So let me tell the tale of my trip to Nashville that took place just about a year ago. A little back story first that you wouldn’t know from just reading our book or our website. I’m a eater. I love to eat and I can eat a lot. Kobyashi the famed Japanese competitive eater is an idol of mine. I have a reputation. My friends nicknamed my stomach (that’s a whole other blog post in and of itself). I just love food.
When I get off the plane in the early evening, my brother informed me that the first order of business is food. I was psyched. He then told me that I’ll be eating all you can eat breakfast. Bonus! And then he tells me I’m going to be competing. What? Competing?
Apparently he had told his good friend Josh that I can eat. A lot. And Josh wanted to test his eating ability against mine. So we head out of town to the “Loveless Café”
There are 6 of us there, Mike, Josh, his wife and two of their friends, and me. The rules are simple. This isn’t like a buffet. You just order what you want, and then they keep bringing plates of each item out to you until you can’t eat anymore. So the idea is that our plates have to be the same servings, and then we just go plate for plate.
Each plate consists of bacon, ham, scrambled eggs, hashbrown casserole (basically fried potatoes with cheese and cream tossed in), biscuits, and sausage gravy. I’m not exactly sure what goes into sausage gravy but it’s thick and white with chunks in it; it looks like liquid meat. Delicious!
So we’re going for it. 3 plates in we’re both doing fine. Everyone else at the table is done eating. There is a little hiatus while we wait for more eggs to come out. In the mean time I suggest a little intermezzo or amuse bouchee. I suggest a bacon sandwich. Meaning bacon in a biscuit. But Josh looks down at the table and doesn’t see the biscuits so he thinks I mean bacon wrapped in ham. That’s right a bacon sandwich with ham as the bread. I can’t now look like a chump and tell him I meant biscuits so of course we both eat those. Again, Delicious.
Fast forward to plate #7. Each contestant is showing signs of fatigue. For me, I just can’t eat any more hash brown casserole. It feels like it just sticks to my mouth and I can’t swallow. But I push through and finish the plate. So does Josh. We look at each other. Not feeling well. But also not about to admit defeat. We agree that we can’t eat anymore breakfast.
Time for dessert.
My brother (who’s had time to recover) and I both order blueberry pie with ice cream. Josh gets bread pudding. The judges agree that these are fair portions sizes. I finish my blueberry pie in seconds. (I love my pie!) It takes Josh a few minutes but he finally gets down his bread pudding. My brother on the other hand took one bite of pie and gave up.
I saw my opening and I took it. I ate my brother’s pie. That’s right after 7 plates of breakfast, plus a bacon and ham sandwich I had not one but two pieces of pie. I snuck out a win! Way to go Sam. And then I didn’t do anything for the next 24 hours.
The next night we’re out on the town. Nashville isn’t big but it’s got this great strip of bars. Bar after bar, right next to each other. Each bar is exactly the same. Big stage, big bar, and usually a dance floor set up. At one bar I’m sipping on a beer with my brother and his girlfriend and I notice something peculiar. the bar is super busy. Like cramped. The band is rocking out with some great country tunes. And not a soul is on the dance floor. It’s completely empty.
Along with being able to eat, another of my unsung talents is dancing. I’m not a good dancer by any stretch of the imagination but having high energy and a lack of consideration for how I look is a underrated combo. I’ve even been known to get the dance party started at weddings and things.
So I size up the situation at the bar and I tell me brother. “I bet you $20 I can get at least 20 people to start dancing.” He takes the bet with a chuckle assuming there is no way I can accomplish this feat.
What do I do next? I run on to the dance floor and do a round-off. Not some pansy cart-wheel but a full kick-ass, gymnastics level, round-off. Then I turn back to the crowd. Every single eye is on me. I start gesturing for people to join me. I look pleadingly into their faces. No one wants anything to do with me. I start to dance and then a horrible realization comes over me. I can fake dance to a lot of different kinds of music but country is not one of them. I look like an idiot attempting some sort of square dance type of maneuver. After a minute which feels like an hour absolutely no one comes out on to the dance floor. Everyone is still looking at me. But no one is coming to my aide. It was terrible. Eventually I give up and trudge back over to my laughing brother.
The next song? Johnny went down to Georgia. You know the one, with the fiddle made of gold and betting your soul and all that. Well of course when that comes on everyone floods the dance floor and I look like even more of an idiot. As I’m half heartedly dancing along a girl comes up to me, grabs me, and gives me a big kiss. She says she’s never laughed so hard! Thanks.
And thank you Nashville for all the memories. And not one of them had anything to do with cancer.