Saying my wife has a “competitive nature” is an understatement equivalent to saying Donald Trump has a “bit of any ego.” This is the woman who, whenever I step my fat butt onto an escalator, will routinely race up the stairs next to it and beat me to the top. This is the woman who, if you are ever stupid enough to play poker with her, will bleed you of every penny, and smile sweetly while she does it. If you ever find yourself thinking about competing with her in anything, I have three words for you: “Give up now.” She is a human D10 Dozer that will crush your every hope of victory.
This leads us to last Saturday night. It will live forever in infamy as “The Calzone Incident.” It began so innocently, just five couples getting together for dinner.
My wife ordered a calzone. When it arrived, everyone marveled at its enormity. It was the size of a Buick Regal. A discussion quickly ensued about whether she could ever finish it. The group’s consensus: Not in this lifetime.
Then it happened. Someone I will refer to for the purposes of this column as “Skip,” because his name happens to be Skip Hanson (that’s with an s-o-n), of Omaha, Nebraska, lit the match that ignited The Calzone Incident.
“I’ll give you $100 if you can finish the whole thing,” he dared her, fanning out five $20 bills. It was a red cape to the bull.
My wife gave his challenge careful consideration for about half a nanosecond, and quickly accepted. She announced that she would donate her anticipated windfall to her favorite charity, Love Beyond the Orphanage. Thus, the gastronomical marathon ensued. And she did not simply accept the challenge. Oh, no. That would be too gentle on her victim, Skip. No. She would twist the knife. We sat mesmerized as she cut each piece, dipped it into a cup of marinara sauce, picked up a tabasco bottle and gave it a few shakes, then slide it down the pipe. Like a machine. Bite, after bite, after bite. The cutting. The dipping. The shaking. The chewing. The sliding. By my estimate, about one-million times in a row. And she smiled sweetly the whole time she did it, and especially as she held out her hand for the $100.