The wings sold at University Chicken range in hotness on a scale from Mild and Traditional to Global Thermonuclear. Beyond this scale are the special wings prepared specifically for the 911 Challenge. The rules are quite specific:
- Nothing to drink before or during the contest.
- No napkins at anytime during challenge including the 5 minute period after eating them.
- Must lick clean any sauce on hands before 5 minute timer starts
- Must eat the chicken off and to the bone (Manager must approve)
- Participant has 10 minutes to eat 12 Wings. Once finished must wait an additional 5 minutes to win a T-shirt
- Must sign release form
Alex ordered his 911 Challenge and waited peacefully while the wings were being prepared.
When the wings arrived, they were a dark brown - almost black - color. The coating on the wings was more paste than sauce. They definitely looked completely unappetizing to me. With the clock starting when Alex sat down, he wolfed down the first wing quickly and without effort.
After four wings, Alex slowed down. He mumbled something about the wings not being very appetizing (I think he said they were "disgusting"). A layer of sweat was coating his forehead and his body had stopped hiccoughing.}?>
At a rate of about one a minute, Alex steadily made his way through the first ten wings. The last two proved difficult, but at the nine-minute mark, in a demonstration of willpower overcoming the self-preservation instincts of his body, Alex quickly removed the meat from the bones, chewed, and swallowed.
With less than one minute remaining, Alex quickly sucked the clumps of spicy paste off his fingers and forced himself to swallow the subsequent ball of black gunk.
The five minutes of waiting were excruciating as Alex willed his body to keep the food down. During this time he could not drink anything, nor could he use a napkin.
As soon as five minutes were up, a cheer erupted from our party and the sounds of clapping from the patrons of the restaurant followed Alex to the bathroom where he disappeared for quite some time.
Alex received a free T-shirt and posted his picture up on the Wall of Fame.
Later in the day, back at work, a couple of Alex's fingers were still numb from holding the hot wings and his stomach would not stop bothering him. Physically, he was exhausted and drained. He also mentioned that the challenge cost him $11 and the cost of the wings was not reimbursed by University Chicken as we had earlier believed (we had forgotten to ask).
For my lunch meal, I ordered a charbroiled chicken burger. The chicken was tough and overcooked with the edges tasting bitter from being burnt. I put down as much of the sandwich as I could (because I've got to eat) and left half for the trashcan. Since University Chicken is known for their chicken wings, I tried a drummette and a wingette from my coworker?s nearly untouched stash of Traditional style wings. The wings were fairly spicy, but lacked depth of flavor. The wings themselves were deep fried way too long. The meat was dry and oily and some parts felt like I was shredding chicken jerky. All in all, I don't think University Chicken is famous for their wings because they're good, but because of their gimmicks - a clever naming system and a challenge that chile hounds can't resist.
After lunch, I spoke to a few other people who have eaten at University Chicken before and it seems that we may have received a poorly prepared batch of chicken. Another coworker, also by the name of Alex, confirms that usually the wings are juicy and not dry (as I experienced them), but they do have a history of inconsistency in the hotness of their sauces (thermonuclear one day may be milder than traditional on other days, etc.).}?>