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Guy Finds Meaning, Pain Overnight in a Waffle House

Man who lost fantasy football had to spend 24 hours, with time off for each waffle
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2021 4:25 PM CDT
Updated Jun 26, 2021 4:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Mississippi man’s mouth wrote a check his body very much did not want to cash. He promised to spend 24 hours straight in a Waffle House, with a one-hour credit given for each waffle eaten. If your first question is, "did he lose a bet?” then you’re on the right track. This was punishment for coming in last in his fantasy football league. Lee Sanderlin, a reporter at the Clarion Ledger, live tweeted the experience, and followed it up with a story in his paper. It’s a story of pain—and redemption. Sanderlin starts out strong at 4:07pm on June 17. "I got some books, some magazines and some podcasts. And two waffles to start." By the time he’d been there for an hour and a half, he was four waffles into the adventure. "Please, somebody, launch me into the sun," he tweeted.

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Nearly done with his fifth waffle at hour three, he starts to lose motivation. "Need to find that extra gear and push through," he tweeted. Turns out that extra gear was reverse. Or, as he put it later, "I had to exorcise some batter-covered demons." He made it through 9 waffles—3,960 calories—before earning his freedom at 7:07am June 18. Makeba Parker, the Waffle House’s manager enjoyed the visit much more than Sanderlin did. "You can spend as much time as you want," she told Buzzfeed. The last minutes of the visit, as physically uncomfortable as they must have been, were the best for Sanderlin. A mom who had lost a son who was a huge fantasy football fan, Cyndi Hayes, saw the tweets and drove over to support Sanderlin. She thanked him for making her smile and left. "All of a sudden, those 15 hours felt worth it in a way they hadn't moments before," he wrote. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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