There it sat: two three-quarter pound slabs of ground beef, bacon, ham, cheddar cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickle, banana peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella, American cheese and a handful of fries.
As I took my seat in the dimly lit Thurman Cafe, the world-renowned Thurmanator that sat in front of me taunted not only my stomach, but my pride and dignity, too. The challenge, a Columbus food staple, was featured on “Man v. Food” and has one simple rule: finish the entire burger and sides in one sitting. Easy enough, I thought.
In preparation for this challenge, I fasted for a total of 12 hours in hopes this would leave room for the insane amount of food. I quickly dove into the beast of a burger, breaking my fast. The juices oozed out of the bottom patty and my confidence grew high, yet I knew it was only going to get much harder from here. Bite after bite I kept gnawing away at the burger, strategically incorporating the fries in between bites of the burger to provide a change in taste, which helped keep me going.
I kept pushing, chipping away at the massive remaining half of a patty, and the slices of ham that were ketchup-doused. Then suddenly it hit. It felt like my body had been slammed against a brick wall, but I willed myself to keep pushing the remaining bites into my mouth. Finally, with one-third of a dry, tasteless patty left, I was unable to continue eating. So, I threw in the towel and accepted defeat.
I was humiliated, ashamed and half the man who had walked into the cafe an hour and a half prior. The Thurmanator challenge was just too much for me to handle. The sheer amount of food makes this challenge a test of will for anyone who dares to try.
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