An Extremely Talented Individual – like Myself – Can Eat an Entire Hot Dog During the Loading Screen of an SSX Map
The Sophomores and Juniors from Hallway 3B didn’t believe me. They bet me a copy of Red Faction that it couldn’t be done. My PS2 load-time dog-snarfing abilities were to be put to a public test!
Once the chips were down, of course, we had to get into specifics. I insisted that it had to be an all-beef frank, otherwise I wasn’t gonna have none of it. They got to pick the bun and the brand. I noticed they tried to pull a “plump-when-ya-cook-em” fast one on me but I had already taken that into consideration.
Afterwards we got together to determine which SSX level would be the cincher. Things got pretty hot and heavy – the Resident Advisor ended up getting called in. Once he got wind of the side-bets he was forced to call a hall meeting. Together the quorum voted 6-3 that the “Snow Dream” level, being the standard SSX level of the standard size, would be the level load of choice for the contest. I was happy with that, and began immediately calculating the bites and swallows that the challenge would require.
Would the hotdog be boiled or cooked on a grill? I wish I had made this clear sooner, but it definitely had to be boiled. Couldn’t slam down a rough burnt grill-dog in a pinch, know what I’m saying? Too many variables – cooking time, grill temperature, etc. A hot dog can really warp in those kinds of circumstances. This, unfortunately, created a lot of consternation. A few people started backing out of bets that had already been made. That’s when the Building Supervisor was called in, and pretty soon we had to have a all-dorm meeting in the cafeteria to work out the final details. It was agreed that the dog in question would be boiled for four minutes exactly and that the bun would be lightly toasted. It took a white board and three different color markers to piece it all together. The economics dudes whipped up a spreadsheet to calculate the final odds for and against – as well as side bets, like choking or suffocation.
Spencer from Caflisch hall bet his car. Sure, it had a bum radiator, but – A CAR! A lot was riding on me and the dog. A couple late-night calls offered me bribes to throw the between-level-dog-eat, but I’m a man of principle. Besides, I always wanted Red Faction.
The Moment of Truth
The night of the challenge arrived. The dog was ready, fresh and steaming. Ketchup and mustard were left to my discretion – I loaded on a little of each, then a pile of relish. The relish was an unexpected bit of showboating that brought screams from the audience (we had to erect stadium seating in the large 4B lounge), and I had to wait five minutes for another round of betting (dribbling? spillage? etc.) By this time even I was nervous.
We fired up the PS2, selected the Snow Dream level, and the judges yelled “GO!” I slammed that dog down faster than the dot-com stock market. I wouldn’t exactly say the hot dog was eaten – it was more like the hot dog disappeared. People were rushing forward to see what happened to it. The official timekeeper totally forgot to click his stopwatch – he, instead, became physically ill. I threw my arms triumphantly in the air, swallowed, and the place just exploded with screams and cheering. The loading screen was still going!
…and there was the problem. The loading screen stayed on there even as people congratulated me. I dimly recall, just after the Gatorade was dumped on me, that people began pointing and crying foul. The loading screen … it didn’t go away. It loaded and loaded. A whole two minutes and nothing had happened. By this time people had mobbed the front of the room, and I was pinned in the corner, sweating. Slowly the Building Supervisor opened the PS2 and withdrew the CD – on the shiney blue surface a huge scratch was clearly visable.
Dude, honestly, I don’t know. I really, really, don’t know. To me, it seemed like it was a man-made scratch, but, I mean, I’m not pointing fingers, I just don’t know. All I can say for certain was that there was no doubt about the consequences. People cried foul – they rushed the judges table. The cashbox spilled over. Someone knocked the lights out. The fire alarm was pulled. Punches were thrown. Tom went through the window – I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, I’ll have to ask him when he gets out of the student health center.
I don’t know how I got away. I remember that the couch had been wedged in the door but I managed to crawl under it. There was broken glass everywhere. The next morning I awoke to discover shaving cream and toilet paper all over the dormatory walls, inside and out. The lounge was roped off with yellow police tape and the Fire Marshall was hitting up the Dean with huge fines.
They found Spencer’s car suspended from a tree.
I didn’t get my copy of Red Faction. But they let me keep the extra hot dogs. And all the buns. You know, all told, it really wasn’t a bad deal.
Hey, got any of that spicy mustard handy?
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