Street Art in the Time of Corona Virus

Many of the businesses forced to close in Seattle have literally boarded shut. I assume this is from the very real chance of people trying to break windows and loot what is inside.

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The Boards went up pretty quick around Belltown.
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Just as quickly, they became interesting.
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What I imagine Corona looks like in your lungs.
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My favorite by far.

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Hey Asshat, don’t scribble over an actual artist’s work.
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Big fan of Elephants and this Mural. 

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“Meanwhile Pizza” might as well be my lifestyle.
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Great Gatsby Imagery on Mushrooms with some Topical Medical Symbolism.  I approve.

These are just in a one-block radius from my building, who knows what I will find if I ever venture further.

Stay Safe. Watch Tiger King.

Seattle Dragons play the DC Defenders in the inaugural XFL game.

Here at A-Train Sports, we do not recognize the failure of the XFL 20 years ago. As far as we are concerned the league never existed, and today February 8th, 2020 the REAL XFL begins.

I have already locked myself in as a DIE-HARD Dragons fan. I live in Seattle, as a boy the only thing I could draw with any confidence was a dragon. I read all the Game of Thrones Books. The Dragons are the squad, it’s a match made in heaven. Beyond that, I’m excited about the dragons merch.

 

Unfortunately, everything is either sold out or only the small sizes are left. The XFL shop needs to restock so I can get my dragon drip on.

My Blog Partner: Freddy Van Sheet aka PBM  is located in St. Louis and is obligated to be a fan of the St. Louis Battlehawks. Look, there is NO LOVE LOST between the Battlehawks and the Dragons hopefully our friendship can survive this rivalry the way it has survived Cubs-Cardinals and Blackhawks-Blues.

Setting the Fan Culture:

Part of the reason for getting in early on the XFL is the chance to set the fan culture. Buffalo Bills fans break tables, Green Bay Packers fans embrace morbid obesity, Philly Fans throw batteries. If YOU get in on the ground floor YOU can set this culture. I’m not saying that Dragon fans will be spitting fire AT the game. But maybe at the tailgates?

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Dragon’s fans need to risk becoming permanent burn victims for the sake of fan culture and overall dragon awareness. I am not joking.

This game is about to start and my arch enemy Greg McElroy is calling it. That does not bode well. I will pop back in to finish this Blog after the game.

XFL on ONE ready BREAK!


WOW.  The XFL might actually work out this time.

My beloved Dragons lost 31-19 in a hard-fought game that had a little bit of everything.

Here’s the Good Bad and the Ugly.

The Good:

The Kickoff:

I don’t know if it’s better than the NFL method but it doesn’t suck. I could see the NFL one day adopting this kickoff for safety reasons. I just wonder if we will see more or less return touchdowns using this system.

F-Bombs being dropped on the sidelines:

 

Gambling talk/info:

I never thought I’d ever hear Greg McElroy talking spreads and totals during a football game. But with the Spread… DC (-9.5) and total (51.5) openly displayed they have to talk about it, It definitely adds color to broadcast and gives the booth rats something to talk about, they don’t have to yak about bullshit to fill time the way Romo does.

The Gameplay:

I actually thought the football was good, it was like watching two decent big 10 teams play. That’s about the level of football we see. But there were a lot of BIG PLAYS, only time will tell if this is the norm, or if it was just this game.

The Bad:

Mic’d up coaches. I don’t love it. I don’t need to hear Jim Zorn’s dumbass this much. I reserve the right to move this to the good section if more XFL viewing changes my mind.

(I did enjoy the Zorn sideline interview where Zorn said he lied to his QB when he told him the INT “wasn’t his fault” because “he’s gotta go back out there”)

Replay: 

The replay process is open to the public and while I appreciate transparency, their process is terrible. It appears to be somebody’s grandfather decides replay before seeing every angle and just wings it. “Indisputable visual evidence” does not seem to come into play but neither does common sense.

On one play they took away the first down from Seattle at this guy’s first glance reaction. After he makes the decision they show a better angle he never bothered to wait for or look at.

The Ugly:

Sideline Reporting MY GOD we don’t need this. They need to dial it back more.

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500% is a conservative estimate.

I still think the XFL fan experience was a good one, the one thing that infuriated me was the PAT. Not the rules, but how the coaches are cowards and keep going for 1.

Coaches go for 1 instead of 2 in the NFL because the kick is usually automatic.

There is no extra-point kick in the XFL. You have to run a play.

Score it from the 2-yard line – 1 point.

Score it from the 5-yard line – 2 points.

Score it from the 10-yard line – 3 points.

It seems to me that you should go for 3 every time, that’s a FG worth of points.

What harder going 1/3 from the 10-yard line….. or 3/3 from the 2-yard line?

Plus you have the upside of getting all you 3 point conversions. You go 3/3 and get 9 points!!!

If I was coaching we’d always go for 3.

Atrainsports = fully in on the XFL …..GO DRAGONS!!!!

The City of Seattle Seems 100% Positive About An NHL Team. Bonus: What Do We Call Them?

 

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Our Mayor a few days ago.

 

All signs are pointing to Hockey in Seattle and it’s now a matter of when not if. This is great news for the city of Seattle. The team will be playing in a renovated key arena at the Seattle Center. This is great news for me as I live a short 10-minute walk from the stadium. Can you say season tickets?

I’ve been skimming Facebook comments for some of the best/worst suggestions, and have a couple of my own to throw in as well. We don’t need another Las Vegas Golden Knights situation. That name is god-awful.

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Facebook teems with unoriginality let’s start with the banal suggestions.

  1. The Seattle Freeze. Can we not go with something obvious and terrible, please. I know the “Seattle Freeze” is a thing, it’s just not a thing to name your hockey team.
  2. The Seattle Chill. This is along the same line but worse.
  3. The Seattle Emeralds? An emerald is just a green rock it doesn’t even do anything.
  4. The Seattle Snowflakes. Ok, this wasn’t a suggestion  I just slipped it in.
  5. The Seattle Fog. Better than Emeralds. Still Bad.

Awesome Names I Came Up With:

These would never get chosen and I know this still I think they’d all be cool in their own way.

The Seattle Geoducks pronounced Gooey-Ducks, the Geoduck is a local bivalve (think giant clam) native only to these parts. Ok maybe a giant clam doesn’t do anything either but our rivalry with the Anaheim Ducks would take off right away.

 

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When a clam tries to grow the trunk of an elephant you get a Geoduck!

 

The Seattle Cephs. (short for cephalopods) For you no-science-knowing-sons-of-baptist-preachers, the Cephalopods are any animal from class Cephalopoda, which includes Squids, Octopus, and Cuttlefish. The Mascot would obviously be a surely looking Octopus but Seattle Cephs rolls off the tongue in a way Seattle Octopus does not, and it sounds way classier than Seattle Squids.

 

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Terrifying Monster of the Sea!

 

The Seattle Cranes, no not the bird. The Piece of construction equipment, they are everywhere in Seattle, it seems an apt nickname. J/K this is a terrible team name, I just needed to work the cranes into this blog somehow.

 

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They’re everywhere!

 

The Seattle Chiefs. I mean our city is named after a Native American Chief. I’m also super partial to the movie Slapshot so obviously, if we could get away with Chiefs I’d be all about it.

 

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or when you beat off and cum real quick.

 

The Sea-tac Krakens, Sounds cooler than Seattle Krakens and since our airport is Seatac airport it sorta makes sense. The people of Tacoma will be thrilled to be included on our pro sports team. This is taking the cephalopod idea and injecting it with steroids and meth. The Kraken, terrifying mythic creature of the deep, destroyer, badass hockey team. I’m down. Game of Thrones is still hot in the streets Krakens could have some pull you never know.

 

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Source: Deviant Art by Eronzki999.

 

 

I’m just scratching the surface of the name brainstorm comment with suggestions of your own.

Bring back the Past:

Seattle has had hockey before and one of the most common suggestions on Facebook was for the return of the Seattle Metropolitans winners of the 1917 Stanley Cup. I’m not crazy about the names but I love the nod to the past so if the went with the Mets I think I’d be ok with that. I just am wary of sharing a name with a poopy NY baseball team.

 

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We are in the middle of a pretty long championship drought.

or Perhaps the…

Seattle Totems – Another throwback to a former Seattle professional hockey team.

 

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That’s actually a pretty solid hockey sweater.

 

 

No Matter the name, I will be happy when Hockey arrives. A-Train Out.

 

 

A-Train Eats Out: Shiro’s (Phrasing) or Celebrating Chinese New Year with Japanese Food.

It was the first day of the Chinese New Year, a Friday, and my best friend P-Dog had just got a promotion from Amazon. Congrats bud. P-Dog also happened to owe me a meal for taking care of his cats for 8 days, so it seemed like a perfect day for a Shiro’s run.

What’s Shiro’s you ask? Well, it’s the best place to get sushi in Seattle, a town known for its seafood. That’s the short answer.

Before some food-nerd chirps me about how Shiro’s is no longer owned by Shiro Kashiba, and how Shiro has a new place called Sushi Kashiba, I know all that. I have been to Sushi Kashiba on multiple occasions. I have had Shiro as my chef at both restaurants. Even with the namesake Shiro out of the picture, Shiro’s is still the top dog in the sushi game.

Sushi Kashiba looks swankier on the inside, the wait staff is whiter, and the bill will be higher, the line to get into the bar might even be a little longer. The Omakase experience, which is all I care about, is not better. The Shiro’s Omakase takes the cake.

How we do our Shiro’s. Things to expect.

  • Get in line early for the bar. Sometimes an hour early if you need to get seated at the first seating. P-Dog and I want to be first in line because we want very specific seats at the bar. There are about 13 seats at an L-shaped sushi bar. Think 3 seats and 10 seats make up the L. We want to be on the 3 seat part of the L because those seats give you a peek behind the scenes and you a certain to be served by the Head Chef. Monday-Friday the Head Chef is a white guy from Hawaii named Aaron. Do not be worried about a white sushi chef, Aaron knows what he’s about. He spent many years in Japan honing his craft.
  • He is a culinary all-star.If they try to deny you your rightful seat by the Head Chef because it’s a new host who doesn’t recognize you, insist until you get your way. It didn’t take much insisting, I took one look at Aaron and he made sure we were in our proper place.Omakase is what you order at the bar. It means chef’s choice and they feed you until you are full, while minding any allergies or things you know you dislike. If you want to look like a jerk sit at the bar and don’t order Omakase. Sushi snobs like P-Dog and I will silently mock you. Usually, we say no abalone because it’s not great, and I don’t like cuttlefish but it’s rarely on the menu.
  • Sitting at the bar, unless you are in a big group, you interact a lot with the people around you. This is the wildcard of sushi culture because you get all kinds of people. You get the people who know nothing about sushi…these people can be bad or really awesome because you get to witness someone’s eye’s being opened to something amazing. Then you get the sushi know-it-all-know-nothing. This is the fucking idiot who tries to impress with his order at the bar, not realizing you sit at the bar not to order. If this guy does order Omakase he’s still trying to order shit during the meal. “Like do you guys have Uni, let me get some Uni” Dude just shut the fuck up and the chef will give you Uni when he decides it’s time. They serve these fish in an order for a reason! You get lots of cool normal people, people on business, on dates, lots of special occasions. Then you get weirdos.
  • We had a weirdo in earshot last night. Youngish looking, extremely softspoken, would not shut up. He had a tendency to say the most obvious thing ever or just relate anything back to something he once did. Worse He was the most beta of beta males I’ve ever seen.
  • I barely ate all day, and I feel like I could eat the entire ocean by the time we sit down. A-Train recommends bring your appetite or you will bow out of the meal before you meet all the sea creatures.

Final Tip: If you do become a Omakase regular, make sure to visit at different times of the year, fish are seasonal, my personal favorite time of year for Shiro’s is the fall.

Let the feast begin!

 

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Left: Snapper. (I forget which kind.) Right: Triggerfish topped with steamed triggerfish liver.

Usually, I never take pictures of my sushi unless it’s something crazy I’ve never had, but Friday night I wanted to make a close friend jealous so I pretty much live-tweeted him the entire meal.

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Seared Goldeneye Snapper.
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Yellow-Tail family fish flight.
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Left: Salmon Belly. Right: Copper River Sockeye.
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Don’t be scared, Mrs. Shrimp. It will all be over soon. 

 

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Hello Mrs. Shrimp. It appears as if you’ve lost your head.

It’s somewhere around here that I text P-Dog my hypothesis, soft-spoken weirdo has a micro-penis.

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Scallop with Plum Sauce.

The shrimp is sweet and delicious, scallop doesn’t disappoint either.

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Mr. Shrimp wants to know what’s in the box. John Doe has the upper hand!

Pat yourself on the back if you get the reference to Se7en.

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Left to Right: Uni (Maine, Salmon Roe, Uni (Japan).

A polarizing piece of Nigiri, Uni is always a highlight for P-Dog and me.

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Albacore and Albacore Belly.

At this point, P-Dog and I are texting back and forth what we can’t say out loud regularly. I can’t stop making fun of the weirdo. It’s like Dustin Hoffman from the Rainman is a little less autistic and a lot more into sushi. He won’t stop talking. It’s getting out of hand.

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Left: Seared Barracuda Right: Japanese Perch (prized whitefish of Japan according to Chef) 

The weirdo now exclaims how he “smelled some marijuana” when the front door opened, so not only does he have a micropeen, he’s also a narc. P-Dog almost spit-takes at the text.

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A special treat: live octopus. 
This was a first a Shiro’s, best Octopus I’ve had there.

 

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Native Only to the Pacific Northwest: Geoduck.

Weido informs us that the Manatee is also called a Sea-Cow. I honestly want to know what else I learned by the 4th grade he wants to teach us.

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A little bit of precum gathers when I see Chef getting out the tuna.

The Weirdo’s friend is mercifully forming a bit of a buffer zone, but to be honest he’s making the meal more fun now, not less.

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Tuna (Maguro) Flight. All from one fish, a Spanish caught bluefin tuna. Left to Right: Akami (lean), chutoro (medium-fatty), marinated chutoro, Otoro (ultra-fatty).

These pieces melt in your mouth, even the lean. The Otoro is straight up butter.

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Jack Mackeral.
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Flounder topped with pickled radish.

This meal is starting to have that epic feel to it.

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Monkfish Liver the fois gras of the sea.

Weirdo has had fois gras, but not of the sea. He’s been telling us a lot of things he’s had before. Thing’s he’s never had? A moment of silence.

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King Crab.
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Smoked King Mackeral.

You can’t bow out of an omakase meal until AFTER you get this piece.

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Shad.
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Kushi Oyster.

The weird-guy has never had an oyster. He also doen’t like them?

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Needlefish.
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Seared Pickled Herring. A second (not pictured) was immediately ordered and devoured. 

At this point, the only fish we have left to try is the Eel which is served at the end, so this is the “revisit” section where you go back to pieces you need again.

 

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Chutoro was A+ gotta get more.
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This was my favorite from the yellowtail family. I think i
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Seared Barracuda and Seared Goldeneye Snapper. As a rule, almost all pieces that get a taste of the torch are worth a revisit.

 

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Flounder was worth a second look.

 

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When Chef Aaron ask if you want anything special, we tell him chef’s choice handroll. He delivered in spades with this Tuna Handrolled with chopped radish and sesame.

They call it a hand roll because you want to eat it the second it’s handed to you. (Before the seaweed paper had a chance to lose its crunch.) I had to snap this picture as quickly as possible. Also if you see premade handrolls you now know to avoid them.

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Double Order Unagi. (Freshwater Eel)

For the first time in the almost 10 years of coming to this place, I had the forethought to order double eel for P-Dog and myself. The Eel course is always after the revisit section but is worth a revisit of its own.

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Double Order Anago. (Saltwater Eel)

 

Final Piece Not Pictured: Tamago – Sweet Egg. 

I forgot to take a pic of the sweet egg but if you can picture a yellowish rectangle, you are pretty much looking at tamago.

  • I did a google image search and all the picture of tamago were basically what you would see at a lower tier restaurant, this is not the professional stuff. Then I googled “Tamago Jiro” in reference to the movie Jiro Dreams of SushiScreen Shot 2018-02-17 at 6.52.02 PM I was lucky to find this, an almost carbon copy of the same dish at Shiro’s. Shiro Kashiba was an apprentice for Jiro back in Japan.

That’s All Folks! If you come to Seattle and like sushi, hit up Shiro’s in Belltown. I give it my stamp of ultimate approval. Someday I’d like to make enough money to eat here all the time, not three times a year if I’m lucky.

-A-Train Out.

I leave you with this little video, it gives you an idea of the L shaped bar I was talking about and you can see Chef Aaron doing his thing.

 

 

Local News: This Car Break-In (attempt) is Too Seattle for Words.

I’m a little bit chagrined that this went viral under my nose and I’m late in blogging it. This happened right in A-Train’s backyard, and I am all too familiar with this level of criminal. You cannot walk more than a few blocks in this city without seeing some poor SOB who had the affront to park his car outside of a locked garage. The penalty is a smashed window courtesy of some piece of shit in the Emerald City.

This video is hilarious and Joe Buck needs to be looking over his shoulder because the guy laying down the audio has the skills to pay the bills. “Las Vegas odds say he won’t hit one more time, and he doesn’t” priceless line by my man at KIRO-7.

I’ve seen this level of criminal before, my buddy Preston woke up to a dickhead just like this guy going through his shit in the middle of the night. At The Kills concert at the Market, my friend Sarah had her window smashed and her CDs taken, the idiot left so much more valuable shit untaken. This guy, however, takes the fucking cake. He’s way to big a bitch to smash a car window like an alpha male, instead, he tries to unhorse the window through mop-jousting. In the end, he feels so much shame he decides to end it all but even in that he failed.

I don’t know why but the pacific northwest breeds a kind of super-stupid white criminal. I mean just the other day this video from Snohomish County went viral.

Another dumbass white criminal putting aside self-respect and morality in order to steal shit that if you’re lucky might get you 100 bucks worth of trash to spend on drugs. This lady got a broken leg for her efforts, car-jouster probably has a pretty serious concussion.

You know who we don’t see or hear from in these videos? The police. These are the crimes that get zero response from law enforcement and probably why they continue to happen up here. My friend Brooke has video footage of a drunken customer who she refused to serve slashing here tires. She took it to the police along with the woman’s identity….nothing, not even a stern warning from the police.

I have learned to keep anything that looks even remotely of value well out of sight from these savages when parking ’round here.

 

 

 

 

 

Meat Vending Machine. One Step Closer to Robots Running Everything.

At first, I thought “Hey Meat Vending Machine, I’m gonna blog about how sweet this is.” Yes, of course, a meat vending machine is pretty sweet no matter the location. You’re out and about, your tummy rumbles, you look up and see meat. It’s the American Dream. An inside of a Nordstrom’s is like a labyrinth to the dumb male brain, we could get lost and die if not properly supplied. One second you are trying on a pair of loafers the next minute you can’t find your way out and death by starvation is becoming a hauntingly plausible scenario. A meat vending machine would definitely provide a stay of execution in that scenario, but at what cost?

Ever heard of a slippery slope? That’s what this is. First meat is coming out of a vending machine, how long before they start using these machines to sell soda? How long before they have a machine that sells candy, or snacks, or god forbid both! This is probably way down the road but imagine a machine that sells hot coffee and not just one kind but multiple flavors. Think of all the baristas that will be out of work!

Seriously I’m all for these things, I need meat vended in my direction more than just about anything else. It’s diet friendly, high in protein, and delicious. Now if I could just find a machine that with dispense me a fully fixed Chicago Style Hot Dog in Seattle that’d be great.

A-Train Out.

Seattle Man Eats Two Bags of M&M’s Labeled “Sharing Size” in One Sitting & Lives to Tell His Tale.

No, this isn’t “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” but in fact a true story straight from A-Train HQ where one of our reporter’s (me) got the scoop on a local rebel, who defied the Mars Corporation’s recommendations to share his bags of M&M’s. (also me)

You see we no longer live in a land where a man with a large bag of M&M’s is considered a king. Those were the good old days. Then America decided that we were all fat and the smartest way to combat our growing bellies and the growing bellies of our children was to make candy smaller. Thanks, Obama. 

The real reason that Americans got fat was that an entire generation was told that eating bread 11 times a day was super good for you. Fuck your food pyramid FDA, you should all be put on trial. The key to fighting obesity is education, not semantics. I digress. The real story is me, the man who took down two “sharing size” bags of M&M’s

 

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Once We Were Kings!

 

This is 4X the recommended dosage of M&M’s. I shouldn’t be alive, this tremendous feat has me wondering just what else am I capable of?

Have you seen the movie “Unbreakable”? I’m pretty much Bruce Willis discovering that he has superpowers.

I mean just how many bags of these sharing M&Ms can I eat? I feel incredible after two. I bet I could eat at least another whole bag and not die.

My new found superpower could be used to exploit the realm of competitive eating. I think given my ability to eat M&M’s the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest would be a walk in the park. That wouldn’t be fair to the mortal eaters, just like it wouldn’t be fair if Clark Kent played in the NFL. Am I comparing myself to Superman? Sure, a little bit, but I think I’m a lot more like Galactus: Devourer of Planets, whose power by all accounts exceeds that of Superman’s.

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My Hunger, like that of Galactus, appears to be insatiable. As this story continues to develop I will be sure to keep my readers posted. I can already say that I have vastly exceeded the recommended dosage of Tums by about 4X today as well. Perhaps I have the strength and fortitude of 4 normal men. What if my mom was pregnant with quadruplets and I resorbed the other three fetuses’ like Dwight Schrute? Anything is possible in 2018.