It sounds easy: Finish 10 hot wings without dipping sauce or anything to drink and the meal is free. I mean, how hot can those wings be? According to Alex Baldinger and Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post, the Buffalo Wing Factory makes them unbearable thanks to the ingredient capsaicin. It’s called the Flatliner Challenge and you even have to sign a medical waiver.
Baldinger and Hahn wrote up a list of some of the more interesting food challenges in the D.C. area, including one at Chick & Ruth’s Delly in Annapolis, which was featured on Man vs. Food. (I wrote about competitive eating ten years ago and the “sport” has since flourished.) The most daunting local contest, at least to me, is the 9 Pounder at BGR:
[N]ine pounds? That’s just the beef. Add three heads of lettuce, eight onions, 10 pickles, eight tomatoes, a quart of house “mojo sauce,” 60 slices of white and yellow American cheese and a four-pound brioche bun the size of a spare tire and it should be called the 25 Pounder. The prize: If one person can eat it in one sitting, it’s free. Otherwise, it’ll set you back about $100.
To date, only one person has accomplished this: Professional competitive eater Sonya Thomas, aka The Black Widow.
I’ve always found these contests to be tempting—who doesn’t love a good challenge?—and yet repulsive (we all know what happened to lardass).