Thanks to my tag-team love of craft beers and burgers, I'm at Oblivion Taproom enough to give a physician's ghost unfinished business. So while bullshitting with the bartender there one night, I had to ask about an item on their menu: a deathbox of a sandwich called "The Fatass" – two beef patties, pickles, jalapenos, two fried eggs, bacon, chopped pork, griddled onions, three different cheeses and every food nightmare you've ever had on a garlic bun. I wondered if anyone had ever managed to finish one. Yes, the barkeep assured me, they had. With hours of Man vs. Food on my DVR and absolutely no competitive eating experience, that's all Drunk Me needed to hear.
I arrive at my friend A-Rod's place. He's offered to drive. My friend Kayle is already waiting by the truck. His arms are covered in ant bites from a week ago, when he rolled out of a moving van onto a grass median, vomiting as he went. Alex comes outside with a mug of something.
Me: Is that liquor?
A-Rod: No, that's just Diet Coke.
He opens the car door and pulls a fifth of Black Velvet from behind the driver's seat.
A-Rod: Here's the liquor.
These are my chaperones for the night.
We grab a booth at Oblivion. There's no crowd chanting my name or TV camera panning over the masses. Just pockets seated around, chatting over drinks. Our waitress brings us menus.
Me: I'll have the Fatass.
Waitress: Oh God ...
Me: What? People have eaten this before, right?
Waitress: Yeah – I mean, you aren't going to die or anything. It'll just be, like, a near-death experience.
The burger arrives, and I'm ... underwhelmed? It's pretty tall, stacked with meat and condiments and pinned together with long wooden skewers, but the patties are no larger than average. There's also the side of tater tots, but I'll climb that mountain once I get there.
I tear the skewers out and wrestle my hands around the thing, taking my first bite. It is ungodly: a cavalcade of awesome slathered in heart attack. I gnash through cheddar and beef and egg. The dust settles. Nearly a third of the burger is gone.
The first burp waves harmlessly pass, and I launch into the burger again. We all exchange bemused looks. Can it really be this easy?
I am the white knight of food challenges, slathering ketchup over the last morsels like a goddamn boss. The Fatass has been nearly decimated in 13 minutes. I take the final piece between my fingers, looking upon it with pity, as it never truly had a chance. It is time to put on my gloating pants. And those are some loud pants.
Me: WHAT WAS THAT? FUCK YOU, BURGER! I AM YOUR GOD NOW!
I can't tell if my friends are proud, disgusted or both, but they clap. I tamed the Fatass. I wasn't this proud on my college graduation day. Our waitress walks over, presumably to tell me to shut the hell up.
Me: ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
Waitress: Holy shit ...
Me: You can take that platter now.
It's 10 minutes post-Fatass, and I am not entertained. My stomach is slowly churning, my breathing's hastened and now the buzz of my beer is kicking in.
Me: Seriously, it's starting to pick up down there.
Kayle: Dude, you're thinking about it too much. Just finish your beer so we can head downtown.
Me: Wait, downtown?
A-Rod: Yeah, I told you that's where we're going, remember?
Me: There's no way I can drink anymore, guys – that whiskey would light me up now after this shit.
A-Rod: Don't worry, I've got some Smirnoff Ices you can chug in the truck, instead.
It's official. The Fatass has plugged me into another plane of existence. It's like being extremely drunk – everything looks fuzzy and flung down a long hallway – with all the perks of food magma sloshing around inside you, but wihtout the hopes of getting laid.
Walking through the restaurant is a Cirque Du Soleil of shame, tripping and stumbling as we walk out the door. We get in A-Rod's truck. I immediately face a pincer attack of drowsiness and nausea, during which I contemplate the fact that I bartered my self-respect for a novelty-sized cheeseburger. A-Rod hands me a Green Apple Smirnoff Ice, a smug grin on his face.
A-Rod: Drink up.
Me: I hate you so much right now ...
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