Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Happy Friday! Casey Wyatt here.

Meet the He won't be smiling for long.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, now is a good time  to discuss the old adage – all things in moderation.

 A few weeks back, my family went to Mystic, CT and Stonington Point. This was so I could “research” the next book after Mystic Ink. At lunch time, my hubby decided to take on the Vodoo Curse Burger Challenge at the Voodoo Grill. Click here for the burger’s gory details.

In a nutshell, the challenge is a four patty bacon cheeseburger, loaded with all kinds of greasy stuff and a pound of gravy laden fries. Oh, yeah, and you have to eat it all in 30 minutes or less.


Of course none of these facts daunted my fearless man, who grunted, “Bring it on” to the catcalls of our teenage sons.

It wasn’t long before the monstrous burger arrived at our table. The owners took his picture (in case he won) and wished him luck. The boys proceeded to “jeer” their father on. I was skeptical, but curious to see if he could do it.


He dug in with earnest. Men from the bar stopped by our table and clapped him on the back in manly camaraderie, “We’re rooting for you, buddy.”

About ten minutes into the challenge, half the burger was gone. Maybe he could defeat the Curse Burger.

A few more bites later and hubby was looking a bit . . .  full. One of my sons offered “to make a patty disappear”. Not by eating it, but by flinging in onto a nearby roof like a frisbee.

That idea was soundly rejected by both parents. No cheating.

So much left to chew....

Like a trooper hubby kept eating. And then he hit the wall….

The kids proclaimed him lame. The pound of gravy laden fries remained untouched.

He sighed and pushed the plate away and conceded, “I’m done.”

The Curse Burger had added another loser to the wall of shame.  But wait… is hubby really a loser in this scenario? Yes, we were out the <choke> twenty dollars it cost for the burger from Hell. And he failed to achieve burger glory. Yet…

Loser or winner?

Let’s see the situation differently. Rather than gorging himself sick (and then suffering the rest of the afternoon and through an hour drive back home), hubby chose to stop.

Sometimes, you have to recognize that you’ve taken on more than you can handle. There’s nothing wrong with holding up your hand and saying “no more” or “enough already.”

Tell me, what lessons have you learned about taking on too much? And do you have the wisdom to say “no” when you should?

21 thoughts on “Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew”

  1. Gak! Your husband showed heroic chutzpah in taking on the challenge, and wisdom in accepting defeat rather than suffering the awful later consequences. He will live to fight another day. Saying no sometimes, and putting our own welfare ahead of other people’s expectations and wants/needs, is a tough lesson to learn.

    1. Yes, I’d like to think he took the “high” road. The kids, of course, don’t quit get that yet. Or maybe they just love teasing him about the burger that he couldn’t finish!

    1. Morning, darlin’. Are you on East Coast time today? Yes, I think he’d watched too many episodes of Man vs. Food! I’m just glad he knew when to stop. That burger was enormous and the greasy onions rings and jalapeño poppers was queasing me out!

      1. I love Man vs. Food! Adam R is kind of a cutie. Cracks me up that there are entire television series devoted to men (notice it’s never women) taking on these crazy food challenges.

  2. Casey, that’s the difference between a boy and a man in my book. Knowing when you’ve reached your limit…unlike my number two son who in his senior year entered a pancake eating contest against the rival high school and downed fourteen pancakes in six minutes. He and his two team mates won with an astonishing record of thirty-two pancakes, he of course eating the lions share and walking away with a hundred bucks in his pocket. He didn’t ralph but he had to lay down in the parking lot for about twenty minutes before he could move.

    Unfortunately, he learned from me the fine art of learning everything the hard way. I blogged about this very thing over on my Friday blog at

    Thanks to maturity and some rocky roads, I’ve learned to say “no” to anything that will push me over the fine line of balance, but I continue to test my limits as this is my way, and I find that the personal growth I gain when I push my boundaries is often worth the discomfort. With food…not so much.

    1. I love pancakes, but man, that gives me a stomach ache just hearing that!

      And I agree – sometimes it’s hard to know if saying “no” is because we are preserving balance or because we’re afraid of leaving our comfort zone.

  3. WOW! That’s some burger. I got full just looking at it. The darn thing is nearly as tall as I am! I do think I know someone who could eat that and would love to see him try. As for biting off more than I can chew … I do tend to take on too much, but when I do, I remember that crazy old question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time … so, I take my time, complete one task at a time, and before I know it …. I’m done. Cute story, Casey.

    1. It was a very scary hamburger. I think all us ladies tend to take on too much, so it’s nice to hear that we’ve learned moderation. I’m constantly running around my house saying – one thing at a time. I’m trying to reform my uber multi-tasker ways.

  4. Casey, I commented two paragraph’s worth. But I lost my server, you might still get it. But I have reached my limitation and have to move on. Sorry, but thanks. Loved the post.

  5. Oh just eww, to spending that much on a hamburger. Did he have to sign a release before ordering it? It’s looks like a heart attack on a bun.

  6. Great post, Casey!
    Well, I will say this… I think I got sick just looking at the picture of the burger. That just looks… wrong.
    As for taking on more than I should and learning my lesson… Uh, not so much. I’m a crazy person. I have some time off this month, and I’m feeling oddly adrift, because, between work, kids, writing, and judging contests, I’m usually inundated with stuff to do. (Not to mention the fact that my muse is digging in her heels and refusing to cooperate) Right now, having finished a manuscript and waiting on edits for another, and being between stories, I’m feeling so lazy. I could use this extra time to clean my house, but that’s just too productive for my blood. So once I go back to work, that’s when somehow I’ll find the time to clean. And what do you bet that’s when my dearly departed muse will decide, “Oh, hey, let’s write!”

    1. Omigosh – the same thing happens to me. If I give an inch, the muse takes a mile, so it’s better to never take anytime off. Right?? I’m in the same spot. I doing NaNo this year, but it’s with a story I’ve struggled with since January 2010. It’s in better shape but still not what I want. Oh well, there are always dust bunnies to vacuum right?

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