Whatever Happened To Keeping Your Word?

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Whatever Happened To Keeping Your Word?

“You’re only as good as your word.” This adage is probably older than written record, or maybe it isn’t. I have no idea, but the message remains: when did it become alright to go against your word? Telling people you’ll join them out for drinks and no showing, that phenomenon “ghosting” kids are talking about these days, or plain reneging on bets. Where is the humanity?

Plainly put, when you tell someone you’re going to do something, then you don’t answer the phone, text, DM, Twitter or whatever mode of communication, then that should be grounds for a verbal lashing. If you don’t have your word, what do you have?

Like my man Delph, I’m all about doing it for the story. There have been many times someone has dropped a “you won’t throw that TV off the balcony” or “you won’t Goldberg Spear that fire door” (I did).

When I was interning with the police, I used to talk a big game about my ability to eat spicy foods. In a put up or shut up move, the police chief, who is now one of my best friends, challenged me to partake in our town’s wing eat off. No ordinary wing eating challenge, this particular sauce is 7 million on the Scoville. For reference, police grade pepper spray is roughly 1 million. It was a “put up or shut up moment.”

I agreed, thinking I was some sort of badass. After signing my waiver and watching someone else in the restaurant scream in pain and chug water, I was hesitant and to be honest, I thought about weaseling out. True to my word, I accepted the challenge. It was one of the worst things that has ever happened to me, and I’ve been hit by a teenage girl talking on her cellphone. Bite one wasn’t so bad until eight seconds later when it felt like I swallowed a hot coal.

I ate it as fast as I could manage, sweating from every orifice and swelling up like I was stung by a horde of hornets. For the next 18 hours, I couldn’t be more than 10 yards from a toilet, I slept on the floor in my bathroom and felt like I was going to die. If you or anyone you love wants to do a wing challenge, don’t do it. I don’t know how that fat bastard Adam Richmond has done it, but I guess that’s why his doctors won’t let him do food challenges anymore.

I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of many a won and lost bet. In grad school, I paid for a third of my rent handicapping sports. I’ve been up as much as $2,500 and as low as $35 on a $200 deposit to my now defunct offshore betting account. I’ve also bet through a bookie, as did my roommates. One of my roommates skipped town on a $1500 debt to the bookie, causing him to stop dealing with us. Don’t write a check your ass can’t cash.

As an avid sports bettor, I like to engage in some friendly Grandex ribbings, notably with renowned pasty bastard, Bacon. As with any overzealous Mizzou fan, I bet him preseason that Mizzou would not win 9 games. This was blood in the water to him, because Mizzou had a few decent years while winning an incredibly weak SEC East. I even let him have bowl season in an effort to be a good sport, with the promise that he retweet an article of mine.

Spoilers: Mizzou wasn’t even bowl eligible, they had tumultuous fallout, the players rioted and they lost their coach. I know he was super sad about it based on his tweets but four months and Bacon has not come through on his end of the bargain. He even went as far to promise that it was in the mail, well over a month ago.

At a certain point, you gotta follow through and it’s not even about the beer, it’s about sending a message. In the end, a man is only as good as his word. If you don’t have your word, what do you have? Ball is in your court, Bacon.


Image via Shutterstock

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