The Badass of the Week.

-- Things I've Eaten for Money --
Update 2 December 2005 by Amazing Ben

Sometimes men have to make sacrifices for love.  Your girlfriend/fianceé/wife may want you to stop going to strip clubs or help out around the house or put the toilet seat down... it really depends on the chick and how much crap she thinks she can get away with making you do or not do and how willing you are to comply to her demands.  It's a natural fact of life and it's really all part of being a guy who's dating a chick that's obviously out of his league.  Well of course my relationship is much the same.  How so, you may ask?  Well, one of the terms of my recent engagement was that I had to promise to stop eating potentially dangerous and/or harmful substances in exchange for money.

So in honor of my turning over a new leaf in my life and the fact that it was Thanksgiving last week, I've decided to take this opportunity to provide a little retrospective into my long and illustrious career as a fucking jackass who does stupid shit all the time for no good reason.  The following is a list of some of the more interesting things I've eaten for money.

A Container of Breath Drops

I Received:  Five dollars
It Tasted Like:  A glacier took a piss in my mouth

Once upon a time, I was hanging out in my high school cafeteria when a guy I knew pulled out this strange looking bottle of what he called "industrial strength breath drops".  Now with the time being the late nineties and us being the neophytes we were, nobody really knew what the fuck a breath drop was.  When this kid told us that you only have to put one single drop of this crazy blue liquid on your tongue and you had fresh breath for the rest of your life, we of course all thought this was bullshit.  Despite his insistence, I was eager to prove that I was the hardest motherfucker who ever lived and could probably drink that entire bottle in one shot and not be adversely affected in any way at all.  Of course things got out of control from there and eventually people were throwing money into the center of the lunch table daring me to drink the whole thing.  Because I'm awesome, I was all about taking this challenge.  So I took an empty one of those paper ketchup containers and squeezed the entire contents of the breath drop bottle (about 160 doses) into it before pounding it like a shot.

It took a second for the icy burst to kick in, so for a brief moment I shrugged my shoulders and did the international sign for "meh".  Then it hit me.  It was like the entire North Pole had just been crammed down my throat by the abominable snowman using a twenty foot-tall peppermint candy cane.  I started foaming blue at the mouth and frightening the underclassmen while clutching my throat and making a Frankenstein-like growling sound.  After falling out of my chair and stumbling around the cafeteria freaking out the lunch ladies (who thought I had either some sort of fucked-up allergic reaction or rabies) I started hacking my lungs out and trying desperately to get the taste of peppermint out of my mouth.  Eventually I got control of myself, but you can be certain the I had sweet fresh breath for like a month and a half after that little episode.

A Glass of Hot Sauce

I Received:  Four dollars and a beer
It Tasted Like:  A double shot of grain alcohol, gasoline and molten-hot magma

There was a kickass buffalo wings place my high school friends and I used to go to after school every Thursday because they had a ten-cent wings special and the waitresses there unquestioningly accepted the crazy fake ID my friend Scott made by printing out a birthdate on his computer, cutting it out and scotch taping it over the actual birthdate on his driver's license.  We would skip lunch and starve ourselves all day just so that we could have more room to pound wings when we dropped twenty bucks on a 200-piece basket.  Of course there was always a pissing contest about who could eat the most wings, so the five of us at the ten cent wings event probably resembled something like those Discovery Channel specials where the hyenas are all feasting on a huge fucked-up animal carcass of some sort.  How's that for appetizing imagery?

Anyways, it was a couple of days after the aforementioned breath drop incident, and my friends thought it would be funny to see what else I'd eat for money, so they dared me to pour out half a glass of the restaurant's "super hot death sauce" and pound it.  Since they offered to cover my share of the food and beer, of course I went along with it.  Unfortunately there wasn't enough sauce in the bottle to fill half a glass, but I shook out as much as I could and chugged it like a frat guy at rush week. 

This proved to be a mistake.

You know how when you take a shot of really strong booze or swallow a razor blade you can feel it burn your throat all the way down?  It was sort of like that, only somehow worse because the burning didn't seem to go away.  It was just this horrible system shock to my entire esophagus which in turn decided to revolt against me for doing such a stupidass thing to it.  After about thirty seconds of clutching my chest and wheezing Scott finally asked me if I was having a heart attack, to which I replied, "I'm not sure".  I slowly slid out of the booth still grasping my heart and moving my mouth open and closed like a giant retarded goldfish.  When the waitress came by I reached my hand out to her mouthing the word "water" like some Far Side comic about people dying in the desert or Luke Skywalker on Hoth after he has the vision of Obi-Wan.  She just sort of looked at my table and my friends were like, "I think he needs another beer".

The Colossal Burger

I Received:  A free meal
It Tasted Like:  Two handfuls of pure cholestorol

This one isn't so much a story about me being a dumbass, but rather a tremendous feat of accomplishment.  I mean, look at that fucking thing.  I'll bet you probably gained five pounds just looking at the picture.  It's the sort of thing that if you listen carefully after you eat it you can actually hear your arteries hardening and your heart straining to circulate blood.

After hearing me described as "a black hole of food consumption", my future sister-in-law dared me to eat the entire Colossal Burger and all the accompanying side orders.  In exchange, she's foot the bill for dinner.  I politely informed her that only a fool would doubt my burger-eating abilities, but yet the offer remained on the table and the battle was on.

I fought an epic duel with the massive Colossus, breaking a sweat in the process and having to pause halfway through to gorge myself on the side orders of fries and mashed potatoes before finally finishing off the beast in an unparalleled display of bravery and unbridled caloric consumption.  It was the sort of battle that ancient myths were based on;  Man vs. Sandwich, with the fate of the dinner bill hanging in the balance.  In fact, there was even a damsel in distress here since if I ate the whole thing then my bride wouldn't have to pay for her own dinner either, so the fight pretty much fulfilled all the prerequisites of a historic epic showdown.  It was like probably on par with the most heroic things ever accomplished by mankind.  Fucking Odysseus has nothing on my battle with the Colossal Burger.  Man, I should be Badass of the Week.

Anyways, after having eaten this behemoth I settled into a food coma the likes of which few have ever known.  My wife swooned when she saw the lengths I would go to avoid paying for a meal and was of course uncontrollably aroused after watching me stuff my face with twenty pounds of beef, cheese and potatoes.  I think even her sister offered to sleep with me after that battle, but I could just be imagining that.

A Dollar Bill

I Received:  One Dollar
It Tasted Like:  Really dirty paper

I take a lot of heat for this one from my friend Mike because he couldn't understand why I would eat a dollar in exchange for a dollar, so I would like to take this opportunity to point out the fact that the dollar I ate didn't belong to me.  Now I don't really remember the circumstances surrounding this incident, or why I even volunteered to eat the dollar in the first place, or why it really even matters that the dollar didn't belong to me, but I feel like this should go on the list anyways.

Eating a dollar bill was pretty bitchin' because not only is it disgusting but it's also a felony.  Honestly, when you think about it money is probably one of the dirtiest, nastiest things in existence.  Nearly every bill you come in contact with has been passed on from person to person and lived in peoples' back pockets or rusty cash registers for years before you get your hands on it, so it carries the collective germs of thousands of different people.  Plus you never know what weird fuckers do with money... it could have been used as anything from a makeshift tissue to a tube for snorting cocaine to a gum wrapper.  It's honestly a miracle that I didn't get really sick from eating it.

On top of that, there's the whole "federal laws prohibit tampering with or destroying money" thing that nobody really enforces so you can totally get away with committing a felony as long as you don't broadcast the fact that you're a criminal all over the internet.

A Cigarette

I Received:  Ten dollars
It Tasted Like:  Wood chips and shredded paper

Right after we graduated high school, my friends and I drove from Miami to Atlanta, where we had seventh-row seats to see Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.  It was a three-day trip and it totally kicked ass.  On the way we stopped at the appropriately-named "Cigarette World" where we bought some of the cheapest smokes I've ever seen in my life.  Once we got back on the road, Mike dared me ten bucks to eat one of our recently-purchased cigarettes.  By this point I had a reputation to uphold, so of course I jumped all over the opportunity to make a few bucks simply by risking life and limb.  I grabbed the smoke out of Mike's hand, snapped off the filter and popped it in my mouth.  I later found out that there's such a high concentration of nicotine and other substances in a cigarette that it's actually incredibly dangerous to eat one, so kids don't try this at home.

Now I was no stranger to smoking at this time, but I swear I got a nicotine buzz of epic proportions.  I was acting like a fucking idiot for about ten minutes until it wore off, and everyone was so intrigued by the high I was getting that they nearly contemplated chewing a cigarette themselves.  I was laughing my ass off, singing along to the car radio and generally being the sort of dipshit I am when I get really wasted.

Now at this point I will mention that I'm incredibly susceptible to motion sickness.

As soon as the buzz wore off, I'm pretty sure I turned the sickly greenish-pale color of Death.  I spent the next two hours either with my head in a plastic bag or half hanging out the window trying to get enough fresh air that I wouldn't barf all over everyone.  I'm pretty sure we even had to pull the van over a couple times so that I could go hurl in a cow pasture.  It was ugly.  Man, I'm a dumbass.

A 3.5 MB Floppy Disk

I Received:  Five dollars
It Tasted Like:  Plastic and metal

My crowning achievement in the field of "eating weird shit" lies in the time that Mike dared me ten dollars to eat a 3.5 MB floppy disk containing his friend's Computer Science homework.  Of course I was down to at least make an attempt, since I was pretty sure nothing on this order had ever been successfully done before, so after a few seconds of examining the disk I was ready to begin.

I cracked the case open in the middle of "study time" in our Physics class and started chewing on the magnetic data disk inside (see the right picture above to get an idea of what I'm talking about).  At first, I was a little worried that the jagged edges of the magnetic disk would cut up the insides of my mouth, but once I got the hang of it I figured that it was just a matter of time before my molars were able to break down the disk to the point where I could attempt to swallow it.  However before this happened Mike mercifully offered me five dollars merely to stop trying to eat the disk, stating that, "I don't want your gruesome death to be my responsibility".  Seeing a good opportunity to cut my losses and probably save my digestive tract from having to deal with plastic and metal, I took the deal and returned the chewed remains of the floppy disk to it's rightful owner with an awkward apology.


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