I CONQUERED THE 4-HORSEMAN HAMBURGER
By mark rogers
April 20, 2010
How can I make that jump? Easy.
My fellow college football players and I had a motto every time we got ready to eat..."Eat 'til you Gag." We wanted to make t-shirts but never got around to it.
A fun way to live in college when gaining and/or maintaining weight was the goal...doesn't work so much now. The motto now is..."Eat Too Much and Get Fat in One Day."
Anyway, if you're not up to speed on the 4-Horseman hamburger at Chunky's restaurant in San Antonio, do a quick google search then come right back to this page.
For those of you familiar...let's refresh.
The 4-Horseman is named such due to the four peppers that are cooked together and innocuously spread in between two harmless looking buns (Scoville rating in parenthesis): jalapeno (2,500-8000), Serrano (10,000-23,000), a habanero sauce (raw habanero's are 350,000-580,000) and the Ghost Pepper (855,000-1,050,000).
Yes...I said 1,050,000.
The equivalent of more than 131 raw jalapeno peppers. Don't think that's very hot? Try eating ONE raw jalapeno pepper with nothing around it. It's hot.
So anyway, they put this concoction in between two buns along with a half-pound patty and some delicious cheese, make you sign a waiver saying you won't sue Chunky's if your tongue liquefies out from under the roof of your mouth while you chew, announce to the restaurant that there's an idiot in the midst, and start the clock.
You have 25 minutes to eat the burger, then after you finish, you can take one last sip of ice cold water before they start the five minute timer. Five minutes in which you can neither eat nor drink anything. Five minutes you must let the 4-Horseman concoction blaze like an inferno from hell on your lips and in your mouth, throat and GI track.
I signed the waiver, cracked my knuckles, cut the beast in half (which must have made it furious), licked the knife (that was dumb), and dug in.
I ate the first half in about 60 seconds. Keep in mind, it's not the size of the burger but the heat...no, heat doesn't describe it. What is hotter than heat? Scorching? Boiling? Blistering? Sizzling? None of those words fit. There is not a word in the English language, nor any other language on Earth, that can describe the hotness of this burger.
I think the only people in the universe who have a word for this "heat" are the people who make their home on the surface of the sun. They are called the "Sun People" and even they won't try the burger. How do I know this? There are no Sun People's pictures on the wall at Chunky's...THAT'S how I know.
Anyway, the first half went down quick and tasty. No problem.
I picked up the second half and began devouring.
About halfway through the second half - mere bites away from the finish line - the "heat" kicked in. My hands started shaking and I could feel the sweat beads forming on my brow.
The temperature started rising in the back of my throat and I had the terrible vision of my throat swelling shut while the burger raised its hairy arms in a sign of victory. Oh, the hairy arms of this manish burger. (Side note: on arriving at the table, the burger also wore a leather jacket, a spiked collar and several grenades were attached to its ammunition belt.)
I cautiously but quickly swallowed the last bite of burger then had to pick up the fork and scoop about a half-tablespoon of straight 4-Horseman goop that had fallen out of the bottom of the burger like a glob of lava that has fallen out of the bottom of a volcano into the pit of hell.
The deed was done. I was victorious. The burger was defeated. Now the five minutes.
The waitress started her official 4-Horseman Clock (her phone) and walked away. This is when the burger (which I had just righteously defeated) started showing why you don't ever really "defeat" the 4-Horseman. You just eat it and let it eat you from the inside. I wanted to do several different things at this time.
Part of me wanted to run out into the drizzly afternoon and throw myself into oncoming traffic. Another part of me wanted to lean over the bucket the waitress had so graciously provided and rid myself of this demon creation as fast as my gag reflex would allow. One part of me wanted take a ball point pen and jam it into my eye as far as it would go to relieve some of the pressure building in my head. Yet another part of me wanted to hug the sun...for this surely would be a cooling activity.
I did none of those things.
Instead, I cross my arms on the table and lay my head down on my wrists. Five minutes could not come fast enough. I honestly don't remember what I was thinking or even what I was doing. The pain was so intense that I went into another world. I lost myself in a land of lollipops and daffodils. As soon as I entered that world, the lollipops and daffodils were immediately engulfed in flames and little elves were running wildly in every direction...their clothes and hats ablaze with blackened fire from another dimension. It was an ugly and terrible place.
The next thing I knew, the countdown was on. 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...glass of milk.
I stood. Faked a smile for the camera. Raised my arms in victory. But I had not won anything. No.
The burger had won.
I got my picture on the wall at Chunky's. There it shall remain for all time. But there was no picture of my incredible heartburn the rest of the day on Saturday. There was no picture of the ten times I was awakened during the night after searing hot, lava juice squirted up my throat onto my vocal chords. There was no picture of me the next morning on my knees, clutching the counter of the Hill County Memorial Hospital ER with my elbows, asking for a doctor.
Did I conquer the 4-Horseman hamburger? For the records and pictures...you could say that I did.
But there is a gentleman's understanding between me and that hellacious burger: I ate the burger, but the burger laughed last.
So if you're ever at Chunky's in San Antonio, check me out, I'm the idiot with the blue, backwards hat flashing a couple of thumbs up with a fake smile on my face.
But know that at the time that picture was taken, there was a hamburger demon in my stomach that was cracking it's hairy, misshapen knuckles ready to MMA it's way to another type of victory.
Oh, and one other thing, water has just now started to taste like water again...for a while there it tasted like something taken out of the middle of a geyser and sprayed with pepper spray and air freshener.
« THOUGHTS ON TEXAS STADIUM
COWBOYS DESERVE AN 'A' FOR 2010 DRAFT »