By staff writer Chris Phelan
February 7, 2007
You’re not going to like what you’re about to read.
(No, don’t worry—you didn’t accidentally click on a Nick Gaudio column.)
I promised that this week I would unveil the running diary of me listening to the new Fall Out Boy album, Infinity on High. And while I hate to disappoint the surprisingly large cross section of readers that are female and in high school and thus surely love Fall Out Boy, I have to do it. Trust me, I started it, and yeah, it was funny for about two paragraphs before I realized I had run out of witty ways to rip on the record. Oh well.
So in a few words: the new album sucks. Terribly. Like, sucks in the most Rex Grossman sense of the word. Frankly, the band turned into some weird Maroon 5/boy band/Fall Out Boy hybrid. And I’d be willing to bet large amounts of money that everybody in Fall Out Boy besides that toolbox Pete Wentz hates the new direction of the band’s music, too.
I mean, come on. Listen to “I’m Like a Lawyer…” and “…Ringing in My Ears…” (song titles shortened to keep my sanity intact) and tell me with a straight face that those verses weren’t written by Maroon 5 and given to Pete Wentz, who proceeded to piss all over Fall Out Boy’s short-but-excellent legacy. Because say what you want about Fall Out Boy now, but they were cool before everybody’s little sister started loving them.
Anyway, moving on… next week I’m doing a Valentine’s Day-themed column. It’s tentatively called “Valentine’s Day Disasters” and it’s going to focus on when Valentine’s Day plans go totally wrong and end up being a huge trainwreck.
That’s where I need your help.
If you have a disastrous Valentine’s Day story to tell, please send it to [email protected] by Sunday night, February 11th at midnight.
It doesn’t matter what kind of story it is—sad, ridiculous, hilarious—it doesn’t matter. I don’t care if you write about how your night ended up with a glass of wine being thrown in your face, or if you were turned down by the ugliest stripper in the joint for a private lap dance after 12 shots of Jager… I’m going to print the best stories next week in Three Beers Deep. Try to keep your submission to about 200 words or less, and include your name and hometown. If you’ve ever wanted to see your name on Points in Case, now’s your chance.
And now, it’s story time.
The Pop Quiznos Story
It was the summer of 2005.
I was living in Ocean City, Maryland with a bunch of friends. We had an apartment about a block away from the beach in a fairly high-congested part of town—our street was busy enough that there was a constant stream of people walking to and from the beach pretty much at all times.
“We spent the next fifteen minutes in silence, eating our death subs as we contemplated walking into oncoming traffic.”
One day while I was at a pool bar I got a call from my buddy Dif.
“Yo Dif, what’s up?”
“Dude, craziest thing ever.”
Immediately, I began anticipating something along the lines of I am literally in a three-way right now with two models, or even something like I found a real soft card game on Talbot Street.
“I just puked all over the Quiznos bathroom!”
“WOW. How? What happened?”
“They challenged me to eat their new sub.”
Apparently, the Quiznos a block away from our apartment had unleashed a new sub onto an unsuspecting Ocean City: the double meat, double cheese Black Angus sub. Dif went in there to eat lunch, was instantly won over by their primo signage, and promptly ordered the new sandwich. But that wasn’t all.
The employees asked him if he wanted a large, and Dif answered with an emphatic “of course.” Long story short: the Quiznos workers did not think he could handle the all-new, double-everything, large supremo sandwich, and openly told him so. Being one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met, Dif arrogantly told the employees that he could easily eat it…
… And according to him, he could hear them laughing at him while he vomited his brains out in the bathroom.
Ever since I received that phone call at the pool bar I wanted to try the double meat, double cheese Black Angus sub for myself, while Diffrom that day forward vowed to defeat his nemesis once and for all.
So one day, me, Dif, and our best friend DiMona headed over to Quiznos in the middle of the afternoon after a morning at the beach. Our mission? Conquer the Black Angus sub.
We all were nervous, and admittedly so. I was nervous that my nerves would cause me not to be able to handle the sandwich. Dif was nervous because the sub had already defeated him once and a second defeat would probably lead to suicide. DiMona was nervous because he had about ten bucks to his name at the time and was throwing it all away for a vomit-inducing sandwich.
We got in line and waited to order.
“Phelan will definitely be puking, guaranteed,” DiMona declared.
“Oh, definitely,” added Dif.
My confidence dwindled. Nothing like your boys having your back at a crucial point in your life.
After a few minutes of ordering and waiting, we finally had our Black Angus subs in our hands. I was 10,000% terrified at that point.
We sat down at one of the high-top tables in the restaurant and got down to business.
The first bite tasted great. So delicious, actually, that my taste buds struck up an inner dialogue with me.
“Jesus Christ this sub is the greatest tasting sandwich we’ve ever had, Phelan. Go to hell Subway. Oh my God this is just incredible. Hmmm… you think if you take an extra big bite it’ll taste extra good? OH MY GOD, YOU DID IT! AND IT DOES! PHELAN, WE’RE ALL HAVING SEX WITH EACH OTHER IN HERE!! JESUS H CHRIST, THANK YOU!”
I looked at Dif and DiMona. They had the exact same look of pure happiness on their faces as me. I felt like Jessica Alba looks.
This was heaven.
Unfortunately, the feeling lasted all of three minutes and was quickly replaced by a feeling of shock. Suddenly, I wasn’t eating the same sub anymore. It’s like somebody flipped a switch and instead of eating delicious sandwich I was eating a soggy, weird-consistency meat/bread combination.
I was in shock. The sub turned from great to crap in literally one bite. I looked around. Dif and DiMona had clearly reached this point as well. Dif offered some advice.
“This is where you hit the wall. We just gotta power through.”
Truer words were never spoken.
We spent the next fifteen minutes in silence, eating our death subs as we contemplated walking outside into oncoming traffic on Coastal Highway.
Yet somehow, we did it. Against all odds, we managed to eat our gargantuan subs without puking. It should have been cause for massive celebration…
…But it wasn’t. Truth be told, instead of a joyous occasion, we felt more like a burden had been lifted off our shoulders—a feeling similar to graduating college… after five and a half years of grinding through it.
We all exchanged uneasy glances as we made our way out of Quiznos, and into the 90 degree heat waiting for us outside. We started walking back to our apartment, exhausted yet victorious—and that’s when Dif uttered those magic words.
What kind of statement is that? He thinks he wants to throw up? Who says that?
“Relax, dude, it’s just the Black Angus talking. You’ll be fine,” DiMona said.
But Dif wasn’t wavering. “No, I think if I puke I’ll feel a million times better. So I just gotta do it. I can’t go on like this, this is terrible.”
The self-induced puke? What a girl.
At any rate, I had to see this. Better yet, I had to record it.
“Hold on, let me grab my camera phone,” I said as Dif doubled over and prepped himself for excavation.
I ran upstairs at cheetah speed and grabbed my cell phone. I had just bought it the week before and this would be the perfect way to really test out its video capabilities. Dif intentionally puking is great on its own, but the whole act captured on video? Yeah, priceless.
So there we were, Dif doubled over in the middle of the sidewalk in front of our house; herds of people coming and going from the beach; families, older couples, teenagers, and a constant procession of people walking by; and yet no one paying attention to the kid with his hands on his knees like an NBA player catching his breath during a free throw.
“Whenever you’re ready,” I told Dif as I crouched down about three feet away from him, cell phone aimed directly at his face.
I figured he’d go with the “finger-down-the-throat” method. He didn’t. Instead, he chose the absolutely ghastly “hands-free gag.” Joe Rogan would’ve been queasy. And queasy is exactly what it made me. I took a deep breath and concentrated on the task at hand. I glanced over at DiMona—he wasn’t coping well with Dif’s ridiculous attempt to puke either.
To make matters worse, a small crowd had finally started to take note and gather around us. I don’t know what they thought we were doing… but they were definitely intrigued.
After about a minute of gagging, it finally happened: Dif began projectile vomiting all over the sidewalk. Not a normal, controlled puke… a puke fountain, raining terror in the form of vomit over every possible inch of the sidewalk in front of our apartment.
I lasted about .3 seconds before I started puking violently alongside him. (I have the worst gag flex in the world, remember?) I was throwing up everywhere, including my hands and my brand new phone. I swear to God I heard at least one audible “oh my God!” from the crowd.
Then, as Dif was going crazy throwing up, he started laughing and pointed over to the street. I looked over. DiMona had begun puking in the road, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CROWD OF PEOPLE. The crowd was absolutely stunned. DiMona had been wise enough to keep a relative distance from the original puker and his idiot friend videotaping him, but it wasn’t far enough. Now, DiMona was throwing up in the middle of the street surrounded by little kids holding little beach chairs, Dif was laughing hysterically as Black Angus dripped out his nose, and I was doubled over with laughter clutching my vomit-covered phone.
To make matters slightly more ridiculous, DiMona suddenly realized the absurdity of the whole situation and started absolutely cracking up. Tears ran down his face, and he walked over to the two of us, who had by now finished throwing up. Nothing but uncontrollable laughter for a solid five minutes. Looking back, our “audience” probably thought we were either A) performing some bizarre street play, B) hammered at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, or C) absolutely batshit crazy.
After a few more minutes the crowd dispersed (I was slightly miffed at the fact that nobody applauded or clapped when we were done), and the three of us surveyed the mess. Puke was covering pretty much every inch of sidewalk and asphalt on 26th street. Dif had Black Angus all over his face somehow, my phone was lying in a vomit puddle next to him, and DiMona had a giant smile on his face.
“Dude, that was the greatest thing ever.”
And there it was… validation. We all realized it, too: there will never be another more ridiculous vomit-related moment in our lives. It was pure chaos in Ocean City that summer for about two minutes outside our apartment. I’m convinced that the people watching us will retell that story again and again to their grandchildren one day. It was that crazy.
And if anybody passes Fairfax Apartments on 26th street this summer in Ocean City, check out the sidewalk in between the two apartment buildings… I’m pretty sure you’ll find remnants of our handiwork there to this day.
The moral of the story?
I highly recommend the Quiznos double meat, double cheese Black Angus sub.