MARBLEHEAD, MA—Sighing as he gazed at the moderately spiced condiment on the table before him, local 34-year-old John Rawley told reporters Thursday it had been hard coming to terms with the fact that his ability to tolerate spicy foods had plateaued and he wouldn’t ever move beyond medium salsa. “All my life, I imagined that one day I would reach a point where I could consume extra-hot, five-alarm salsa with a smile on my face, but alas, I fear I will forever be confined to more benign varieties of dipping sauce,” said Rawley, shaking his head and recalling that when he first moved past mild salsa, he had thought the sky was the limit, but now, here he stood, humbled to admit he would never truly enjoy a blend from a container featuring a skull and crossbones or a sombrero-wearing ghost pepper. “In the past, when I saw a salsa mascot whose head was on fire, I always longed to see myself reflected in his greatness—his courage and sense of adventure. Yet, deep down, I know this is not the man I’ve become. From henceforth, I must accept that whenever I see the word ‘Hot!’ next to a chili pepper, there my path shall end.” At press time, a weeping, heavily perspiring Rawley was spotted chugging a quart of milk after one last futile attempt to attain his dream.