"Good afternoon, YouTubers." So starts a typical video created by Russell Hawkins, a.k.a. the Crazy Insane Vaper.
Hawkins, a grandfather who hails from Wichita, Kansas, got the bright idea about a year ago that he could garner a YouTube following were he to vape weird foodstuffs. Things like the oil from packaged kippers. The "juice" from breakfast cereal. A mixture of soy sauce and mustard. You know, the usual.
Each video begins with Hawkins explaining why he chose the flavor du jour, preparing the vaporizer, and then indulging.
Hawkins's videos seemed destined for that largely unwatched corner of the YouTube-verse reserved for uploaded dance recitals and first pitches by third graders. Until he had a bright idea, that is. Hawkins decided to vape a Carolina Reaper, the chili pepper known as the hottest pepper in the world. But not just that. He promised viewers a "triple surprise."
In that video, which has since gone viral, Hawkins explains that he grows Carolina Reaper and had a bumper crop this year. He says he ground down some of it and—yes—prepares to vape it.
After inhaling, all we can say is that much retching, spitting, and vomiting ensues. Not since Jackass can we recall anyone subjecting themselves to such self-inflicted torture, just for our viewing pleasure.
But, of course, Hawkins doesn't stop at mere vaping of the spiciest pepper in the world. The "triple surprise" turns out to be this: In this midst of his coughing-cum-retching reaction to the vaping, Hawkins snorts some Carolina Reaper straight up through a straw. Then he rubs the residue of the Carolina Reaper dust in his eye.
"Oh my god, my lungs are on fire… I hope you motherfuckers enjoy this," Hawkins says. After taking a break to compose himself—or call 911—Hawkins is back on camera. "I ended up puking for about ten minutes. Once again, don't try this bullshit at home. Don't do this. Don't do it at all. It's not good. Don't try to vape anything hot. Especially not the world's hottest pepper."
And if you think the man would be content stopping his vapescapades there, you'd be dead wrong.
For example, when Hawkins vapes the liquid from a package of Kipper Snacks, he explains, "Today's challenge is Kipper Snacks. I don't know if you've ever had these or not, but it's a very pungent fish. I love these things all the time. Have them with crackers or something. After today, I might not like these."
But vaped kippers are pretty good, according to the man who knows: "That's straight up fish," Hawkins exclaims after using a dropper to collect some of the packing liquid. "I have some cats over here going, 'What the hell you got going on?' Hmm, that's actually fairly decent. Hi kitty. How many other people you know that would vape fish oil? OK, now it's starting to get nasty."
Soy sauce and mustard didn't go down so well. Hawkins starts out by saying, "Today I'm going to vape soy sauce and mustard, a combination of each. This ought to be good. Here it goes, I got the old puke bucket ready..." Things go downhill from there.
This all seems like a pretty steep price to pay for five minutes of Internet stardom, but that doesn't seem to be deterring Hawkins. Keep on vaping, you kooky, crazy diamond. Just don't expect any of us to follow suit.