Weekend in North Carolina

So, this story might not be very funny but the weekend had it’s moments.

On Friday I e-mailed Parzick asking him if he was busy this weekend, and that night I bought tickets to fly down to North Carolina. The tickets were purchased Friday night around 8PM, and the flight departed Logan Saturday morning at 6AM. The Internet is great.

Young also made the trip down, and Feira already lives there, so it was pretty much us four guys and Parzick’s wife Romy. When I arrived we went out to breakfast, which I believe is where Feira began his onslaught of running jokes at my expense. Lines like “you used to have a girlfriend, right Tom?” Hilarious stuff. Thankfully Feira is in a similar position to me, so there was no shortage of jokes I could return in his direction.

We waited for Young to arrive during a good portion of the day, and passed it by playing the enthralling board game of Sequence. Feira and I were playing one-on-one when it dawned on us that the last time we played it was actually on teams with our girlfriends and that this was probably the most pathetic moment of our lives. Hilarious. In any case, Feira got really good at one-on-one Sequence and beat me handily.

That night for dinner we decided to go to a place Parzick had heard about called Bandito’s. It was a Mexican place that had a contest for who could eat their “El Gigante” Burrito. It was this huge monstrosity filled with both chicken and steak, rice, beans, etc, covered in sour cream and guacamole. It cost $17. We sat down and ordered 4. The best way I’ve heard these things described is – take a Sunday paper and roll it up – and that’s about the size of these burritos. I jumped out to an early lead, but slowed towards the finish and Young finished his first. I finished second. I boasted loudly that I actually ate all of the sour cream and guacamole (the plate was clean) so I was the only true finisher. Feira started bellyaching with about 1/4 of the burrito to go. Parzick is a ridiculously slow eater, so he was making very minimal progress. Feira eventually finished (it’s worth noting that during the meal he leaned to the left and audibly farted in the restaurant). Parzick was struggling down the home stretch. He finally put down his fork and knife and declared victory. The waiter then passed by and said “almost there.” So, he had to get back to work on the remaning scraps of lettuce, etc.

We all walked out with “I conquered El Gigante” T-Shirts. Most of us felt sick, although Young said he could have eaten a bit more. Standing in the parking lot with our shirts proudly over our shoulders, we probably looked like the biggest bunch of tools on the face of the planet. The T-shirts looked very homosexual (I’ll post a picture eventually) with a picture of a chili pepper in a Sombrero lassoing a burrito.

That night we went out to some bars in Chapel Hill. Nothing really notable happened here, except Young and I quickly put down 4 vodka tonics in about 20 minutes. Young then threw down a 5th as we were leaving. It was definitely a good thing to mix with our burritos.

The next day we decided to go indoor rock climbing. I had never done this before (except once outside of Jillian’s with Schulte). Feira had gone once or twice and Parzick had gone once. We show up and plunk down our money to rent shoes and harnesses. Feira, being the cheapest bastard among us, had coupons so the total came to $14 a person – a pretty good deal, we thought.

We walked around and changed into our shoes, and none of us knew how to put on our harnesses. No one working there appeared interested in helping us either. We eventually pulled one of the employees over who showed us how to put them on, but then informed us that since we were beginners, we would have to use the automatic belay machines which limted us to only a handful of the walls. They offered classes to teach people how to belay, but they cost money and weren’t available at the time because the place was busy. Also, if you already knew how to belay, you could take their test (for free) but you could only take it once a day and it’s pass/fail. We decided it would be good if two of us passed the test so that everyone could climb on all of the walls.

We nominated Young to take the test, because he has never climbed before and had the best chance of failing. In watching him fail, we figured we could learn how to pass. So, Feira goes up as the climber and Young the belayer, and we all try and learn from Young. Young has no idea what he’s doing, and out of principle the test administrator doesn’t want to help him. So, Feira convinces the test administrator that the equipment here is just a little different from what Young is used to from the other places he’d climbed, and we get some guidance on how to use it. Feira climbs, Young fumbles a bit, and he fails the test.

Next up Feira decides to take the test and Parzick is the climber. Feira’s done this before, and with what he’d just learned from seeing Young fail he was able to pass the test. Parzick and I then went after Feira, and each of us failed the test. So, we’re left with one guy who can belay (Feira) and, unfortunately for him, that means he’s stuck only using the automatic belay machines, because none of us could belay for him – though he could belay for us.

Young and I tire of rock climbing fairly early. Like a big wuss, I am afraid of heights and won’t go all the way to the top. Young just goes up, goes down, and quickly bores of the whole event. The best part of climbing with Young were his shorts. The harnesses clasp around your groin area, and Young had the largest tent in his crotch imagineable. Before belaying for him, Feira would regularly shake the harness around to make sure “everything was okay.”

After climbing we went to dinner at a steakhouse that had good ribs. Again, we ate like pigs. On the way out we noticed that this place too had an eating contest – a 62 ounce steak. You had to eat it, a salad, a side, and half of an appetizer. We didn’t partake because you needed to call 24 hours in advance so they could prepare it. It costs $70, but if you finish you get it for free. They also had a one hour time limit. Unlike Bandito’s, it wasn’t clear if you got a free shirt or not. Maybe we’ll look into it next time we’re in town.

2 thoughts on “Weekend in North Carolina

  1. Maybe it’s because I don’t really know your college buddies, or maybe it’s because you only mentioned my name once, but that was a pretty boring post. The most exciting part of it was the link you had about the automatic belay machines. Did you know that “The market for belay devices is huge and it seems like every month a new one comes out”…fantastic!

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