Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Waffle Off: When Opportunity Knocks, You'd Better Answer

Toward the end of January, Daniel Smith, Jason Clay, and Taylor Kaiser faced off for the right to challenge Joya in the waffle off final tonight.  And then...the unexpected.  The Rev. Dr. Bat Girl showed up.  A blast from our past.  A champion tied, but never beaten.  She pushed Joya aside and said she would challenge the winner of the preliminary on Shrove Tuesday.  Waffle-inator she is, and unbeaten.  It was her right.  You might say she had a fever, and the only prescription...is making waffles for 150 people.

The Glory Days
Daniel won, but he has a new child at home and apparently enjoys spending time with her (I've seen the photos.  She is adorable.).  So he backed out.  I have had a discussion with him about his priorities.

Jason had initially indicated he could likely step up, but as it turns out he sustained a season-ending elbow pull while training.  (As you may recall from his PR campaign, his training regimen is intense: https://www.facebook.com/jason.clay.927/videos/10217995490216320/  )  So Jason is out, and we wish him a speedy recovery and hope he can compete again.

Taylor, having used his entire supply of home-grown jalapenos in his initial bid, will be unable to grow an adequate number to compete again.  His banana crop, while bountiful, doesn't pair as well with maple syrup.

That said, Dr. Bat Girl threw down, and someone has to step up.  Someone must pick up the Decatur First flag and shout with a loud voice that we will not go down without a fight!  We will not fade quietly into the night!

For 12 long years I have watched the waffle-off from the sidelines.  I have not voted.  I have not competed.  People ask me, "John, why don't you compete?"  My answer is always the same.  "It wouldn't be right."

Why wouldn't it?  Because I have made waffles in more than 40 cities across 20 states.  I've made waffles from Boston to Los Angeles and in literally every state in between the two.  There are desk clerks at more than 40 Hampton Inns who can verify my gifts at using the self-serve waffle maker.

I would never have competed, but fate has forced my hand.  Perhaps this is my time to come from the shadows.  Perhaps this is my time to pour my heart and soul into a waffle iron and throw myself on the mercy of the voters.  Tonight I cook waffles for my church and for my choir and say that the Waffle-inator was born here...and the Waffle-inator belongs here.

I could fail.  The relative safety of the self-serve waffle, forged from pre-mixed batter, is hardly adequate preparation for a competition this intense and a seasoned champion.  And I have not been training.  I come from nowhere with nothing to lose and nothing to prove.  But if I fail, it will be because I love the people who make up our church and I believe in our mission to spread God's love far and wide.

The time to step up has arrived.  David has turned to face Goliath with naught but a sling and smooth river stones.  Here I stand.  I cannot do otherwise.  God help me.  Amen.

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