Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9/11 Never Forget Freedom Fries Eat-Off

Last night, sort of to commemorate the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and sort of just for the hell of it, .83 Fattypants Subcommittee member (and noted nutsack-puncher) Derrick Ito organized the 9/11 Never Forget (How Fat You Really Are) Freedom Fries Eat-Off. About 40 people showed up at Red Square on the UW campus, rode bikes to the Northgate Red Robin restaurant, and proceeded to engage in a fierce competition to see who could consume the most fried potatoes. Longshot newcomer Mike Snyder outlasted everyone, eating eight plastic baskets of the deep-fried delicacies, and paying 40-1 for the win.

A pretty hilarious time overall, capped off with a good deal of projectile vomiting from the upper parking lot of the mall two stories high to the level below. And, fairly amazingly, not a single competitor suffered a myocardial infarction on the ride back, although reports of restless nights and dyspeptic mornings are still coming in.

Pedaling home, I reflected on the event and wondered if someone—a 9/11 victim’s family member, for instance—might take umbrage to it. Could our silly hijinks be construed as disrespectful to the memory of those who lost their lives on that fateful day six years ago?

Sure, I guess, but fuck that.

If there’s any lesson to be taken from 9/11, it’s that fundamentalist dogma in any form is to be rejected. And it seems to me that claiming there is a “right” way to commemorate the tragedy represents just the sort of intransigent view that true patriots should push back at.

One could even argue that the Eat-Off embodied an array of characteristically American values: community, self-reliance, and certainly when the food and drink bills came due, free-market capitalism. So in this collective spudfest, participants were not only paying homage to the victims of 9/11, they were also standing up for very way of life the terrorists tried—unsuccessfully—to defeat.

Until, of course, they fell down puking in the parking lot.


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