Meet the Two Geniuses Who Lived on Cheese Puffs and Licorize for a Week
I first met Rajiv a few years ago when I interviewed him about his band, Oh No Forest Fires (RIP). Besides having a beard that would make lesser men envious, he was also born and raised in Newfoundland, which means he’s capable of drinking most other human beings under the table. Since I’m also from the East Coast and we share several mutual friends, we got along pretty well and stayed in touch after he moved to St. John’s to study medicine. Recently, I was perusing the ol’ Facebook and saw that he was engaged in an “experiment” where he could only eat Hawkins Cheezies (the Canadian equivalent to Cheetos) for 127 hours straight (or one business week), with just water and one vitamin pill per day to keep from dying. To make this challenge even more interesting, his friend Ian also participated, eating only Hershey’s Nibs. This all sounded incredibly stupid to me so I checked in with them a few days after they finished to make sure they were still alive, and find out why exactly they put themselves through such an ordeal.
VICE: Are you an idiot? Ian: No, we were just at a party and Rajiv was eating some Cheezies and said, matter-of-factly, “You know, I could probably eat only Hawkins Cheezies for the rest of my life.” I instantly said, “Really? How long do you think you could actually live on only Cheezies?” On some level I might have just grown tired of hyperbolic statements that are thrown around so casually, but that’s probably not what actually went through my head. We went back and forth deciding how long he could realistically go and came up with 127 hours, with the justification that if a guy could live trapped under a rock for that long, it should be easy enough to just eat a delicious snack for the same amount of time. And, I think to really push him to find out, I said I’d eat something else exclusively for the same amount of time. He came up with Nibs, a candy that isn’t really one of my favorites but one that I do like, and for some reason, I agreed.
Rajiv: I think the more important values—if we can call them that—at play here were things like raw stubbornness, curiosity, and a sense of one-upmanship. In a lot of ways, it’s the same reason I drank a pint of my best friend’s urine or ate a raw hot dog out of a puddle on George Street.
You didn’t just eat them as is. What are some of the methods you used to prepare your food? I saw the Vine of the Cheezies smoothie… Rajiv: Yeah. I mean, let’s face it, they taste best raw, room temp. We tried boiling them, straining it, and eating a pasta-esque dish. It ended up just being like warm, mushy, processed cheesy corn meal… and to be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. The Cheezie smoothie was much worse. I tried to get it down quickly, gagged, and brought the whole thing back up.
Ian: I tried a few different techniques to keep my meals interesting, but neither of them made my food taste any less like Nibs. 1) Frozen: just made them really hard and cold. 2) Fried: tasted a bit worse than regular Nibs—almost like burnt hair, maybe—but at least it was a slightly different taste. 3) Boiled: they just melted and became slimy and hard to eat. 4) Smoothied: flavored water, nothing special.
I’m going to tell you what a demon once told me: It is okay to want your own happiness. It’s okay to care about yourself the most. It’s okay to do what’s healthy for YOU. When someone hits you, it’s okay to hit back and then ask them what the hell they expected. It’s okay. You are not obligated to sit there and smile and swallow every bit of shit everyone heaps on you. You are more than furniture, you’re more than window dressing, you’re not their shiny toy. You’re human, and you have the right to say “That was shitty of you”. You have a right to say “Let me feed that back to you; tell me, how does it taste?” You have a right to protest your own mistreatment and set boundaries for respectful interactions. The rest of the world doesn’t realize you have this right, and they will act offended and appalled when you exercise it, but it is yours.
By SonneillonV (via masturbationdestination)