"Pimientos di Padrón," he said to me with a smoky, menacing voice, "I need you to find out why uns pican e outros non."
He had enough money to make it worth my while, so I've been exploring this mystery. Most of the small green peppers are very mild, but one in ten is very spicy. Peppers raised in August and September tend to be spicier, but there's no known way to predict it except to open it up and try it.
So I've been asking questions, talking to chefs and scientists and occult mathematicians. I've attracted the wrong attention: the government of Padron is hunting me because I may violate their "no spoilers" policy. The Reno Mafia is after me, just as a precautionary measure in case Pimientos di Padrón ever somehow become a profitable gambling enterprise. The Vatican is after me on general principle. And the San Francisco Opera is after me because I went to one opera six years ago and now they keep harassing me for donations.
I haven't found an answer yet, but I must be getting closer, because the pressure is ramping up.
Last night they all caught me in a four-way alley intersection, demanding that I stop my investigations or turn over my results or help support Bay Area fine performing arts with a contribution. I thought I was a goner, but I came up with a fast plan.
"Darth Vader is Luke's Father!" I called out to the Padrón government guys. They winced and I ran past them.
I may not be so lucky next time. I need more pepper facts, people, before it's too late.