"Competition of the Week" story # 15

Tampa, Florida           October 26, 2001

"This is the night you cry yourself to sleep," I prophecized during the car ride to "Competition of the Week" 7.
     I was in Florida now, having said good-bye to "Pancho" and friends before leaving Michigan again to head towards South America. The joys of South America would wait, as I first fought "Competition of the Week" 7 versus my miserable, worm-eared, behated college nemesis - "Pansyckas!" Rrrgh ...
     It was on account of Pansyckas´ pansyness that our internet chess game had been canceled while I was in Michigan. But, I´d come to settle the score! For the new "Competition of the Week" 7, he and I were going to Busch Gardens amusement park to load up on sample beers and ride dizzying roller coasters until one of us puked.
     Or gave up. We entered the park. I regret to say that I passed for a relative of Pansyckas´, but I used his brother´s season pass so that I could get into Busch Gardens for free like him.
     Pansyckas still carried his goofy grin and tight, round spectacles, but some of his muscle had turned to fat due to his new car. He had a new republican haircut. He sped/led to the Busch beer sample brewery, and we chugged some beers. My only positive side to having to look at Pansyckas during this contest was that I would be able to see the losing agony on his brussel sprout head.
     But, how would the fate of this contest compare to those of Pansyckas´ and my grisly past. In "Might vs. Mouth 1999", Pansyckas jogged four miles, biked thirty, swam one, and did five-hundred push-ups, defeating me as I raced to eat a foot-long sandwich, a half-gallon of ice cream, a box of cereal, and a large pizza. In a similar contest in 2000, I defeated him by eating three half-gallons of ice cream before he could do 2700 push-ups. At least, I´d made him sore both times. At least, he´d made me really sick.
     We were both two beers on our way to being sick this contest, and we eyed the first ride. I´d foolishly asked for O´Douls beer, which is non-alcoholic. But, this was fair, I figured, because alcohol couldn´t have been any more nauseating than having to look at Pansyckas.
     A nauseating corkscrew roller-coaster was our first ride. Shoulder-harnesses trapped us in, and we ascended a medium-sized hill. Pansyckas and I conflictingly voiced our trembling terror of what was to come, with our total confidence in being the winner.
     Reaching the top, we barely descended, and were thrust into five straight hoops. Harnesses pressed us, and our necks tried to reach our knees, as the roller-coaster went a-ROUnd and a-ROUnd and a-ROUnd and a-ROUnd and a-ROUnd. A short level stretch led us to ... four hoops more! A-ROUnd and a-ROUnd and a-ROUnd and a-ROUnd. Ugh.
     Already, I felt kind of bad. The roller-coaster had been nothing but corkscrews. "This is the most sickening, disgusting ride I´ve ever seen, and it´s a wonder that anyone enjoys it," I said honestly.
     I was happy to see Pansyckas get on it again. Unfortunately, this meant I also went on. Small price to pay, to see Pansyckas in misery.
     Ugh. The coaster´s last four full hoops turned in only eight seconds, and each time I went a-ROUnd it felt like somebody was pressing on my stomach with two hands and wanting to break it. The only thing that kept Pansyckas and I breathing as the ride slowed down, was our deep desire to moan.
     "Oh, man, that was terrible." Pansyckas half-laughed, half-whined.
     "I feel absolutely, so terrible."
     "Should we go on it again?"
     "Yeah!" with excitement.
     This third time, as the roller-coaster went a-ROUnd and a-ROUnd and a-ROUnd and a-ROUnd, it felt like somebody had tied a rope around my stomach and was jerking on it. I came very close to puking. Afterwards, Pansyckas and I breathed quick and deep, tasting the deliciousness of being rightside-up.
     Groaning and whining, Pansyckas and I hurried across the park. My insides had taken a baseball bat beating. A viking ship on a pendulum stood before us. This didn´t look good.
     Ugh, we got in. The ship began swaying back and forth. It rocked forward slowly. It swung backwards. It swayed forward, higher. It swung backwards, hovering at a peak as our confused intestines hustled to not be left behind. Forward, hovering. Backwards, higher. Forward, hovering. Backwards, reaching the top and hovering to turn the creaking ship over. Forward, leaving us hanging upside-down as it turned a complete, large circle. The mass of our bodies filled our red heads, reaching for the ground yards below.
     Ohhh ... Each time it dropped from a hovering peak, all my organs - pissed off bitterly - pushed anti- my throat. I wished for a hole in my stomach, that I could pull my whole aching body into and disappear. Each time we reached a peak, I was taken to hell and back.
     "Should we go again?" Pansyckas asked when we stumbled off the ride.
     "No, no ..."
     As horrible as the prospect of going on another ride sounded, it barely looked infavorable compared to admitting a voluntary defeat to Pansyckas. Puking I would´ve gladly done to top Pansyckas, but I couldn´t go back to hell. I couldn´t go back on that ride. My pride reached its most wormy moment. I coughed out defeat ... to, ugh - Pansyckas!
     Ugh. Pansyckas insulted my feebleness and tried coaxing me to go some more. No, no. No more.
     I did my resignation march home through the park. Pansyckas (rrrgh!) kept pointing out hellish, circular rides, with names like the Scrambler, the Flapjack-Stomach-Flipper, the Wish-You-Were-Dead ride, Puky-saurus, and The Human Tetherball. In his sincerest voice such a miserable person can give, he asked, "Hmm, Justin. That one looks like it´d be a pleasant time. Wouldn´t you like to go on that?"
     Ugh, no.
     As much as it rips apart my soul and heart-strings to say this, ... I guess I must. "Competition of the Week" 7´s winner ... ohhh, ho, ho ... well, ... you know.
     Pansyckas attacked my weak showing one last time, as we got in the car. "Justin, that was pathetic. Our next contest will have to be in parcheezi."
     Pansyckas was happy he´d won. But, he was visibally crushed that he still hadn´t succeeded in his life dream of making me vomit.
     Perhaps another time, Pansyckas. Perhaps another time. Keep following your dreams!
     "Arrrrrrrgh ... Pansyckas makes my stomach turn!"

I don´t want you to see me like this! (Modern Oddyseus, 5-6)

Add´l stats. "Rrrgh!"´s grinded out on the day:
me - 7
Pansyckas - 2


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