Teens and adults eat their fears at Briggs Library

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

Franklin D. Roosevelt said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, but then he wasn't talking about chowing down on maggots and green sauce with a bloody mess for dessert.

Tuesday night about 30 teens and adults paired up to participate in the Teen-Parent Food Fear Factor at the Chesapeake branch of the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library. The event was designed to celebrate Teen Read Week and encourage the bond between parents and their teens.

"It went great and I think it's awesome that so many parents would come to do this," Kara Speed, instructor at the Dawson-Bryant Teacher Academy and emcee for the Food Fear Factor, said.

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The parents (and teens) might have been more reluctant to dig in had they carefully reviewed the menu in advance. Participants started with Barf Dip as an appetizer; then moved on to Maggots in Green Sauce for the entree. Cat Puke Casserole followed as the main course; then came a Bloody Mess for dessert and a Green Snot Shake to wash it all down.

All the offered items were made from edible ingredients like anchovies, cream cheese, Vienna sausages, strawberries and kraut juice. It was the combination of foods that made them so fearfully disgusting. Trash cans were on hand for those unable to keep the yummy items down.

"Go! Go! Come on, you can do it. Don't give up now," the audience cheered while participants choked back their tears and fears.

For the first-place winners, a more appetizing meal at Red Lobster awaited them. Second place awardees received a gift certificate to another local restaurant.

Those famous Cheddar Bay biscuits were sounding good to the winning team, especially after consuming the dessert and the casserole. What was their secret to capturing the prize?

"Just putting all the food in my mouth," Lisa Lewis, a 13-year-old seventh grader from Chesapeake, said.

Lewis' sister had a more difficult time doing that, but she pulled through for her teammate.

"Those Vienna sausages just about got me," Tammy Bush, 33 from Chesapeake, said. "She (Lewis) watches Fear Factor all the time. She loves it and she didn't have anyone to do it (the contest) with her. So I told her 'I have a weak stomach,' but I said I would try it for her."

Speed said the success of this year's Food Fear Factor probably means that it will be back in 2005. Both Lewis and Bush said they would probably return to defend their title.

The event was part of the library's ongoing community programs for children and young adults.