Today, we celebrate.
At the end of August, our own Will Campbell issued me a challenge: For every win that UVA Football achieves over two, I would eat one of Arby's Meat Mountains. You can click through there to read all the details.
Last Saturday, Virginia achieved its third win of the season, which led to much jubilation by all, followed by a slight knot in my stomach, in part because I knew what my fate held, and in part because I ate at least five drumsticks and two steaks earlier that afternoon.
And so on Wednesday, October 1, 2014, I fulfill my first obligation to Will, to you all as readers, and most importantly, to Virginia Football. I am honoring our players in the greatest way I know how -- to devour a mountain of meat not intended for consumption in one sitting. In the interest of full disclosure, I am writing this Wednesday night, but publishing on Thursday. I wanted to capture my emotions as they happened, which is why I did not live tweet this last night. I wanted my true feelings and reactions to come out on here first, and Twitter second.
Before I begin my journey into what appears to be a three pound cylindrical object of dead animal, let first express frustration that I had to call three Arby's in order to find one that would create this monstrosity for me. Thank you, Arby's Merrifield, for being the only location in Northern Virginia that would allow me -- nay, allow US -- to celebrate the successes of Virginia Football.
Times below are a little slow because I type in between each step.
8:44 p.m.: I unwrap this work of beauty. I don't know why I did it, but I felt compelled to order curly fries when I had made my order. Seeing how the burger stacks up, literally, makes me immediately regret that decision. Actually, I do know why I felt compelled. Because you don't go to Arby's and not order the curly fries. I just don't know why I ordered a large. The solo cup is provided for a frame of reference.
8:45 p.m.: I exercise my option not to eat the bun (#Whole30 #paleo #whatamievendoingwithmylife), so I take that off. I see that it's layered as follows: cheddar cheese, bacon, ham, roast beef, roast turkey, corned beef, brisket (?), steak (?), and finally chicken tenders on the bottom. I was promised Swiss cheese as well. I see no Swiss cheese. I am slightly angered.
8:51 p.m.: I manage to fit the entire mountain into my mouth and I get a layer of everything. There is a lot of meat.
8:52 p.m.: I take a second bite to further assess (and also apparently to split my infinitives). The strongest flavors are the chicken tenders at the bottom, which miraculously are still crispy, and the bacon at the top, equally miraculously still crispy. Both are fairly peppery.
8:54 p.m.: I take a few more bites. I kind of like this actually.
8:55 p.m.: I wash it down with some natural, pure, premium coconut water. Zico: we are accepting sponsorship proposals, and you're welcome for this fine product placement.
8:56 p.m.: I eat a couple fries and immediately regret this decision. I will not be eating any more fries.
8:57 p.m.: I start picking off some of the stray meat that's fallen off the sandwich. I decide I don't like eating any of these meats by themselves.
8:57 p.m.: I am now about halfway through the sandwich, and I make two observations. First, I am glad that they had the slice of cheese on top (WHERE IS MY SECOND SLICE OF CHEESE) and the chicken tenders on the bottom. After I took the bun off, I was worried about the integrity of the sandwich, but it appears to be holding up pretty strong with these two as anchors. Second, I am incredibly full already.
8:58 p.m.: Immediately after typing that, one of the chicken tenders at the bottom gives up on life. My sandwich is now a disaster, and I spend some time trying to reconstruct it. I am grateful that I was smart enough to list the order at the start of this journey.
9:01 p.m.: I eat a couple more fries. WHY DID I JUST DO THAT.
9:02 p.m.: I would say I'm about 70% through this thing. I decide I need a break. And more delicious, all natural, not from concentrate Zico coconut water.
9:05 p.m.: I look up the nutritional information on this bad boy and am expecting a 1,800 calorie hit. I am pleasantly surprised! According to unofficial counts, it is only 1,275 calories! And that's assuming I ate the bun! I am, however, unhappy I just consumed over 3,500 mg of sodium.
9:09 p.m.: I take another bite, and between questioning my life decisions and wondering if I should eat some more fries, I realize I am almost done. I think, though, that perhaps I should not have taken that break, because it's really hitting me like a rock.
9:10 p.m.: I continue looking up nutritional information. I find another article, this time from the always reputable Des Moines Register, which says that an official Arby's PR representative says that this is only 880 calories. And again, remember I'm not eating the two buns, AND I was gypped a slice of Swiss cheese. This thing is downright healthy for me!
9:11 p.m.: It's now more of a meat molehill.
9:12 p.m.: Sweet, delicious, electrolyte-filled Zico coconut water.
9:14 p.m.: I just caught myself staring blankly off into space. I regain my focus. I convince myself that I can now actually finish this in two bites. I take as big a bite as I can, and look at it again. I will not be finishing this in two bites. I remind myself, though, that the team is depending on this. They are counting on my support, and this is how I have pledged it.
9:15 p.m.: I've unbuttoned my shirt, taken off my belt and have unfastened my pants. Why am I even wearing pants??
9:17 p.m.: I am down to just a couple more pieces of meat! I find myself wishing there were more bacon.
9:23 p.m.: Instead of taking the last bite, I caught myself staring off into space again. Also, my DVR is recording something, so that's exciting.
9:24 p.m.: I take the last few bites and I am now COMPLETE. Well, not in a "my life is complete" sense, but more in a "thank goodness this is over" sense.
My review? This challenge was not as painful as the infamous KFC Double Down challenge of a couple years ago. But I'm reminded that the challenge isn't over. As I sit here thinking that it's just a matter of time before my stomach decides to hit "eject" (and make no mistake, it is currently churning), I am now dreading the fact that, for each win the Hoos get going forward, I have to repeat this challenge. I have to eat another Goliath-sized meatwich. I am unhappy with how my life has turned out.
I also wonder what I have in the kitchen by way of dessert.
See you guys next week after we #WhiteOutScott.