I was bored at work one day, this is where all good ideas come from. Weeks ago, my colleague, Greg, had said that he could eat two Teen Burger combos. Suddenly, the topic had come up in conversation again. Our group saves A&W coupon books, as their breakfast is quite tasty, and the line for it is way shorter than Tim Horton’s. There is always a coupon for two Teen Burger Combos for $11, but it rarely gets used, as one often just buys lunch for oneself.
On this day, Greg was browsing the coupon choices, and noticed the $11 Teen Burger Combo coupon and said “Amy, I think I will do the Teen Burger Challenge today”. I said “Ok, how much time do you need?” There was considerable debate on the topic, including a brief Facebook poll. The Facebook poll resulted in a general consensus that an individual could eat two Teen Burger Combos (that’s 2 burgers, 2 servings of fries, 2 medium drinks) in 15 minutes (the boldest said 6 minutes). So I proposed this challenge to Greg. “No Way!” he said, “I would not be able to keep the food down eating it at that rate”. As we were still in a professional setting, I had to agree – we wanted to avoid making a mess as much as possible. He proposed a time limit of 30 minutes. “No way!” I said, “That’s way too easy. ANYONE can finish two Teen Burger Combos in 30 minutes. Hell, I could do that!” Uh-oh. Greg seized the opportunity to take me up on this challenge. Before I knew it, I was scheduled to eat two Teen Burger Combos.
Rules were set. Two Teen Burger Combos, 30 minutes, everything must be eaten to be considered successful. The winner would be determined by the one who finished first, or in the event that both parties failed, the one who ate the most. Loser buys the other person’s lunch.
I started strategizing right away. How would I tackle this challenge? I opted to go fries first and finish with burgers and drinks. My reasoning: potatoes are heavy, so they should be eaten first instead of when you are already full. Try and eat the majority of the food in the first 15 minutes, so the body doesn’t have as much time to register the feeling of fullness. Armed with my strategy, I was ready for lunch.
Once the combos had been acquired, we sat down to start the challenge. I felt confident that I would finish the challenge. I did not think I could beat Greg, but I was more out to prove the point that ANYONE can eat two Teen Burger Combos in 30 minutes. DING DING! Start the challenge.
True to the above strategy, I started wolfing down my fries first. I’ll tell you, this was not a ladylike moment, and I had to take several laugh breaks to appreciate the hilarity of it all. You have to laugh, because it is such an unnecessary challenge. While I was doing my best impression of Takeru Kobayashi, Greg opted for a slower approach, burgers first.
I managed to finish the fries without much difficulty, and started in on the burgers. The first one was quite tasty, and went down easy. I had 2 medium cups of water and 1 Teen Burger left. I thought I had it in the bag. Plus, it looked like I was ahead of Greg in terms of finishing first. I might get a free lunch!
But then, the sickening feeling of fullness started to set in. The sharp tang of mustard started to feel like a stab to the gut as I struggled to muster another bite of the final Teen Burger. The hamburger patty lingered on my tongue like a scared child, afraid to go down the slide (the slide is my throat in this “meat”aphor). My worst fear started to rear its ugly head: I could not keep my lunch down. Meanwhile, my slow and steady colleague kept on going.
I tried everything. I drank most of the water, which seemed to help guide the bites of Teen Burger that I managed to swallow into my stomach. At this point, Greg had drawn even with me. I struggled to continue eating, while continuing to keep everything down.
With a final flourish, Greg finished his Teen Burger Challenge, with 5 minutes to spare. I was still looking at half a Teen Burger. It was time for a literal gut check. Do I stop eating, and save my professionalism? Or, do I risk losing my lunch to prove that I can do this challenge. My ego wanted the latter, but my stomach was begging me to quit. So I finally said “Screw you stomach!” and shoved the last bite of Teen Burger in my mouth. Have you ever tried to eat something when you were full? It feels like you don’t even taste the food. It’s just a mass on your tongue. Time was ticking down, thirty seconds left. I had to, I just had to. And just like that, I had finished. With 15 seconds left to spare, I too had completed the Teen Burger Challenge.
Want to challenge my time? 29:45, good luck!