WHAT IS THIS THING?
SEPT 25: I had just taken up at the bar, bag flopped on a bar stool beside me and a notepad on the counter, when Randy Stanley approached me.
“I hear you and Angel are up to shenanigans,” he said.
“When aren’t we,” I answered.
Outside 6Smith, the sky was blue and the waters of Lake Minnetonka rippled in the sun. It was a damn postcard out there, sailboats and seagulls and everything. Inside 6Smith, the bar and patio were already filling up. Randy Stanley owns 6Smith. It had just struck noon, and I was about to cause a stir in his house.
Out came our shenanigans: a parade of three corn-kacob food mutants, brought out on plates too small to fit them, because no plate could reasonably fit them, and set before various patrons. Friends and passers-by were agape. One man spontaneously ordered one. A chorus of awes and phone camera snaps overtook the music.
I observed the commotion, smiling.
SEPT 19: I sat at the bar, in a different spot but that doesn’t matter, with a notepad (a different notebook, but, again, unimportant). Scribbled on my pad was a clumsy cluster of shapes. The Kindergarten version of me would’ve probably told you this was a picture of my house and my family. The adult version of me was about to tell an executive chef we could eat this.
Chef Angel emerged from the kitchen, and I pitched him this crazy idea: a sandwich, a cheeseburger, a hard-boiled egg, chicken, and pork, run through with a stick, and crammed between halves of a corn cob. I stuttered. I spoke eagerly with my hands. My tone was inconsistent. The entire matter was cuckoo.
It made Angel beam, like that postcard sun I’d see six days later.
He said, “Let’s do it!”
TOP TO BOTTOM
HEIGHT: It was longer than my forearms, and I’ve got rangy forearms.
WEIGHT: Angel’s arms quivered when he held them both. My arms quivered holding one. Hey, I only said my forearms were long.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Egg, check. Vegetables, check. White meat, check. Cheese is still on the food pyramid, right? If this was all you ate on a given day, it was perfectly healthy. That said, I absolutely threw down a chili cheese dog two hours later.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: See above. Had the paparazzi heard about this, they’d have been there.
WHO’S WITH ME?
Sept. 26: My buddy Hornish; Andre Williams, who won the right to face me in this competition, and gang of Minnesota Rollergirls. Did I mention their first bout of the season is next weekend? You’ll want to get to St. Paul for that, trust me.
We were in the parking lot of NorthGate Brewing. Harvest Fest 2015 had just begun. The crowd was making its way in, couple by couple, loner by loner. Clouds were absent again. It was hot.
WHAT’S IN THAT .. oh, there’s no glass in this picture. I had been drinking NorthGate’s Red-Headed Irish Piper, though. Very nice beer.
ONE HOUR EARLIER: I had interviewed Emily Brink of the Happy Gnome and four of those Rollergirls, interviews you’ll never hear because the audio sounds like they were conducted inside of an air vent. Technology.
Angel showed up on site with a stack of to-go boxes, arranged them on a pair of standing tables, and went to work assembling them while curious onlookers moved in.
Andre and I were given our cobs and the mic was handed over to Winona Collider, Minnesota Rollergirls Ambassador to The Minnesota Skinny, Esq. She had been tasked with play-by-play. She counted us down and away we went.
Three minutes. I fit half of the grilled cheese into my mouth, then swallowed. I looked past me at Andre. His corn cob was already bare. Noted. I switched course, deleting the hard-boiled egg in two bites. I heard Winona say something about … we were smart for avoiding the jalapeno, then ate the jalapeno. Andre followed suit seconds after.
I pulled off a bite of the ribeye and it flew into smithereens — sort of. It was nothing like that, actually, but I did have to shove its entirety into my mouth to keep it from falling all over. I now had a mouth full of beef, strung together by fat, and one minute. I raised my head and squeezed the entire lot into my stomach.
In the final minute, I cleared off the corn, got a few more bites of the grilled cheese, and one bite of the burger for posterity’s sake. We compared kacobs afterward, and I was declared the winner. It was the closest anyone’s come, though. Andre put up a hell of a fight.
POST-GAME ANALYSIS: I packed up the remainder and threw it into my cooler. Andre hopped on his bicycle and cruised off down Harding St. while I attempted to clean up our tables. Hornish and the Rollergirls picked away at some extra snacks Angel had brought, and Angel was off to another event.
I moved the tables back, and examined the next task: Taking a tent down, packing up speakers, and hauling a quarter-mile of cords to the car, with a body that was presently deciding whether it ought to collapse or explode. The fruits of shenanigans.