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The crazy test

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The crazy test photo 

Last night, I witnessed one challenge that I will never choose to take part in. Ever. They called it the 999. Nine innings, nine hot dogs and nine drinks.

Now I love a good Hebrew National hot dog with a cold beer at a baseball game. But this, as Emeril would say, kicked it up a notch (or nine). To sum it up in one word: yucky.

Let’s rewind for a moment to give a little context. My darling husband is wrapping up his last week as a full-time graduate student. Final exams are finished, all-A’s have been earned, and with graduation now only a couple days away, everyone wants to spend as much time together as possible since they’ll be heading their separate ways in a few short weeks to resume their lives in the real world.

For most people, this means going out for coffee, going to dinner or even getting a few cocktails. When I heard that the entire graduating class of 2011 was taking a trip to the Cubs game during grad week, I was excited—it would be my first game of the season.

But in Business College, they are known for upping the ante. So when I heard about this challenge, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Fourteen boys (men? boys? last night it was hard to tell…) gathered in the living room of our apartment instead of at Wrigley Field and took one last test before graduation. The crazy test.

Because this is a widely-read and classy blog, I will spare you the gruesome details (let’s just say that I am the best wife ever for simply tolerating this event in our brand new apartment), but I’ll give you the rules of the game, for anyone crazy enough to tackle this challenge, be it with beers or sodas (icky either way).

Each challenger must complete nine innings, with each inning composed of one hot dog and one carbonated drink. If you have nine drinks and two hot dogs, it only counts as two innings. This must be completed by end of the ninth inning of the game—extra baseball innings do not extend the time limit. First to the finish line wins (although really, does anyone actually win in a game like this?) Finally, no Tums and no getting sick for at least one hour after you finish.

Suffice it to say that our new Lakeview apartment survived (mostly) unscathed, but I’m not certain that we made many new friends in our building. The sheer volume of testosterone was astonishing, the strategies entertaining and the stories from the night ridiculous.

What baffled me most was that when other friends heard about the 999 challenge, they were actually jealous that they weren’t invited to participate (read: male friends only—no girl I know would willingly submit themselves to such disgustingness). And as word spread, many vowed to host a similar party later in the summer.

Are you game? I know I’m not.

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