Week 19 Food Challenge - Man v. Some guy named Emmett!
Food challenges are pretty funny. I purposefully use a Weekly Poll so that my followers don’t think I’m choosing easy challenges each week. Even with this fact, anytime a food challenge doesn’t follow the typical protocol, I feel the need to explain myself. Hopefully the “hey, the food was free and I’m helping the local economy” reason satisfies this week. Because as it has happened before, every once in a while, one of my followers will offer to pay for a challenge of their choice. Since the challenge was free, of course I decided to take it on. I mean, it was a great opportunity to help a local businessman. I would have paid….and stuff.
There's a place here in Lehi, UT (suddenly, all of my non-local followers are either mispronouncing it, or Google Earthing it) called Emmett and Ethel's, which has delicious burgers, shakes, and a small food challenge called, Man v. Emmett. I still don't know who Emmett is (maybe Ethel made him an emotional eater?), but it's actually Man v. 6 quarter pound beef patties, 6 slices of cheese, 6 pieces of bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise, and ketchup piled high (we’ll just call it the leaning tower of cholesterol). And I almost forgot the "healthy" portion of fries (and healthy equates to a pile equivalent to a small child…okay, maybe it was only 1 lb., but you get the idea). Considering some of my other challenges, I felt very confident that my expanding belly would carry me through.
As I sat down to start the challenge, I perused the wall of fame (holding pictures of the winners and the record holder, who finished the tower in 11 minutes 25 seconds. In case you didn’t know, I’m a competitive athlete. Actually, I believe my wife is under the impression that the entire world now knows this, because I still tell complete strangers about my journey when they give me the “Big Boy!” glare. And because I’m a competitive athlete, the 1st place standard of 11 minutes 25 seconds was my new Everest…or Leaning Tower. Work with me on my analogies here.
As the timer kicked on, I tackled the small 12" high burger first. I must be getting better at this. It only took me about 8 minutes to polish it off. The worst part? Feeling like I was holding an entire meatloaf in my hands. The most difficult part? Trying to actually bite the thing. But I passed the first test, and had 3 minutes to down the fries. My weapon of choice was ranch dressing – I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get the fries down a little easier. However, by this point, time was flying be. 1st Place was slipping away.
When I saw that there were only 20 seconds left and a 1/2 lb. of fries were left, I knew I would have to settle for 2nd place (2nd place was nowhere near first place, with a time of around 35 minutes, so I knew my chances of getting 2nd were pretty good). When the fries were history only a mixture of lettuce, ketchup, mayo, and onions remained. I thought I was done. Apparently, Chuck (the owner) was just preparing me for my own “The Great Outdoors” moment. No, it wasn’t gristle, but when I asked Chuck if I needed to finish that too, he clearly gave "the look" (nuance here – there are actually two kinds of looks, so I find it important to differentiate. “The Look” #1 is the one that is trained to wives across the country – they lovingly provide to the husband when we’re not following our training manuals. “The Look #2 is more rare – and is saved for Chuck alone, telling me to eat my lettuce/ketchup/ranch soup). And true to form, this was the nastiest part of the challenge...having to scoop up that concoction with my fingers.
But at 15 minutes 2 seconds, I had successfully threw down about 3 lbs. of delicious food, with a side of Chuck’s staredown. And the best/scariest/most eye opening part? I wasn't in pain afterwards. I didn’t feel too full. I didn’t seek out the Pepto. I didn’t moan on the couch like a dying elephant. I was actually able to enjoy the rest of the evening out with some friends instead of the usual....lay on my back for 5 straight hours trying not to move.
Then again, something tells me that my wife would say “the usual” happens more often than after a tough food challenge. But that’s entirely not the point.