation ditches and other improvised troop shelters.

I held my plate up to theirs and said ‘WAITAMINIT!! Your sauce is only brownish red while mine is BLOOD RED!!!’

The two guys seated to my left swore their sauce was just as evil as mine. I swore theirs looked pale brownish red while mine most definitely had come directly from the fiery colon of Satan. But bar lighting is tricky at best. I couldn’t tell what was what and I was still on fire from the first taste. The two guys were from Moscow. Of course. The classic Cold War rivals side by side with only two plates of fire to unite them. I asked them if in their frozen wasteland of a home they had any experience with a hot mouthful of burning death like the ones we were chawin’ on at the moment and they said

In the early 1950s, Norway developed its own napalm, based on fatty acids in whale oil. The reason for this development was that the American-produced thickening agent performed rather poorly in the cold Norwegian climate. The product was known as Northick II

“No!!! What the hell is this stuff? I offered the Russians some of the carrot sticks I had procured from the barman to soothe my burning tongue and fiery lips. One of the Russians walked quickly away and I asked his comrade what was up with his friend. “Oh, he touched his face with fiery fingers.”

The Bird is a New York style bar. This means there are signs saying ‘fuck you’ and other welcome mats in postcard form. The Louisville Slugger bat is also poised behind the bar to add to the Tough City Bar image. I managed to flag down a guy who I suspected was one of the NYC proprietors of the bar. He said he was the manager and I asked him if he would like to try one of the Napalm wings on my plate. “Nope” and he was gone. I kept eating the hot burning coals until Satan had left. The Russians had disappeared as well. A girl behind the bar wearing an Elvis shirt asked me if I was finished. I had 2 pieces remaining from the original six. Seeing that the Russians had left, I smacked my hand on the bar and said ‘NO MAS!!!’

It’s now just around midnight. I handled the heaviest spice I’ve ever had in Europe. No big deal. But what worries me is that I still have to get up tomorrow and face the Burning Ring of Fire.

P.S. If you are CRAZY enough to try the Napalm Wings O' Death, a word to the wise:  wash your hands thoroughly BEFORE you go to the toilet.  TRUST ME on this one.   : o


  1. Uh-oh! Didn't your mother ever teach you to beware of bar men spouting hostilities?

  2. Ahh! I love love love the wings at the bird. They're just the perfect amount of spicy and making others cry while I laugh at their pain...

    Hum - I need to go on a trip to there.. SOON! :)

  3. You must've got the brownish spicy sauce that the Russians got, most definitely NOT the bright red viscous pool of death that I had. You know how I know? The cook said he ONLY serves the really super spicy ones to loud, arrogant American guys who like donuts too much. ;)