The only thing we, as a nation, love more than food is, well, free food. Therefore, every new restaurant that comes along with their assortment of generic fast food decides to utilise this collective affinity towards free food to their advantage. In our current “restaurant economy” eating challenges are where all the buzz is generated.
The challenges are usually pretty simple: finish irrationally ridiculous sized burgers or a monstrously spicy plate of wings or pasta in a really short specified time without drinking fluids in between. If you finish within the given time, you walk out a proud man without having to pay anything. If you cannot, however, you have to pay the bill alongside paying with your burning rectum.
Growing up with my head buried in Archie comics, I have always been enthralled by how a skinny person like Jughead crammed burger after burger into his tiny stomach. Therefore, when this fad began I just had to jump on the bandwagon. So, here I present a generalised account on how the challenges go down in case you are considering taking one up.
STAGE 1: EYE OF THE TIGER
You are super hyped up. You have been starving yourself since the previous day and now you are ready to gulp the burger down in a go. Like a ravenous vulture, you eye up the skyscraper of a burger. The thought of free delicacy makes your taste buds tingle with glorious anticipation as the fragrance of mass produced cheese take over your senses. And so, it begins. You relish the oozy goodness of the template sauce and a masala doused patty. “Free food for life!”
STAGE 2: KEEPING AT IT
A couple of bites in you start realising that this is probably not how one should eat a burger. As all the goo starts precariously running down you chin to your elbows, you do your best to protect the new floral shirt you bought for this occasion from Gulistan. Nonetheless, you dig in like a primitive beast.
STAGE 3: INTROSPECTION
You start questioning your decision. “What have I gotten myself into? Is this worth it?” As the spices numb your taste buds and the ludicrous patty seems ever so daunting, you reflect on all your life choices. Boy oh boy, did you make some awful decisions: “Who let me be an adult, again?”
STAGE 4: REALISATION
You start realising that nothing in this world matters and money is of no value. You are a part of the bourgeoisie being exploited by the capitalist system. But you will not accept defeat. You most certainly won't throw the towel and let them get away with this. You renew your dying fervour and gobble up whatever is left.
STAGE 5: DEFEAT
No matter whether you complete the challenge or not, you go home feeling defeated. Your tummy does its best to tell you how stupid the entire idea was. As you try to console your flaming stomach you realise that it probably would have been better to stay home and listen to 6 hours of K-pop or Lana Del Rey. You swear to never ever try anything similar again.
And then a couple days later, you see this bizarre new place come up with a spicy ramen challenge. You whisper to yourself, “I've gotta try it out.”