Early in my third year of college, I found myself thinking about the passage in the Bible that says, “Man shall not live on bread alone.” I don’t know why, I just did. And of course, my thinking was, “Oh yeah?!”
And thus began the first Bread and Water Challenge. Participants could consume only bread and water, supplemented by viatmins (to be on the safe side) and of course, whatever medications they would normally be taking. Everyone put in five bucks at the start and the last man standing would take the pot.
There was some deliberation about what would be allowed under the banner of “bread.” Regular loaves of bread and dinner rolls were in the clear. Pumpernickle and rye were debated, but ultimately approved. But what about bagels? Or English muffins? After all, they’re basically bread in a different form. But, that went against the spirit of the whole thing, so they were ruled out, along with anything that had any fruits or spices in it like cinnamon or raisin bread.
Most of us fell to absent-mindedness rather than hunger or lack of will power. We started the challenge shortly before Halloween, so there were RAs coming around the dorms handing out candy with condoms or pamphlets about drinking responsibly or somesuch, and I was knocked out when I popped a piece of candy in my mouth without thinking.
Just about everyone was out within the first week, but once it got down to the last two guys, they were both determined to win and hung in there for a couple weeks. In the end, I think one of them bought the other a garbage plate as a bribe to forfeit.
There’s really no point to the story. It was one of those things you do in college because you can, and one of those stories I don’t want to forget.