By Adam Blumenberg
The bet was who could eat more McDonalds Cheeseburgers. It was a very silly thing to do at eleven o' clock on a Wednesday (or anytime really). Ben and I went to the McDonalds on 34th street and 3rd avenue, looked over the dollar menu and decided what to get. The nice lady took our order. Then she did a double take and asked us to repeat it. “Ten cheeseburgers please, we’ll be back for ten more soon. We don’t want them to get cold.” She looked at us with her mouth open for a second then started laughing and talked to the other ladies in Spanish. They all looked at us and smiled broadly. “We have a bet, we want to know which of us can eat more cheeseburgers. They only cost a dollar each, so we figured why not?” She placed our order and soon we got a tray piled with ten cheeseburgers and two Coca-Colas.
We looked at the pile of ten cheeseburgers sitting before us. "That's not so bad," I convinced myself. Besides if we split the pile, then split the next pile it wouldn't seem so much.
I was half right, we got the first pile down in 20 minutes, no problems. They even tasted pretty good.
Cheeseburgers one, two, three, four and five really didn't cause any problems. We chatted about how nice it was that we were supposed to be in AP Biology, learning about the digestive system rather than destroying it.
With the first ten down (five each) we went back to the counter for seconds. They had been watching us the whole time and giggling. Feeling only slightly embarassed I put down $10.86 and waited for the food to arrive. I sat back down at the table with the new pile and Ben took a snapshot of me about to dig into Cheeseburger #6.
Cheeseburger #6 took a little longer than the others. We had been pacing ourselves in the beginning , but the par time for burgers one to five was still only about four minutes. The sixth one took about 10 minutes. No big deal, we knew we'd have to slow down eventually.
Before we started seven I took a picture of Ben looking silly. Here he is!
At this point the uncomfortability began to grow exponentially. Every bite became more and more of a challenge. It was like my body had turned into powder and every bite was another gust of wind.
At this point I had to loosen my belt. Ben and I were out of Coca-Cola so I went to get a couple waters.
I don't know how we managed to get through the eighth cheeseburger. It took us a good twenty minutes. First Ben went for a walk outside, then I did. The world seemed so unnatural; where had the fluorescent lights gone? I stumbled back and forth outside the restaurant for a few minutes before hobbling back to the table and taking another bite. It was like eating squishy gravel. All the pieces of cartilage and sinew that I'd habitually ignored over the years suddenly seemed to be massaging my tongue.
Ben and I communicated telepathically for a while. It went something like this:
"I wish I were dead."
Cheeseburger number ten. Ethiopians don't know how good they have it. Neither of us could finish though, another bite simply wouldn't fit in out stretched-to-the-limit bellies. The final count, I had nine and a half, Ben had nine and a third. Plus two cokes each. The ladies behind the counter who had been watching us the whole time gave us each a happy meal toy as a prize. With a little blue plastic man and a receipt for ten cheesburgers each, we went home to make room for dinner.
McDonalds Nutrition Facts:
Cheeseburger = 310 Calories, 12g Fat, 40mg Cholesterol, 740mg Sodium
Large Coca-Cola = 310 Calories, 0g Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 20mg Sodium
9.5 Cheeseburgers + 1 Large Coca-Cola
= 3,255 Calories, 114g Fat, 380mg Cholesterol, 7,050mg Sodium
UPDATE: On April 19, 2005, Ben and I decided to test ourselves again; we had to be sure the "experiment" could be repeated. So we ate 7 Ben & Jerry's ice cream cones on Free cone day.