suicide wing challenge

If there is one thing I know about NS, it is that he is drawn to competition. I wish I could do justice to the number of sports he's involved in down here. Basketball, softball, frisbee, rugby, volleyball... and I've probably missed a couple. But this post is about a different sort of competition: A food challenge. Whether spurred on by his love of buffalo wings, his thirst for competition, or the likes of Man v. Food, when EL decided to organize a Suicide Wings challenge at The Dog House a few weeks ago, NS was all in. (Side note: I almost automatically spelled "organize" in the previous sentence like the UK version - "organise". Blast you, pile of financial statements that use the foreign spelling! You're corrupting me!)

The suicide wings challenge involves eating six wings cooked in the naga jolokia chili. This chili is not for the faint of heart. It is 401.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce. And I don't even eat that. Apparently there is a scale for the hotness of food, because the naga jolokia chili rates well over 1 million on the Scoville scale, while Tabasco sauce is 2,500-5,000. (Yes, I got all my facts from Wikipedia, so you can double check them here.)  All that being said, all participants had to sign a waiver form before being the wings were served.

I am not a picky eater. I enjoy almost everything.  I love to try new foods and am excited to find something on my plate I can't pronounce. But I am a huge wimp when it comes to hot food. If there is a Scoville scale for heat, I probably max out around 10. So my participation in this event was purely photography and moral support.

The first few photos contain the most smiles.

Still sane, beaming the pearly whites.
A group shot of several participants, including GG, the only girl with guts!

Here is Dog House's virgin Wall of Flame board - no photos to speak of! (The right side of the board is dedicated to disgustingly-large burgers.) Not a single person had completed the challenge. NS saw the wall and was both fueled and terrified. It didn't help that by the time everyone got to The Dog House, multiple Google searches on these wings had taken place, youTube videos had been watched, and everyone had compared notes on how bad this was really going to be.

Could this be the day that the first picture is posted?
Because NS and I had a Community Group meeting that night, he got his order in before the rest of the participants were ready and got down to business.

Mentally preparing...
One final photo before putting on his game face.

I love how in the photo above, DH (left) is all, "Yeah, woohoo!"  And then below, the look of terror he assumes on NS' first wing is great. That's because his plate of six wings was about to come out of the kitchen.

NS assumed a method of extreme speed: As little contact with the wings as possible. Suck the meat off the bones, and inhale it. Chew very little. And keep it down.

AC's grin just wouldn't give up, no matter how much pain NS was feeling!

These photos aren't very pretty, but they show the commitment, the gusto, the determination.

Maybe it's like the CPA exam: Buckle down, surrender your comfort, put your time in, and get it done. Approach it like a band-aid - hurry up, rip it off, finish it.  (I think I can safely say that this wing challenge is not like giving birth, as one presumptuous accountant suggested. I don't care that I've not experienced it yet; no six wings in the world will compare to that experience! Okay; I've said my piece on that.)

Soon NS was four wings into it, and the crowd (of mainly accountants) that had gathered were fully cheering him on (while nervously waiting for their own baskets.)


He did it! I never doubted.

Still swallowing, and about to beg for milk, sugar, or anything to absorb the chili's oil and heat.

One of several glasses of ice cold milk.

When the waitress wasn't available to refill his glass, he took the liberty of doing it for her.

As we left, the rest of the crowd was served. Some of the photos (taken after we left) were both priceless and painful - people shaking and quivering, just trying to down the six wings.

What made them do it?!  As I said before, it must be the love and thrill of competition, because there couldn't have been anything enjoyable or satisfying about those wings. Oh, except for getting them for free (if you finish).

Anything that makes my face do this is not meant for eating.
The aftermath (part 1): I whisked poor NS out of The Dog House to rush to our Community Group. NS could barely close his mouth, let alone sit up straight or hold a full conversation. It also didn't help that milk doesn't usually sit well in his stomach, so he was experiencing all kinds of misery. We made it through the meeting and headed home for what proved to be a fairly uncomfortable night for NS. Let's just say he wasn't in bed for much of it. Others faired worse: I heard tales of people curled up in the bathtub all night or holding ice packs on their stomachs to treat the heat. It seemed to take a couple days for the effects to completely wear off. It seems funny now... but never again.

The aftermath (part 2): This is where I get heated, and not from anything I've consumed. Remember that nice, huge, empty bulletin board The Dog House had ready for anyone who completed the challenge? That board is still empty, despite many that night who finished all six wings. The sports bar refuses to post the photos they took of each successful competitor. Why? They say that the waitresses working that night didn't fully know the rules, and there was some sort of waiting period that should have taken place between completing the wings and drinking the milk. I think it's ridiculous that a group of friends chose to participate in this challenge, a group of supporters ordered food and drinks while watching, and all participants did everything they were told to do, yet they don't get the simple satisfaction of a 4x6 on the Wall of Flame. Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but I do not plan to return to or support this restaurant any time soon (or ever, if I can avoid it.)

That being said: Congratulations to all who competed. I think you're all nuts, and it was (relatively) unpleasant to watch, but you can all check that box on your bucket list. And whether The Dog House cooperates or not, the photos we took from that night will live on as evidence of your crazy, determined, painful spirit of competition. 

And next time, let's just all get together for an episode of Man v. Food.


  1. I liked how you compared the wing challenge to writing your CPA exam! haha.


  2. It's more realistic than Indy comparing it to childbirth! Seriously...

  3. So I'm LOVING this blog post, Jenn! This is so classic Nate - lol! :) Reminds me of that pizza video we have for vacation in Ocean City, NJ :)

  4. Good Job Nate! Should we make Jayson try this when we come to visit?