I think the guy at the convenience store thought I would throw up on him before I paid for the milk.


IAN and KERRI walk thought the doors slowly while peering suspiciously at the menu.  They both register the presence of two employees and words like Atomic and Timid on the menu.  After KERRI orders, IAN slides over to do the same.


What can I get ya?


Can I get 12 wings?  Half hot and half atomic?


Yeah, that will be eight sixty-three.

(he shuffles  and staples recipts)

You like them ATOMIC wings?

(this statement arrives as more of a statement than a question)

IAN doesn’t hesitate so that the clerk won’t think that he has no idea if he does or not.


Sure…I like spicy things.


Alright, alright….why don’t I get you a sample first.  HEY RJ! Give me a sample of ATOMIC!

This is good news for IAN who is glad that he will get a taste of what is to come. Meanwhile, KERRI inspects numerous framed newspaper articles with firemen in the photos and IAN assumes that this is due to the name of the take out place or maybe the previous locations fiery demise. The CLERK returns with a whole wing wrapped in foil dripping in wing sauce the color and texture of bad tomato sauce or a curry left out too long. IAN is excited at the prospect of getting an extra wing for the cost of a dozen.


Thank you!…

IAN unwraps the little morsel and bites a small piece off.  KERRI is immediately relieved that she ordered wings at least two levels milder when she sees the wings color and the affect they have on IAN while watching the color drain from his face.



(this is all done as silently as possible)

IAN is immediately paralyzed from the neck up as the sauce works its way around his mouth.  He is also struck almost immediately by a pain behind his left eye as he realizes that this is the spiciest thing he has ever encountered and trembles with fear at knowing that he has to swallow his pride and tell this nice man of few words that he might have an aneurism in his restaurant.


I should begin by saying that I like spicy things…I enjoy being challenged by a dish and slowed by the severity of its spiciness. Feeling your mouth arrested by the sting of a noodle soup or the sear of fresh pico de gallo reminds you that you are alive and there are things in this world that taste different. I like spicy beers even! To put this lightly, I usually get the spicy dish on the menu and if that is all there is, I usually upgrade the spice level one or two. I ate an wing at a Buffalo Wild Wings covered in their “Blazin” sauce once and while the thing was disgusting, I was not pained by the experience like the two to three gram sample I had of ATOMIC today. Perhaps it is hubris or maybe even for attention, I just like things that way. After all, this is what I grew up liking. Today however, it was just knowing that we hadn’t had good wings since moving here so Kerri and I couldn’t resist.

I can say that the ATOMIC sauce at TNT HOTWING is the hottest thing I have ever tasted.  In a town with absolutely no options for buffalo wings, despite a place with “wing” in its name, I can say that the wings that I did enjoy (downgraded to HOT), are the best around….easily.

What was Kerri looking at on the wall of framed newspaper articles?  Well, she was pouring over the numerous stories of the ATOMIC sauce vesting the tolerances of local firemen and others claiming these to be the best wings around. No disagreement to either. I would imagine they also say that the wings I would eat, were the best in the upstate and perhaps the best in South Carolina.  This is a claim that I would easily agree with, although grossly unqualified to make.  Never in my life have I had anything that personified all of the criteria of a good Buffalo Wing including sauce proportions and crispiness.  This was the first time I had a wing that was properly crispy underneath and not swimming in sauce…easily mistaken for tasty.

So on the 253rd day of our residency, we discovered the wings we had been looking for the whole time. Thank You TNT HOTWINGS! -ian



1 Comment

Filed under Artists-in-Residence, Ian Shelly (10-11)

One response to “I think the guy at the convenience store thought I would throw up on him before I paid for the milk.

  1. Oh man. Atomic is crazy!

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