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Y’all, please print this out. Tape it to your bathroom mirror. Highlight sections of it. Put it in your Important Papers File. Send it to your relatives.

Okay, maybe that’s overkill.

However, I do mean to do a Public Service Announcement for you. Learn from me. DO NOT DO WHAT I DID.

My knees have been bothering me lately. It’s a weather thing. It’s, ahem, being a Dewy Little Blossom in the Garden of Life thing. It’s life.

I’ve been using this tube of Ben Gay that I found in the closet dresser. It didn’t do much. I checked the expiration and it was 2013. Oops. I do have a tendency to buy stuff, then stick it away, just in case I “need it”. In this case, five years later. (I want you to know that the great de-clutter of 2016 really helped. I no longer have six bottles of Aleve, for example, which I can’t take anyway. But I digress.)

I went to Amazon, as I’m wont to do, and searched around for stuff for my knees. I bought something with capsaicin in it, thinking that it would work like BenGay. I mean, that’s a natural assumption, right?

(I will now pause to do a little head shaking and some eye rolling.)

Back now.

When it arrived, I read the insert. I read the tube. The next morning I wore gloves to put some on my knees because, after all, it’s the substance found in pepper. I was very judicious. I didn’t use much. I removed said gloves. It was a little warm, but that was all. I wasn’t all that impressed.

That afternoon I put more on my knees. I didn’t wear gloves this time. I was, however, cautious and washed my hands with soap and water right afterward. Same thing happened. A little warmth and that was all.

Let us fast forward to bath time, shall we? SIX FLIPPING HOURS LATER.

I have a walk-in tub that, in some states, might qualify as a mini-pool. This is Texas, however, so it’s just a bathtub. I rarely fill the tub up because I’m cheap that way. That night, however, I decided to have a full bath. I got out of the tub; I dried off. I moseyed into my bedroom.

THAT’S WHEN ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

Holy Batman and Robin and all the ships at sea.

What is that unbearable pain in my hands? Why are they bright red? Why are they burning? And my knees? What the hell happened to my knees? Dear God, do I need to call 911? (No kidding, I was almost at that point.)

It took a few minutes for me to make the connection between capsaicin and my agony. I retrieved the insert from the package and re-read it. Evidently, water can “reactivate” the sensation of warmth.

REACTIVATE? Are you flipping kidding me?

I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that my skin was blistering before my eyes.

This guy from Amazon LOVES it.

The thing about this RUB is….it reactivates with water. BONUS!! When I take a bath at night, the area gets hot again and remains hot for a couple of hours.

SIX HOURS PASSED since my last application of this SALVE FROM HELL and my bath.  SIX HOURS! What are you supposed to do, never bathe?

What’s that smell? 

Oh, the body odor? Just disregard that. But my knees don’t hurt. (THEY DON’T HURT BECAUSE I’M TOO BUSY SCREAMING FROM THE PAIN OF THE BURNING FLESH.)

It took an hour before the pain subsided. An hour. I didn’t have any of that stuff on me and it was still burning.

So, my PSA is thus: Check every type of Capsaicin you buy for the words: reactivates with water. (Some don’t.) Trust me, you will thank me in the morning.