Confidence. Determination. Ignorance. Those were the 3 key ingredients that set me up for one tough Thursday afternoon, as I did something only 4 other people have attempted to do this season, and that is the Grizzly’s Hot Wing Challenge. Even though I won this silly challenge, it was something that will definitely be a one time experience.

Grizzly's Hot Wing Challenge

What is the Grizzly’s Hot Wing Challenge? Well for starters, it’s something that only a person with half a brain, or lacks the concept of fear, would attempt. It’s a race against a 15 minute clock, eating 6 boneless wings doused in a hot sauce made from the Carolina Reaper Pepper, the Trinidad Scorpion Pepper, and the Ghost Pepper; with hints of garlic, onions, and Capsaicin. No blue cheese, no ranch dressing is allowed. Just a plain cup of ice water. Who would ever try something that has the word Reaper in it? Even Ghost sounds like something scary to eat.

Ricky
That would be me. Ricky Buhr. The fearless idiot with half a brain.

As soon as that clock started, I was ready to pounce on all 6 boneless wings, like a tiger exploding out of the tall grass to catch his dinner. That first bite into that boneless wing was so fiery, yet so smooth that I thought the next 5 wings were going to be a cake walk. I ate all 6 wings in 1 ½ minutes. Yes. 90 seconds. Then came the next 13 ½ minutes. The real “fun part.

My mouth began to get hotter as each second elapsed. I would take a sip of my water and let it sit in there like mouthwash, and spit it out into the trash can. Sip. Rinse. Spit. Repeat.

During the process, I accidently touched my eye lid with my hand to wipe the sweat coming down my forehead. The molecules from the wing sauce touched my eyes, and my eyelid began to burn so bad it felt like I had just been pepper sprayed. I was dumb enough to ignore the chef’s request to wear latex gloves while consuming these wings.

My face began to turn ghost white around the 10 minute mark, which I guess is where the Ghost Pepper got its name. The tips of my hair became wet from all the sweat from my scalp.

Ricky after eating the hot wings

The 15 minutes was finally up. The wings were on the house, and I’m still waiting for my free t-shirt (Jan).  The next 3 hours put me on the ride of my life. Or on the floor at least.

After I attended the daily 1:30 Mountain Ops meeting, I laid in my office, spread eagle on the floor, moaning and groaning. My bosses Erin and Diane heard the sound of a dying animal from the room over, and came in to see if I was okay. I was not. I thought the pain in my stomach was permanent.

I wanted to go to the clinic and get checked out by our medical staff, but I toughened up. I went home later that night where several times throughout the night I was screaming and moaning as the peppers roasted my insides. 

“What did I do wrong?” was the only thing I could ask myself while I laid on my kitchen floor in fiery, electric pain. Did I eat the wings too fast? Was I too thick-headed to think I could do this without any repercussions?

Those wings were hot the entire way down if you know what I mean, but I did it and I’m proud to be the Grizzly’s Wing Challenge Champion. If you do end up trying the wing challenge, my only advice would be “Can’t say I didn’t warn you!”