I have always perceived the idea of a food eating challenge as sacrosanct; the winners quite deserving of our adulation and respect. I have highly revered these super humans capable of consuming large quantities of food, notwithstanding their voraciousness. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and on Thursday, August 2nd 2012, I imitated the avidity of the Great Ones.
Brick Oven, located in Provo Utah, offers an insurmountable challenge: You, along with a friend consume a pizza with a diameter of 29 inches and an entire decanter of root beer within a one hour period. This is no modicum; a 29” pizza is equivalent to four 14” pizzas. My friend Zach and I decided we would rise to the occasion and, mathematically speaking (A=(pi)(r^2)), each consume 330 square inches of pizza and one liter of root beer.
The rules of the engagement were as follows: the two of you have one hour to eat and drink all that is brought out, you have one hour to do so, you may not leave the eating area, and your pizza must have four toppings. Zach and I, the both of us not being too terribly fastidious, ordered, olives, green peppers, and onions to meet the requirements while dividing the forth topping between mushrooms and pepperoni on each half.
I don’t know if the unruly din or cavalcade of Brick Oven workers arrived at our table first but the voluminous monster appeared ex nihilo under our noses. The clock began! What ambrosia! What wonder beheld our taste buds! We took to our task with alacrity and devoured half of the pizza in less than 20 minutes. It must have been an awe inspiring tableau; half of the rations vanished with less than one third of the time allotted having past. The manager himself said that this was an unprecedented pace. It seemed as if we had found our rhythm, a cadence contributing to the evaporation of that mass of food (no doubt aided by our new found mantra “Don’t stop till’ you get enough” provided by the background music of Michael Jackson). Little did we know that just as marathon runners hit a wall at mile 18 or 19, so too do pizza eaters collide into a similar barrier at 200 square inches. With each bite our disposition increased in consternation. Recalcitrance replaced readiness as our pallet became more and more petulant. With each perfunctory bite the remnants of the massive giant became decreasingly tantalizing. Perhaps volition for victory and one and half pounds of cheese result in an internecine outcome. The crux of the whole matter isn’t necessarily the quantity of food consumed, but the unsupportable tang of dough and sauce and cheese. To put one more bite into our mouths was to trigger our gag reflexes (verified by our request for buckets from the obsequious restaurant staff). Utterly nonplussed at our powerlessness over the few pieces of pizza remaining, we ignominiously sat at our table as the one hour time limit expired. Which was more deleterious: failure to complete the eating challenge, or the thousands of calories seething within our stomachs? I daresay the not the latter.
While our pride may have been piqued this experience was not all together futile. What a great opportunity for us to get the gang back together and contend for prominence in the feasting arena. Friendship was further forged, camaraderie was further fortified, and after it was all said and done, our situations were ever more soporific.