On September 24th, 2010, at 7pm Texas time, I prepared to try and win the battle of Man vs Food.
I have only seen the television show once. The star of the show took on the Four Horseman Ghost Chili Pepper Burger.
From Chunky’s Burger joint in San Antonio, I took on what only 3500 people have ever tried and 200 people have ever conquered.
I saw the wall of honor.
I also tried their “Frings,” a combination of fries and onion rings.
Another fellow in the restaurant was taking on the real challenge.
A regular jalapeno has 8 units of spice. The ghost pepper chile has one million units of spice.
It is beef covered in death.
I have eaten a piece of food per inning for all 9 innings of a baseball game.
I have ridden a mechanical bull and impressed the house.
I would sooner try to eat a live cow with horns than try this burger again.
This burger is not allowed to be taken to go. There are liability issues.
I had to sign a waiver saying I understood the risks before I could be served.
They keep buckets nearby for people who need to get sick.
The rules of the challenge itself are several. The burger must be consumed in 25 minutes or less. No bathroom breaks are allowed. If I get sick and cannot keep the burger down I am disqualified. 5 minutes after I am finished I am allowed to drink a beverage. Milk is recommended. There is a Dairy Queen across the street for those needing more.
The recommend you wear plastic rubber gloves when eating the burger to avoid rubbing your eyes and going blind.
(I thought rubbing something else repeatedly made you blind, but that is for a different time.)
Nevertheless, at 7pm I went to work.
In my head I heard “Eye of the Tiger.” I was ready.
I lasted 4 bites.
I downed some milk as fast as I could, took the bucket outside, got on one knee…prayed…
and stayed strong. The first shock wave is the toughest.
I may have failed the challenge, but that bucket remained empty.
I tried to finish the burger. Yet after 25 minutes I began chanting what our current president is hearing from the American people.
No we can’t! No we can’t! No we can’t!
I was told that I will feel the aftereffects for 8 hours, maybe more.
I drank one and one half glasses of milk. I ate half the burger.
The challenge was one, but by a better man than me.
His name is Rudy Falcon.
He was on the other side of the restaurant. It is on videotape. He felt like death afterward, but he did it.
I went up to him and shook his hand vigorously.
I announced to the room, “I am a girl. This (Rudy Falcon) is a man!” I held his arm up in solidarity.
Life is about life experiences. I do not have a bucket list because this burger might have caused me to kick the bucket had I finished it, or at least gotten sick in it.
I feel no shame. I gave it my very best. Yet at 7:30pm I took a paper towel, waved it for everyone to see, and tossed it on the floor.
Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov at chess. There is precedence for even the best men losing to inanimate objects.
I wanted to be John Henry moving the rock 15 feet while the steam drill drove just 9. Yet he drove so hard that he broke his heart, and laid down is hammer and he died.
I was still alive. I was still in the game, able to try and fight this burger another day, which I will not do.
Joe Frazier only lasted 14 rounds against Muhammad Ali in the Thrilla in Manila. He could not answer the bell for the 15th round. That fight led to boxing being reduced to 12 rounds. I was more like Roberto Duran yelling “No Mas!”
To Rudy Falcon, you sir are in my food hall of fame. Given that I have not started the list yet, you are the only inductee. Actually, we will start with two inductees. Respect requires Joey Chestnut go first, then Rudy Falcon. Rudy could take down Kobayashi. Maybe Rudy was the guy that the Notre Dame movie was based on.
I did manage to eat the fries and the onion rings, which I am told counts for nothing. So much for the Fring of Honor.
Actually, since nobody else thought of it, I am declaring myself the first inductee into the Fring of Honor for downing one half of a half order of frings.
Chunky’s Burger place has t-shirts in many colors. Given my girly-girl status, I went with pink.
I then said a prayer to God, all the while realizing that on Friday night a good Jewish boy should be praying in Synagogue, not eating a non-kosher burger.
Then again if God did not want me to eat this thing, why would he have invented Pepto Bismol?
(My years on Wall Street involved doses of the pink stuff. Traders kept it on their desks.)
At about 7:45pm my lips were no longer burning. Yet my stomach was, and a long night that will never be described publicly awaited or repeated awaited me.
I fought the food, and the food won. I only hope it was a singular defeat and not a repeated one.
At 8pm the waitress officially took the other half of the burger from me, seeing as bringing it home was akin to culinary hara kiri.
It was then time to go back to the house I was staying at.
Flying down the highway (as quick as possible to go lay down) headed West…
In a streak of black lightning (and red skin) called the Tygrrrr Express
On to the next adventure.
San Francisco 49ers @ Kansas City Chiefs
(49ers by +1.5, Chiefs win outright)
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
(Patriots by 12.5, they cover)
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Steelers by 2.5, they cover)
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
(Saints by 4.5, they win but fail to cover)
Cincinnati Bengals @ Carolina Panthers
(Bengals by 3.5, Panthers win outright)
Tennessee Titans @ NY Giants
(Giants by 3.5, they win but fail to cover)
Dallas Cowboys @ Houston Texans
(Texans by 2.5, Cowboys win outright)
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
(Vikings by 10.5, they cover)
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
(Ravens by 10.5, they win but fail to cover)
Washington Redskins @ St. Louis Rams
(Redskins by 3.5, Rams win outright)
Philadelphia Eagles @ Jacksonville Jaguars
(Eagles by 2.5, they cover)
Oakland Raiders @ Arizona Cardinals
(Cardinals by 4.5, they win but fail to cover)
Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos
(Colts by 5.5, they win but fail to cover)
San Diego Chargers @ Seattle Seahawks
(Chargers by 5.5, Seahawks win outright)
NY Jets @ Miami Dolphins
(Dolphins by 1.5, they cover)
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
(Packers by 2.5, they cover)