Hellfire Challenge – I Am An Idiot!

Posted by Lauren

Monday Morning

Pro: Woke up in time for kickboxing class!
Con: Didn’t have enough time to bike there.

Pro: Drove to kickboxing studio instead of sleeping in.
Con: Forgot boxing gloves so I had to go to the gym instead.

Pro: Had a kick butt treadmill workout:

Minutes Speed Incline
0:00 – 5:00 4.2 15.0
5:00 – 10:00 7.7 2.0
10:00 – 15:00 7.8 2.0
15:00 – 20:00 7.9 2.0
25:00 – 30:00 8.0 2.0

Con: Was so sweaty I had to shower… Scratch that, I mean “Pro”? heh heh

Working out my chicken-wing-eating arm

Pro: Remembered to pack Nicole’s straightener
Con: Forgot a banana for my oatmeal

Pro: Leisurely made it to the van, listening to my fave – the Sarah and Vinnie show on 97.3
Con: Forgot to take my phone off the car charger

Con x323847: had NO phone at work on a MONDAY!!


Oatmeal/oat bran combo with cherry flavored craisins, cinnamon, flax, chia seeds, and vanilla soy milk (pretty sure it should have been thrown out last week – oh well)

Lunch was Day 1 of my GTL salad. No, NOT a Jersey Shore salad with pickles! I’m talking about my Get-Together Leftovers Salad.

Expect a post tomorrow about how to turn ziploc baggy leftovers from a backyard BBQ into 4 super duper cheap meals.

And for dinner… I ordered 12 chicken wings of spicy death, better known as the Hellfire wings at SmokeEaters in San Jose.

Hellfire Challenge

Last Tuesday my friends and I showed up, ready for a fierce spice and saliva battle at SmokeEaters, only to be turned down due to their busy kitchen. Not one to waffle after such a minor setback, I arranged a rematch date with my kickball team.

Right after I was dropped off at the vanpolio, I scooted into my car and found my phone (!!! see above – major separation anxiety !!!). Driving to SmokeEaters, I had two options to consider:

1. Zen mode: wings arrive at the table and focus on calming thoughts while using intuition to sort of eat/meditate my way through the wings.
2. Wild animal mode: rip them apart ferociously, dismember the wings and battle through the intense heat.

Weighing the pros and cons of each, I thought Zen mode would lead to my success. I showed up and claimed three tables near the front door. First to arrive was Latura, followed by my sister and her two friends Vanessa and McCarthy, then Rob and Kit and Sallie and Funny Kevin and Adrienne and Megan and Sarah G. and Tony and KevinKevinKevin and Katie… with a posse of Kelly + her bf Chris, and two randos from the street “he has a kid!” LOL.

I placed my order and signed their contract:

I herby release SmokeEaters Hot Wings and UC Restaurant Management, Inc., and hold myself completely responsible for any and all adverse physical, mental and/or emotional problems that may occur as a result of my participating in the dreaded “Hellfire Challenge.” Such adverse effects may include, but are not limited to…

My eyes may burn and roached to pop out of my head, especially if I am stupid enough to stick my fingers in my eye(s) after eating the dreaded Hellfire Wings;
My mouth and/or nose may bleed profusely; and
severe gastrointestinal problems may occur before, during and after eating the dreaded Hellfire Wings

The contract concludes: “I fully understand that by taking the dreaded “Hellfire Challenge”, I am admitting that I AM AN IDIOT!”

Regardless of the OBVIOUS red flags in the above contract, I signed away and paid the $13 bucks for the challenge. Worst $13 of my life.

The employee brought out my order and I could only think one thing: nasty chicken wings buried under a smoky hot cow pie – the cow being Hades’ pet beast, of course. With a few nervous glances left and right, I took one last breath and put fingers to flesh, pinion to pucker, hellfire heat to hell-bent heart.

Initial thoughts: Damn, this is spicy. The intense flavors screamed to my taste buds and echoed down my small intestine. The nerve endings on my tongue wanted to shrivel up like raisins in the Death Valley sun but I wasn’t going to let anything stop me…

Except, perhaps, for the sheer quantity of chicken wings + cow pie gloop sitting before me. The tocks and ticks clicked away, seconds sped up, and my insides bellowed “no moreeee!!”

Nicole snapped photos.

Katie + her crew chanted.

Sallie and Sarah clapped.

Kit and Adrienne rooted me on.

KevinKevinKevin fearfully chuckled.

Rob, Chris, and Tony contemplated tasting the sauce.

Megan worried me with her worried face.

Funny Kevin asked if there’s anything they could do…

Was I going to give up or die trying? With 7 minutes to go, and 1/4 of the way through the challenge, I had only 3 of the 12 wings finished.

I wanted so desperately to push minutes 0 – 3 out of my mind and focus on the remaining 9 wings. At this rate I was either going to have to speed things up considerably or give up.

It was the nervous tingle and numbing of my entire face that ultimately convinced my head to halt my heart’s hot wing hopes. I apologized for not even coming close to the end, and stole Nicole’s soda for immediate relief.

Being the best sister that she is, Nicole darted down to Safeway to pick up a miniature pint of Moose Tracks ice cream for $1. I sipped on 293 refills of water waiting for her [super speedy] return.

The inner sides of my mouth throbbed like a bass bumpin’ Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow. My tongue sweated and my stomach cramped up. UGGHGhghghghGHHG this was AWFUL!!!!!

After downing the ice cream [a little too quickly], I realized that my body was NOT accepting what I just ate. Combining ridiculously spicy chicken wings + water + ice cream will leave you with one option: Ralphin’

Nicole, yet again winning sister of the year points, held my hair back, rubbed my back, and didn’t judge me for lying on the SmokeEaters bathroom tiles in fetal position (the tiles were so cold, and I’m sure they had JUST cleaned).

Ultimately I made it out of the bathroom and thanked everyone for coming. I wish I could have stayed to hang out longer but I could not PHYSICALLY stay in SmokeEaters any longer.

Katie walked and I hobbled to the car, we drove to Safeway, she went in and bought me a beeeautiful bottle of Pepto Bismol, and then we sat in her driveway for 5 minutes until I realized that I felt a lot better (thanks Pepto!)

Insert [not so] brilliant idea to go get fro yo because I’m feeling better all of a sudden.

Insert immediate discomfort after taking three bites as my stomach decides it’s not ready for dairy products.

My froyo bowl was so cute!

Insert dropping off Katie four houses away from where she leaves so I can jetset to my own house and chug more Pepto Bismol.

You get the idea.

My mom saw me and asked “are you okay?” … “do you need to go to the hospital?” … “what lesson did you learn?”

I guess the lesson was right there on the contract:

I, Lauren, do not EVER recommend anyone attempt this challenge. Just say NO.

Thank you to everyone who came out and cheered for me. I hope you ignore how ungraceful I am while eating chicken wings :) Simply couldn’t ask for better friends. Regardless of the outcome, this was certainly a unique way to kick off my birthday week!


Comments (13)

  1. Vanessa

    I was scared watching you eat the wings! And they smelled horrendous. But kudos to eating three, that’s a whole lot more than a lot of people :)
    Pepto was also a good choice!

    1. sugarcoatedsisters (Post author)

      thanks for coming vanessa!! and it was your pepto suggestion that made me decide to stop for some on the way home. that stuff is good!

  2. djfivenine

    Damn. Poor girl. But respect to you for giving it a shot!

  3. Niki (Life's a Payne)

    Too funny! I hope the rest of your birthday week has a lot less upset stomachs!

  4. foodsweatandbeers

    Oh, lawdy, I remember watching Adam do that challenge and the misery in his eyes is definitely reflected in your own.

    Note to self: never ever try this insanity.

    Note to you: more froyo, less hellfire.

  5. Sarah Garnick

    I respect you for trying, but I respected you before. There’s no need to prove how bad-ass you are – you show us every day. As the contract say: You, Lauren O, are an idiot! Luckily you’re an incredibly lovable idiot :)

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  8. Malia

    lool… that is a great idea! :)

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