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I’m from Maryland and I hate Old Bay

Summer 2004.

Higgins Crab House. All you can eat crabs for $24.99. My two best gal pals Sue and Ash.

We took our seats at a picnic table outside and began to prepare for the feast. Mallets in hand and ready to chow down.

“AHHH!!!” I felt an abrupt sting in my left eye. Old Bay seasoning had been shot into my eye socket. For all non-Marylanders or non-crab eaters, seasoning can be quite disastrous. When feasting, feast with caution because Old Bay is a mixture between spicy, salty, and tangy. In my opinion, goggles or any type of eye protector should be worn at all times while eating crabs.

The waitress brought over a miniature bowl of water for me to rinse my eye. Didn’t really help. My own tears helped cleanse that wicked substance off my eyeball.

One crab in and Sue says, “Hey Kay, I’ll give you a dollar if you eat a spoonful of Old Bay.”

Deal on. No hesitation. I swallow the spoonful and gag.

Ash takes note and says, “I’ll give you $20 if you eat the whole thing.” The “thing” was a 3.5 oz container of Old Bay and salt crystals. Few seconds of contemplation, and I shake on it.

I prepare for my dare by ordering a giant glass of Mountain Dew to help wash down the evil, yet edible seafood condiment.

Timer set. Go. I scoop my first spoonful and put it into my then unharmed mouth. My taste buds instantly reject my food selection, but I fought back. Twenty bucks. Totally going to be worth it.

Scoop one down. Sip the Dew. Scoop two down. Sip the Dew. Gag. Scoop three down. Dew. Oh, I did the Dew.

After six or seven scoops within 4 minutes and 11 seconds, the Old Bay in the container had been relocated to my then cast-iron stomach. My arms shot up in the air and I stood for applause.

Boom! No applause, yet a sudden wave of nausea cast over me. I clenched my gut and ran for the restroom inside. If I were three seconds late, I would have wallpapered that bathroom door with my newly ingested Old Bay.

Ok, brace yourselves, but I am not kidding you…it was projectile. I had never seen or believed that a human being could have puked that much that far away from a toilet and still manage to have it land in the toilet bowl. There I was standing over the porcelain thrown vomiting my victorious dare.

I stayed in the bathroom until I thought every last drop of stomach acid had exited my body. Heading back to the table, I felt proud of myself. I took my seat.

“Hey, Kay. How ya feelin’?” Sue says.

“Ugh..,” as I give a thumbs up.

“Hey, Kay, I’ll give you five bucks if you eat this knife,” Ash says.

“Hey, Kay, I’ll give you five bucks if you eat Ash’s car,” Sue fires back.

Gag. I dart to the bathroom again. This time I have company: Ash’s camera in my vomiting face. My friends care about me. That is why they document our adventures.

We get back to the table. I can’t even stand the smell of the food around me. I gag, but there is nothing to gag left in me. We leave in Ash’s inedible car. Sue and Ash drive me back to our hotel. They leave me there in my delusional state due to the dehydration and tell me that they’re going to go get me some Pepto Bismol. Door slams. I’m alone. Within ten seconds I’m sitting on the hotel room’s toilet. I will spare the details, but I will tell you this: it burned like hell.

Back in bed I lay there debating whether or not it was worth the $20. Hell yea it was!

Hours pass. I start to wonder where my friends could be. Did they leave me here to rot? Are they out partying without me? How dare them!

Door opens and Ash tosses me some Pepto Bismol tablets.

“What took you so long?”

“We had to drive to Delaware to pick up some cloves.” Ash said unfazed by my dehydrated condition.

“Just eat the Pepto. We have to get ready for Power Hour.”

I finished 24 minutes of that Power Hour in which I am incredibly proud to admit before passing out on the hotel floor.

I despise Old Bay and my hostility for the seasoning has made me hate all kinds of condiments. Except ketchup.


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