4/21/10

Setting High Expectations and Vomiting Hamburger

In the course of events that lead up to making us who we are, others create expectations of us.  These expectations often lead us to do things we would never do without further encouragement and sometimes lead us to do things we don't want to do.  Either way creating an expectation of someone and then making that expectation clear has a lot of power.

For example, in middle and in high school I had a very excellent friend named Jimmy.  Jimmy was probably the coolest dude ever I don't know why I stopped hanging out with him.  Jimmy and I hung out a lot together and I built up a reputation for being able to eat a ridiculous amount of food, and the reputation was well deserved.  One summer evening, I went with him and his family to fuddruckers where we were meeting a group of our peers. Unknown to me, Jimmy had really let the world know about my ability to chow down.  When we arrived at fuddruckers he informed me about their "famous" one pound hamburger.  It sounded like fun to try and shove that thing down my insatiable maw. Standing in line we were discussing the ridiculousness about to occur and a peer attending this adolescent eating bonanza challenged me to an eating contest were he would also get the one pound mammoth burger.

At this point expectations were set high, there was no way to back out, and I accepted his challenge. I had no idea if I could even come close to my opponents eating prowess, at the time he seemed to be about twice my size, in weight at the very least. We made our carnivorous selections and made our way to the table.  I ate, he ate, it took a while, but we both finished.  To avoid risking an abominal rupture of some sort I believe we called it a tie, or I may have even lost.  It didn't really matter that much, because we both ate an astonishing amount of food.  Everyone was a winner. I think we went to a baseball game or something after that.  All I can remember is feeling miserable for hours and hours on end.  I knew my food was not digesting.

We got to Jim's place and found a place to sleep.  I laid on the floor in misery for what felt like hours, probably just minutes.  When I was sure that Jimmy was completely asleep.  I went in the bathroom and heaved a whole freaking cow into the toilet. It was one of those pukes that feels like it will never end, a veritable clown car of regurgitation. Having thoroughly exorcised the demon within, I went to bed. I never told anyone that I did not truly dominate that hamburger.

This was one of the dumbest things I have ever done and if I have to gage it, I would say I was completely and utterly full about half way through that hamburger.  I'm surprised to this day that I didn't cause my body serious damage, but this story illustrates an excellent point.  People will do everything they can to meet the expectations of others.

If you treat someone like they have mystical super powers and can do anything they set their mind to, they often will.  There are limits to this principal so don't act like a moron with the concept, your 6 year old isn't going to beat Lebron at one on one.  But setting high expectations can create some really good results.

Note: I'm not sure how accurate my details are, but I did the best I could with what I remembered. Jimmy if you read this, I would love to hear your thoughts on that night.

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3 Response to Setting High Expectations and Vomiting Hamburger

April 21, 2010 at 6:38 PM

I commend you on the recap - I couldn't have elaborated the facts any better myself.

I apologize for subjecting you to such pain and suffering. It's funny you mention that I had already made the decision for you as to what you were going to eat. That's something I tend to have a habit of doing to people (that is, subjecting them to things they otherwise wouldn't bring upon themselves). Yet, I haven't really noticed this characteristic in myself until recently. But, then again, half of my excitement for the night was watching you test the limits of you bottomless stomach (or hollow leg for that matter) with what was the largest mass of ground beef I had seen prior to that point in my adolescent life.

It's funny you bring this up also. My good friend Randall was your adversary of large stature that night. I still hang out with him regularly, and to this day, he still holds it against me for placing my bets on you rather than him. I guess it is correct to say that I had placed high expectations on the situation, and I thank you for suffering, simply to validate the stock I had placed in your eating abilities. The sign of a true friend if I do say so myself.

And about paying the cow back to the porcelain, I would have never known. At the same point, you wouldn't have had to waited until I fell asleep to have evacuated it. I would have cheered for you during the export as gleefully as I had during the import. It would have been the least I could have done in return for the spectacular performance earlier in the night.

All things aside, you still dominated that burger in my opinion...

Diz
April 21, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Oh man, I have so many puke stories from eating a bunch of food and playing soccer, like everytime. There was also a time with ground parsley. That was disgusting. The end.

Joe
April 21, 2010 at 11:55 PM

You have to find your limits sometimes. Occasionally you run across your limits and pay dearly. That is worst than anything I have. I did 4 liters of Mt. Dew in an hour. I literally could not sleep after that for the entire night, no vomit though.

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