I don't talk about my husband much here, mostly because I feel like he is owed his privacy. But there are a few reasons I am breaking the silence today and telling this story about him, and they all boil down to one general theme: He Is Awesome.
So last night I got home from work to find two kids sitting in the grass of our front lawn, watching their Daddy try to fly a kite (Awesome Moment #1). Luca was anxiously reminding him not to run into the street because the cars! will hit you! and then you won't be able to stand! or walk!. Ahhh, my little President of the Safety Committee. Rohan was pulling grass blades out, shoving them by fistfuls into his mouth, then letting them fall out as they stuck to his chin, his sweet baby drool acting as glue.
We came inside and quickly decided to run to the bank to deposit his paycheck and maybe grab a bite to eat. On our way to the bank, we passed a Native New Yorker which was holding a wing eating contest. If you know my husband, you know it wasn't even a question whether or not we would go in and have him enter.
Two hours later, he was standing at the front of the room in a line of men all ready to shove some wings down their gullets. In most situations in life, my husband is the biggest guy in the room. At 6'5" and 270-ish pounds, it's not uncommon to be able to spot his head above the crowd but this time he was neither the tallest nor the toughest looking guy in the bar.
Did I say bar? Yeah, I did. And did I also mention we had the kids with us since this was an impromptu wing-devouring excursion? And did I then mention that a random middle-aged-but-wearing-a-Hurley-shirt-in-an-attempt-(failed)-to-look-youthful woman walked past us at one point and muttered "Kids in a bar!" under her breath but not under enough so as to go undetected by yours truly? And did I then tell you about how I straightened my Mother of the Year sash then went out to get my Bjorn out of the car so I could strap Rohan to my chest? Yeah...that happened.
But I digress. So there he is, standing at the table with a platter holding 3 pounds of wings in front of him. The rules here are simple: eat the wings. When you need another pound, they bring you one. You can dip them...or not. You can drink water...or not. You can even have a free beer to wash them down...or not. But you have 11 minutes to stuff those suckers down and eat as much weight as possible, without puking or spitting them out for at least 10 minutes after your round ends. I found a spot up front where the cougars could fuss over Rohan's flirty smiles and a good looking guy and his good looking wife could fawn over Luca, and we prepared to cheer. And cheer we did, with Luca getting her fair share of "Awww!"s and "OHMYGOSHHOWCUTE!"s as she yelled out, "GO DADA!" over the hum of a Slayer song and drunken wing eaters. And while we cheered he dipped his wings in ranch (it should be noted he was the only one dipping) and ripped the meat off the bone and his pile of 'done' wings grew bigger and bigger and he requested another pound and the guy to his far left almost choked in shock.
And when all was said and done, he ate 73 wings (Awesome Moment #2). And when they were reading off the results from 16th place up and they got down to him and one other guy, and announced he had won, we cheered and Luca tore up to the front of the room and grabbed his leg, and he lifted her up and kissed her (Awesome Moment #3). And hot damn if I didn't feel proud of him in that moment...for eating an obscene 2+ pounds of questionable chicken doused in hot sauce in 11 short minutes.
After getting his prize (2 really amazing tickets to the Diamondbacks opening game and a trophy of sorts), the emcee threw another challenge his way.
"Darrick," he said."You are the ONLY contestant to use time and fill yourself up more by dipping your wings in ranch and you STILL won. If you chug that tray of ranch dressings (probably six 1 oz servings) you can have a pitcher of beer on me!"
And he looked at me, and at Rohan in my arms, rubbing his eyes with little balled fists and trying his hardest to be a trooper. And he looked down at Luca, clinging with sleepy eyes to his arm. And he said, "Nah, man...I need to go home and tuck in my babies(Awesome Moment #4)."
I caught the eye of Madam Hurley on my way out and smiled. Cuz, yeah...I had kids in a bar. But I'm not too worried about what they were exposed to that night because I know that what they will remember is their Daddy who won the prize then took them home to kiss Rohan to sleep and recite nursery rhymes to Luca from memory.
Awesome Moment #5.