I hate brownies. I especially hate fudge brownies with chocolate frosting on top. Maybe I'm even getting ahead of myself. I hate chocolate too. Granted, this has served me well in my healthy days, but I've never really understood the infatuation. Anyway, back to the scourge of the Earth - the fudge brownie with chocolate frosting. It's like the maker was afraid you would forget that you were eating a chocolate brownie, so they slathered more on top - you know, as a friendly reminder. By this point, you're probably wondering why I started out my latest blog post with such rambling (and an unhealthy anger at the Hershey Company). Well, you'll find out soon enough how 2 small bites of one such brownie ruined my life. Ok, maybe not my "whole" life, but at least 2 days. That's halfway to "whole life", isn't it?
This week's food challenge was my first "real" challenge. For loyal followers, I'm not rewriting history. The KFC and Burrito incidents still weigh heavily on my mind and my waist. No, this is just the first weekly battle that is officially offered as a "challenge" by a restaurant. I'm talking of the challenge at Fuddruckers. Let's set the table.
1 lb. bacon cheddar burger
1 large plate of bacon cheese fries
1 stupid brownie sundae (my wife just suggested anger management classes for me)
1 large coke
In a polite offer of generosity, the restaurant even gave me the option of substituting the brownie sundae for a regular sundae (replace Devil's Spawn (the brownie) with more ice cream) But I declined. After all, I wouldn't say no to a regular, chewy brownie on any other day. My mistake was that I underestimated the brownie, the fudge, the chocolate tidal wave of frosting, and the size. Honestly, I probably could have sculpted "The Thinking Man" out of the frosting.
As I was about to take on the challenge (t-shirts all over the restaurant asked me "Are you man enough?"), I noticed a group of guys just wrapping up their own attempt. Maybe it was the green tinge. Maybe it was the fact that two of them had passed out and I had to step over their collapsed bodies. Whatever subtle clues existed, my resolve wasn't broken. My confidence, maybe (it looked like the brownie actually attacked one of the guys in the face...and the brownie won), but not my resolve. With a tinge of nerves, the challenge began.
The 1 lb. burger was the size of the spare tire in my car, but it did not stand a chance against the newly formed spare tire around my midsection. With pride, I lovingly patted the fifth wheel, and laid waste to the burger in just a few minutes. I then tackled the cheese fries. It took a bit longer, but the cheese fries didn't last either. At this point, while I felt full, I felt confident. I had no idea what was still to come.
Have I ever mentioned that I'm lactose intolerant? I must have made some snide comment about the downfall of man being contained in a glass of milk, or that dairy cows were secretly the cause of World War II? No? Well, dairy and I don't get along. This is less of a pure hatred (don't get me started on chocolate frosting again) - no, my body just doesn't do well with the stuff. So as I stared at the brownie sundae, my first course of action was tackling the 4 scoops of ice cream. A few pills and a lot of bites (with small prayers to heaven), and the ice cream was history.
A side note before we get to the Hitler of desserts. Now that I look back at it, my wife was uncharacteristically adamant about me taking the pills to help me digest the ice cream. At first, it was loving support. Then, more forceful concern. But the point where she turned off the recorder and started making the pills fly around like an airplane so I'd take them, it got a bit awkward. More concerning was that I immediately asked her to help me take any pills in the future by use of this method - and only if she made the airplane noises at the same time. Anyway...ahem....moving right along...
Once the ice cream was gone (along with the cherry on top), I sat back in wonder and fear. This was the most ice cream I'd eaten in 30 years on Earth. It wasn't good, and it included chocolate (I know, I know. You're now researching support groups for chocolate haters to offer me as support). And now that I think about it, I'm eternally grateful for the pill-flying airplane method employed by my wife. Oye.
Of course, this was just the beginning. At the bottom of the plate, I found my kryptonite. A frozen fudge brownie, with frozen chocolate frosting. And a spoonful of spite. Each bite was pure torture. The first bite took me a full minute to get through. The second took two minutes. Then it was five, then ten, then fifteen. That's right. Fifteen minutes to get a piece of brownie. Now are you starting to see that my anger is justified?
But that's not the worst part. The most horrifying piece of the whole challenge was the fact that, with just two bites remaining, I disgraced myself and threw in the towel. Maybe it was the brownie. Maybe it was the burger an hour before. Maybe it was the fact that "Don't Stand So Close To Me" was playing in the background and my wife seemed to be taking the song's advice and moving farther and farther away from me.
In the end, I failed my first "real" challenge. After I threw in the towel, I threw up my food (apparently, I have a future calling as a speed walker, as I showed tremendous technique on my way to the restroom). And now, I'm a broken man. I sit before you, embarrassed. I stand afraid of what challenge is to come next.
But for now, I'm off to see if my wife will do the flying airplane trick with the plate of coconut cookies I have in front of me. That always makes it better.