Battling the biggest burger in town.

I’m not a wolf, though I wish I were. If given the choice, I would gladly opt to spend my days freely running through the woods with my lupine companions. Alas, I was born a mere human like you. “Despite my short comings of being human, I would soon get a taste of what it would be like to exist as a carnivore by stuffing my face with the 8lb Thurmanator.

I’m not even much of a human—a scrawny 140 pounds and almost no body hair below my neck. My diet consists of mostly apples, bananas, and milkshakes. And no meat. Not for any particular reason, mostly it just makes me feel weird and gross, and I don’t want to put it in my body. I consume far fewer calories in a day than is recommended just because I don’t give many f*cks about food.

I couldn’t tell you when I last ate a cheeseburger (I have a fuzzy memory of munching one on a bar patio in Toledo in the Summer of 2009,) but when my editor asked if I would take on the massive three-meat double-patty Thurmanator—a Columbus food legend if there ever was one—I said yes immediately. An average piece of meat turns my stomach, but something about this made my tail perk up.

I didn’t want to break back into the carnivore game with just any fast food patty. In fact, I still had no interest in consuming animal bits unless it was a whopping 4000 calorie beast of a meal, a greasy monstrosity that rivaled my own mortal being in sheer mass. This sandwich has been featured on Man Vs. Food, and even the host, Adam Richman, couldn’t take it down.

Why was I doing such a thing? Even if it were for an assignment, this would hardly classify as journalism. It was nothing more than a study in how much my body could handle, or not handle. I would probably wind up sweating and vomiting on a public bathroom floor, and that’s if I could even choke down the first bite. This was nothing more than a Jackass stunt to be played out in the less-exciting medium of the written word. But now I was committed, and I was going primal.

I woke up that fateful morning soaking wet. I dreamed of meat sweats dripping from my pores, a mouth full of barnyard muscle that I couldn’t swallow—just a ball of meat clogged up in the top of my esophagus, cutting off my air supply. I looked out the window to the first major snowfall of the year and wiped my brow. Winter wasn’t coming. Winter was here. I ripped a bong to facilitate my appetite, and stepped out into the cold morning air.

I was the first person in the door and ordered my sandwich without pickles or mayo, (because those things are f*cking gross and I was here for the protein.) I was asked how I would like my burger prepared, and it had been so many years since I ordered a burger I didn’t know how to reply. Standard? Two twelve ounce beef patties, a stack of ham and bacon, mozzarella and American cheese, mushrooms, onions, banana peppers, just give it all to me and let me do my thing. Soon, a swaying tower of juicy meats and cheeses, standing a full foot tall, was placed in front of me. It was intimidating of course, but it seemed within the realm of possibility. For the first time I thought, “I can do this.”

And I f*cking did it.

I ripped into that meat like a werewolf on steroids and didn’t stop until my plate was clean. I could taste the bitter iron of the blood on the tip of my tongue, and it fueled me. I could feel my body trying to sort out the gluttonous punishment I was putting it through, but my mind didn’t waver. I was in hog (and cow) heaven! Ten minutes in and I was 75% finished without so much as breaking a sweat. I made a mental note to remind my editor I was shortening my life expectancy for him.

The ham was by far the hardest part—slimy sheets of pink rubber that were still too close to the color of a still-breathing pig for my taste. I pushed them around on my plate, saving them for last, but I was going for the kill. 16 minutes after I started, I laid my fork down. I had gone primal. I defeated the Thurmanator. I knew what it felt like to gnash my teeth through the mortal remains of something lower on the food chain, and I stepped outside to howl at the shining sun in celebration.

So, in case you need to pad on some extra pounds to keep you warm this winter, or you just want to become an exclusive member of Columbus carnivore elite, stop in at Thurman’s Cafe for an unrivaled foodie experience. Don’t worry; this monster burger won’t bite back.

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