Chances are most people will go through life never having to eat a combination of live ants, fermented squid guts and burning hot habanero chili peppers. That is, of course, unless they're contestants on Fear Factor.
Contestants almost always seem to have a hard time getting through our Fear Factor eating stunts. That got us thinking-What if we came up with a stunt in which contestants would have to actually eat a couple of gross foods at once? You know, kind of like a Combo Meal from Hell.
We came up with a game of Fear Factor Billiards that would test both their ability to eat a gross food combo and their skill at hitting a cue ball. Further proof that you just never know when all those hours of misspent youth in the pool hall will come in handy.
Of course, we're not talking conventional billiards here. When do we ever do ANYTHING conventional on this show? We set up a four-ball diamond formation at one end of the table. Each ball had one of four custom-made Fear Factor patterns: a chili pepper, a squid, an ant and an egg. The contestants were given a cueball and five shots to sink the four balls into the pockets. Any balls left on the table would represent the food they would have to eat.
Well, we got to see some surprisingly good pool playing. And, as you might expect, we also got to see some bad pool playing. As a result, our contestants collectively sampled something from all four of our twisted Fear Factor food groups.
One of the worst ingredients in tonight's competition is the habanero pepper. It looks innocuous enough, kind of like a miniature pumpkin. But don't let the looks deceive you. These are the hottest peppers known to mankind. Even people accustomed to peppers have a hard time with these little devils. We had testers in the office who complained that their lips had actually gone numb after taking a bite. Sure enough, our contestants were spitting up and suffering long after the stunt was over.
Likewise, we came up with some especially awful squid and eggs for this stunt. The squid was shiokara, a very salty Japanese dish made up of fermented guts. And the eggs were putrid duck eggs commonly known in the Asian community as 100 Year Old Eggs.
The eggs, of course, were not literally 100 years old. But they could just as well have been. They are preserved well past their prime and taste like no egg you have ever tasted before. The yolk turns into a horrible green mold and the white becomes a dark brown gel with an alkaline taste. Sounds yummy, eh?
Oh, and don't forget about the live ants. Many a Fear Factor contestant can tell you that it's never fun having a bunch of live crawly things in your mouth, especially when you know that you eventually have to swallow them. Ants are no exception to the rule.
So, what would you aim for if you were playing Fear Factor Billiards? Would you try to sink the pepper and egg balls first? Would you go for the shiokara and the ants? Or would you just say "Forget it!" and take the walk of shame?
by Rich Brown