The Waffle House punishment

The loser of our fantasy football season was in for some sweet punishment this past weekend.

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“There is a hell, and it’s on Sunset Point Road.”–Will Duran

Alex Kajda, Staff Writer

Ten people all duked it out throughout our fantasy football league. However, it wasn’t the $70 first place reward that had everyone interested; it was the punishment awaiting the last place finisher. When it was all said and done, Joseph “Will” Duran was the unfortunate loser of the league. He started out with a 2-0 record and everything was looking great; then the wheels started falling off until an eventual 4-9 finish and last place ensued. After weeks of delaying the inevitable, Will finally decided to do his punishment this past weekend and on no better day than Valentine’s Day.

The challenge is simple; you have to stay inside of a Waffle House for 24 hours and every waffle that you eat is one less hour that you have to stay there. We all knew it was going to be a struggle, but I’m not sure if Will understood the hell that he was in for. The following experience is cited through instant message documentation from Will and my personal experience from visiting him for an hour.

Will decides that the best time for him to arrive is 10 AM, fair enough considering his goal was to make it out by midnight, but for some reason he seems surprised that the place is packed when he gets there. A breakfast place being packed in the morning, who would have ever thought. The waitress began to grow suspicious upon Will’s ordering of three waffles, and at that point there was no more hiding it, he had to tell them his situation. At first, the staff is annoyed considering the already packed environment, but as they learn about the challenge, they find it humorous and run with the joke.

Before he can even get his food, things get crazier, “NO ******* WAY,” he types, “5 minutes in and someone proposed.” It’s almost poetic; on one end you have a newly engaged couple sharing their happiest moment on Valentine’s Day, and on the other end you have a 17-year-old living his “lowest point of his life” as he described, with a whole day staying in the suffocating shack. Only at Waffle House, ladies and gentlemen.

He finishes his first two waffles in ten minutes but makes a grave mistake moving forward as he has some bacon and coffee as well, which will come back to haunt him down the line. After his fourth waffle and an hour and a half of staying there alone, the friends start to arrive. Most of us said that we’ll pay him a visit just so that his experience isn’t so lonely. After his fifth waffle, his exit time is at 5 AM, “my mind is fighting my body” he types, “I can barely swallow my food.” Less bacon maybe could have helped. At this point, news of his challenge is spreading across the diner like a wildfire; even people who show up that he hasn’t spoken to happen to know about it. I asked him how they’re finding out, he said he had no idea.

 

On his seventh waffle and with more friends arriving, Will is on the verge of breaking himself down. “My mouth can no longer break down food,” he says, before following up with “I am havign a stronk.” At noon, the staff decides to make him three waffles free of charge and take photos of him to put up on the wall, meaning that Will is engrained there forever in Waffle House infamy. Around 12:30, with eight down he is seriously struggling to eat any more. “The first two waffles took 10 minutes, this one took almost an hour,” he says.

At 12:40, his phone dies, and we enter the dark ages of Will’s Waffle House trip. Many friends show up but are unamused with their experience. “This man hasn’t touched his waffles in 30 mins” one types while another one says, “Duran wants a crossword puzzle or something.” At this point for me, the suspense was too much, I had to go investigate myself.  With three other friends, William Haddad, the winner of our league, Ryan Wadsworth, runner up, and Alex Jamal, who was in second-to-last place and just narrowly avoided the Waffle House disaster, we set out to visit our unfortunate friend.

When I got there, I saw a man that looked defeated, but accepted his defeat. He was soaking it all in. Some seven- or eight-year-old kid laid into him about his challenge when I arrived, Will claims he doesn’t know how they found out about it. He painfully exclaimed that he wasn’t even halfway done. I do have to say, though, the waffles were pretty good, but while I was able to taste them, he claimed they “stopped tasting like anything after the 4th one.” We decide to leave at 4:30, as we couldn’t handle staying there anymore. We have a choice, but Will doesn’t. He finishes his tenth while I’m there, but every bite he took looks like he’s in pain. His estimated exit time, midnight.

From here on out he has a few more friends and groups visit, and he manages to eat three more. At 8’ o clock, his exit time is 9 PM, and if he eats one more, he’d be able to leave. But he doesn’t eat another one. For his final hour, he soaks in his environment. He gave the Waffle House one last gasp of himself before disappearing back into reality when the clock hit 9 PM. Obviously, he can’t really eat another one, as he claims he was “going through withdrawal” and “shivering.”

His experience was one for us to remember and one for him to forget. “There is a hell and it’s on Sunset Point Road,” he said upon his exit. Call it cruel, feel bad for him, whatever, it was an experience to say the least. Luckily, he only had to stay there for 11 hours, but it came at the cost of eating 13 waffles. Whatever he decides to do, it’s safe to say that he won’t be eating many waffles in the near future.