The Gallon Challenge

Dumb Things We Do. Like Drink Too Much Milk.

For the first years of our marriage, Lizard was a youth pastor. And a mighty fine one, if I may say so. On all levels.


Ahem. Back to my point.


One of the things I appreciated about my husband’s leadership style was he typically avoided the gross, over-the-top activities known and loved by so many youth pastors across the country. But not always.


Yes, on occasion we had a Saltine race, where you chomp up Saltines and then whistle Happy Birthday or some other little ditty. Then there was the day he filled a diaper with warm water and threw it at unsuspecting youngsters just for their terrified reactions. Yeah, that was fun.


However, it wasn’t until we went to summer camp that our youth group showed off the depravity of games just for the sake of idiocy. I ran across this article today and it took me on a walk down memory lane…


It was Thursday night, Talent Night. Our youth group was not so full of the types that could sing or dance and inspire awe. We were more of the slapstick, Mafia, party game-types. Several of our young ladies decided they would enter the contest with their own style: The Gallon Challenge.


If you’re not familiar with the Gallon Challenge, participants are required to drink one gallon of milk in one hour without vomiting.


Sounds simple, huh? Let me assure, it is not.


Our gals were the first “act” of the talent show. They raised their milk gallons high, sloshed them together in an act of celebratory challenge, then set themselves up in a semi-circle around a trash can toward the rear of the stage for the rest of the event.


The Emcee would check in with them between acts and assess their progress. It wasn’t too long before puke hit the trash can. One competitor down.


Truthfully, the details get a little hazy for me at this point except for two items: One camper, who’s talent involved whipping other campers with licorice (I’ve never understood that one and still find it disturbing) saw his act was not well-received by the crowd. So he charged to the rear of the stage, sloshed his hands around in the vomit-collecting trash can and drank another person’s vomit.


No telling how many health code violations that incurred. I also can’t count the number of nightmare’s I’ve had about that moment. Kind of like when I read a Stephen King book and he described someone scrambling through the woods on all fours and putting their hands into a decomposing forest creature. Ug.


The second strong memory I have from the Gallon Challenge? May I assure you, even though the “winner” of the challenge is the one who doesn’t throw up, it’s far, far better to be a “loser.” One of our competitors couldn’t throw up at all. She desperately wanted to chuck the cookies, her belly was bloated, her intestines were producing excess amounts of gas… and she couldn’t get the milk out of her stomach.


That girl was in agony. Yep. Better to puke.


Thanks for sharing this walk down memory lane with me. The article I read also suggested eating a banana and drinking a 2-liter of Sprite. Doesn’t sound pleasant – although maybe it’s more pleasant than the Mentos and Diet Coke experiment. I suspect that one could land you in the hospital with a ruptured gut.


Did you ever accept any goofy challenges? What’s the funniest party game you’ve ever played?


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4 thoughts on “The Gallon Challenge

  • April 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    PlainJane, I think you and I would have similar “fond” memories (excuse me while I barf) of the youth group game that involved chewing up and spitting out bananas to make “baby food” for the youth pastor to eat. Didn’t we sit that one out?

    • April 14, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Um, yeah. Icky. …and how did that relate to God, exactly? Exactly.


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