Is Your Nose Running?

Hello and welcome back to our regularly-scheduled program of lies, fabrications, and misinformation, here at Factually Deficient! This week, I’d like to address a question asked by an acquaintance named Jocelyn:

Why does spicy food make our noses run?

This is an excellent question, and delves into the nature of spicy food.

In order to answer this question, I would like to discuss the other situations in which noses run:

  1. Extreme cold
  2. The common cold
  3. Crying

Because spicy food, like the above, makes noses run, it is clear that it is connected in some way to one of those three situations. But which one? Let’s work backwards.

First, crying. Is spicy food like crying? Crying happens only when people are sad. Although spicy food does on occasion bring tears to the eye, this is not true crying, both because it is not accompanied by sobs, and because spicy food has never been known to make people sad. Spicy food is by definition happy food; we know this because the word “spice” has positive figurative connotations.

Next, the common cold. It would be very difficult to assert that spicy food shares attributes with the common cold, for the following reasons:

  1. Spicy food is not contagious.
  2. Antibiotics do not make food less spicy.
  3. Spicy food is by definition uncommon; food in its natural state is not spicy. Therefore, it cannot be identified with something fundamentally “common”.

Having demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that spicy food cannot be connected with the common cold or crying, we are left with the possibility of extreme cold. Upon close investigation, it is not only possible, but necessary, obvious even, that spicy food is naturally cold, so cold that upon ingesting it we find our noses beginning to run. It is, in fact, for this reason that some spicy peppers are known as “chili peppers”– a corruption of “chilly peppers,” that is to say, very cold peppers. It is the cold that causes their spiciness.


As a side point, and in reference to the title of this blog post, if you find that your nose is running, for whatever reason, you should make haste to catch it, before it gets away.


Disclaimer: Many of the statements in this blog are unresearched, unverifiable, and untrue. The writer cannot confirm the relative temperatures of spicy foods.


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