Rumor had it that there was a place in the West Village that serves wings so hot you need to sign a waiver just to order them. When my friend Dave told me this, I felt my life take on a noble sense of purpose - like a priest who has been called to the clergy, my path was laid out in front of me.
The restaurant (though 'restaurant' is misleading... more like a cash register with indoor seating) is called Pluck U. Based on the varsity-style lettering on the sign (see below), I assume that this must mean the Manhattan campus of Pluck University and not a chicken pun pejorative. We got inside, and the guy behind the register was talking to a friend of his on the phone. Instead of hanging up, he indicated we should order by making eye contact, picking up a pencil, and continuing to talk to his buddy while squeezing the phone between his shoulder and his ear.
It turns out there was no waiver - just a normal wing scale that ranges from mild to medium to hot to 'death'. Suddenly I understood the sense of destiny I had felt earlier - if death be my predestination, let me accept it with peace and tranquility. 10 death wings it is.
Overall, it was pretty spicy - hotter than Atomic Wings, but only because they used enough sauce to fill a small lap pool. Also, atomic's wings tasted better - they had more flavor and nuance. Turns out the poet was right - death be not proud. And if you disagree, pluck you anyway.
Pluck U. has recently tried to buck its reputation as a party school by investing heavily in its physics department and offering free delivery.