“I dare you to do it”
6 of the worst words I’ll ever hear.
Why? Because I don’t like people questioning my manhood.
Of fucking course I’ll do it. You dare me, and I’m going to prove you wrong. Not only prove you wrong, but I’m gonna make you look bad when I do it.
It was Thanksgiving 1995. I was over at my buddy J’s house, as usual. I’ve been going to his house for Thanksgiving dinner for 20 years now. Why? Because his mom is a freaking amazing gourmet chef. Going to their house for Thanksgiving is 1 of my 2 favorite days of the year. The other is the $35 all-you-can-eat sushi gluttony-fest during the Cherry Blossom Festival at Sushi Taro.
So what I’m saying here is that I spend weeks preparing myself so that I could gorge myself with as much food as possible, during the 2 or 3 hours over dinner.
But I digress… Where was I?
Oh yes, 1995. I had a fro. I’m pretty sure I was wearing an untucked plaid flannel shirt and acid washed jeans. Of course, that in itself should qualify for TMI Thursday.
I tried to find an appropriate picture to post to give you a better idea of how badly dressed I was, but apparently google images burned all fashion pictures from 1995. It’s probably for the best.
Anyway, me and my badly dressed self were sitting at the table with 25 other ravenous people, tearing at the turkey like lions on a wildebeest.
I was thirsty, after piling forkful after forkful of tasty cooked muscle and flesh down my throat.
Luckily, my buddy J had just brought a large pitcher of water to the table, much like the one below:
Sort of off handedly I sad something like, “I’m so thirsty, I could chug that entire pitcher.”
His response was swift, “No you can’t. Not without puking.”
Are you saying that this pitcher of water is better than me? Are you questioning my testicular fortitude? Are you calling me a girly-man?
“Oh yeah I can, no doubt about it.” I replied confidently.
We went back and forth about the pitcher for a couple of moments, and suddenly we had an audience. People I knew and didn’t know started making side bets about whether I could do it.
And then the coup de grâce:
“I dare you to do it.”
I heard it over my shoulder, and I knew I was in trouble. It was my Dad.
Who wants to let their dad down…. so there was no backing down now. And suddenly I was the main attraction of the evening.
Sleeves got rolled up. My belt loosened.
I lifted the glass pitcher to my lips, and the chugging commenced – and just like at a college frat party, I had people chanting “Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!”
Down the water went, coursing down my esophagus just about as fast as I could pour it.
I could feel my stomach expanding….. bigger…… and bigger……. bigger than I had ever felt it before.
As I finished the last few drops of the pitcher, I had a weird feeling. A really weird feeling. It was sort of a combination between pain and extreme fullness. Like I had reached the point that my stomach would burst at its seams.
And then I realized I was in trouble. On a normal day, I would have been able to chug that pitcher no problem (living in a Frat with lots of football players provided a fabulous education about how to chug beer out of a pitcher properly, so water was easy). But today was not a normal day. It was Thanksgiving. This meant that, along with the water, my stomach was already filled to the brim with a super yummy Thanksgiving dinner.
I excused myself from the table, and said I had to go to the walk outside. Get some air.
Out I went into the brisk evening air. I paced. With each step, my body sloshing audibly.
I couldn’t decide if I felt like I was going to burst like a water balloon, or maybe I just had to pee…. or perhaps this is what the onset of water poisoning feels like.
I swallowed, trying to help calm things down.
Have you ever seen an avalanche? It always starts with a single rock falling…. and then it picks up steam and more and more and MORE AND MORE AND AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIGGGHHH AAAAAVVVAAAAALLLLLAAAAAANNNNNCCCCCCHHHHHEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This would be an accurate description of the next 3 to 5 minutes of my life.
Yes, I lost the bet. My pride took a pretty big hit, and I still hear about it to this day.
But all was not lost.
I cleared enough room to have Thanksgiving dinner all over again!