We improve ourselves by victories over ourselves. There must be contest, and we must win.~ Edward Gibbon
And yet, sometimes, we throw in the towel and those who love us think no less of us for having pushed back against our self imposed limits and still 'failed'. What does all this mean?
My son and his uncle are buffalo wing aficionados. They have been known to hit 3-5 establishments on any given day and do a taste test comparison, WITH NOTES, as to the best wings in the south metro area. Friday night, my son and his uncle decided that they were going to be WILLING participants in Buffalo Wild Wings "Blazin' Challenge". Yes, you can probably guess that the Blazin' Challenge involves eating buffalo wings. Not just buffalo wings, but buffalo wings that have been sauced....ok, double sauced in Buffalo Wild Wings hottest sauce, "Blazin'". The rules are that each contestant has 6 (officially timed) minutes to eat 12 wings. The contestant may not drink anything during the 6 minutes. Nor may they use a napkin to wipe sauce/sweat/and yes snot from their hands/face. They may use their forearm, but no napkin. All meat from the wings had to be swallowed before the 6 minutes were up. And should they win the challenge then your picture will be taken for the Wall of Fame and you will receive a t-shirt with the verbiage to the effect of..."like walking across hot coals...but you eat them".
I don't think that we were meant to be there, as I think this was just supposed to be some bonding time between nephew and uncle, but somewhere along the line, it became a spectacle. Grandma and Grandpa put in an appearance. The aunt arrived. Friends and friends of friends arrived. Because let's face it, a spectacle is not a real spectacle unless...well you have a large audience.
Then came the "consent form". HUH??? Really? A consent form? Because he was underage, I had to sign a consent form. Yes, me. The mother. Because the father passed the form for me to sign (with some lame excuse about not having his cheaters...you know men). So, I signed.
Then the wings arrived. Now, I HAVE to say this about those wings. The chickens they got those wings from were either on steroids or had a serious thyroid problem. They.were.HUGE. Seriously. We got wings after the spectacle ended and our wings weren't half the size of these wings. And, before they even arrived at the table, the smell of the sauce was singeing our eyebrows. Once they arrived, I had a tiny taste of the sauce. Tiny=a spec the size of the head of a pin. I still have a hole in the middle of my tongue where the sauce acted on my tongue like Alien blood on metal. At this point I started doubting my mothering instincts. Did I really sign off on my son, my ONLY son, willingly doing this? Yes, I did.
I think I have hence forth been disqualified for "Mother of the Year" award.
So, they set the timer and said "go" and the two of them went at it. By the first wing, the boy's face was bright red. By the second, I saw a look in his eye that said..."what the HELL was I thinking". I'm sure it didn't help that he had a peanut gallery cringing with each bite, vocalizing his pain, and commenting on each bite and its correlating physiological response. By the third, sweat was dripping down his face. At 4 I thought, he's done. At 5 the nose was dripping water. After 6 she called half way there. I briefly thought he's actually going to do this. Apparently 7 was his limit. He tapped out, grabbed the sugar and milk they provided and attempted to "douse" the hot coals now dancing in his stomach.
But the uncle maintained his composure. His face was relatively clear of sauce and he was moving very methodically through the wings. He was in pain, but impervious to it at that moment. And he DID it. All 12 wings in 6 minutes.
Shortly after the contest ended, thinking this was the last we'd hear of it, my son said he would like to give it another shot. NOT today, mind you, but another day (a day where I'm sure he won't have the same audience). I'm also guessing that his next attempt will be on a day when he does NOT have a double header for baseball the next day. The laws of buffalo wing physics hold true for all days...hot in, hot out. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
My husband has video on his phone and I have to figure out how to load it. But I will.