A Gif of Nikocado Avocado
by Dominic Jackson·
We were renovating our new house when we found it in the attic. My friend Mike and myself put together to get on the property ladder and purchased a kinda mangled 2 up 2 down terraced house in Manchester. Be our own landlords, be hugely in debt to a bank and paint over our own roaches. When we rented last, our previous lord of the house told us not to worry when the oven started leaking gas into our kitchen. He said "Oh you've probably not kept the windows open, I'll send somebody over next week to fix it." And we had to spend an entire 15 days holding our breath whilst making cereal and being nervous about our gas bill. What could we do? We wouldn't get our damage deposit back if we tried to fix it ourselves.
The house had been neglected for years with most of the electricity switches having been painted over so many times that we had to smash them with the heel of a bottle to turn the lights on and off. So we thought we'd invest a little money in trying to improve the place, heal it, make it better for ourselves and whoever might live here next.
Mike was in the attic laying new house cotton candy for insulation and I was in the living room watching a man on youtube attempt to eat 20 cheeseburgers in under a minute when I heard a scream and a tumbling sound come from upstairs. My video was really short so I didn't really want to look away, I shouted "You alright Mike? Sounds like you've had a bit of a tumble there?!" My mans on 17 burgs with only 10 seconds to go and I don't think he's gonna pull it off, no chance.
"I think I broke my arse but I'm OK. Thank you for running to my assistance." I hear Mike's strained voice from upstairs, but its too late, my man on youtube has totally fucked it and failed the challenge by 3 seconds. He has to foot the bill now and doesn't get a T-shirt, just his photo on the wall of losers above the urinal of the diner and he's even got to pay for the meal. He shoulda just stayed at home and watched it on TV like me, then nobody would know how much of a failure he was.
"Do you need me to call an ambulance for your arse?" I shout, whilst navigating the TV over to the next eating challenge, my ability to multitask even high stress situations is quite substantial and I reflect on how very few people could juggle this many things at once. "Nah I think I'll be alright but err, you should come upstairs and see this, there's something in the attic."
I pause the video and head upstairs, Mike's on his side at the bottom of a ladder rubbing his lower back and gestures to the open attic hatch. "Watch yourself, he's up there, I think I saw him erm, move." He reaches to his back pocket and pulls out a swiss army knife and hands it to me. "Take this just incase..." He tells me as he oof ows about his bones or whatever. I take it from him and try to pull out the knife but it's hard to do without nails so I pull out the corkscrew tool instead and cautiously head up the ladder to peak into the attic, ready to uncork anything that might surprise me.
As I peer over the precipice and scan around, the space is empty. I look from one corner to another, noticing the roofing beams and slates, cobwebs and then, out of nowhere, in the far corner, I see it. In the corner facing me is... Me? I have to squint to get a better look but it really is me but static, in cardboard form. A life sized cardboard cutout of myself stood solemnly in the corner. It's even wearing the exact same clothes as I am right now, a white dogecore tank top and beige cargo pant shorts (it's a good summer look).
"Ok nice prank mike. You got some guy online to make a cardboard cut out of me and stuck it up here ha ha you win. Can I go back to learning knowledge on youtubes now?" I'm glancing down from the ladder at him on the floor, still rubbing the base of his spine with a disgusted look in his face, like I'd just asked him to eat an octopus raw.
"What the fuck are you talking about? I didn't put it there. Its you? what the fuck do you mean?" He asks, slowly getting up from the ground.
I look back into the attic, my head breaching the square hole so I can see into the empty expanse and look at myself in the corner staring back at me gormless. "It's just a cardboard cutout of me, come look." I gesture to him and he crawls up the ladder beside me, peering his head into the attic to see for himself.
After a second of looking at this thing together we share a glance at one another in mutual understanding, we concluded that what we were seeing was reality. There really was a lifesized cardboard cutout of myself in the attic corner. We slowly descended the ladders steps to assess the situation we had found ourselves in. I could tell by his confused face that he had no idea why it was there, it wasn't a prank, this was a true mystery.
"Is this because you called the estate agent 'sugar tits' that one time when you replied to an email whilst drunk during the purchase?" he asked quizzically. I don't remember this interaction but I wouldn't put it past me, it does sound like something I would say. "Think about it... You've pissed off the estate agents and they're fucking with us. They've placed it here to haunt us... I'll call them tomorrow and see if they can offer any explanation." Mike says, leaving towards his room, probably to masturbate whilst watching questionable pornography.
Could I have annoyed an estate agent so much they'd be this petty? To photograph me and get it printed out in life sized cardboard form and place it into the attic of my new house? It seemed too wild.. I mean I've talked to the people at that company and they seemed like professional email forwarders, not the type to have the creative vindictive mindset to perform such an elaborate prank. But at the same time they were the only people who had keys to this property and I don't remember 'cardboard cutout of Dominic in the attic' coming back on the survey results we paid for.
I went back downstairs to watch more professional gurgitators on youtube try to outsmart small eating establishments in the USA. They suffer for my viewing pleasure, on their glutton I feast on the scraps of entertainment they leave in their beards. That night I go to bed, stumbling to my single mattress like I'm on a boat in a storm because of all the wine I've drank, high on the thoughts of sitting along side the eating legends of the internet at the final supper, fighting over who can eat it the fastest as Jesus tell us all to cool it.
Chapter 2 -
I wake up the next day with a dry mouth as always and glug from the glass of water next to my bed like I'm a lost goldfish. Had I imagined last night? Seeing myself in 2D cardboard form in the attic wearing the same clothes I slept in? It seemed implausible, I guess I'll have to wait until 1pm when mike wakes up to ask him about it. Until then grab I grab my laptop from the drawer next to my bed and login for another day of customer service bullshit just in time for my shift.
During my lunch break, whilst Mike is still asleep, I call the estate agents who we purchased the house through to ask them about my avatar in the attic. I know I didn't just dream this shit, I'm not that insane... I think. I have vivid memories of meeting seemingly normal long term meth addicts who appear normal at first until you start talking to them in private and you realize their brains are full of holes and get anxious that I'm like that. totally oblivious of my own confusion.
"Hello you're through to the conveyancing team, how can I help?" A woman answers. "Hello, It's Dominic calling about the sale of 305 Carlton street that was completed last month, I was wondering, is there any mention of a cardboard cutout of myself in the attic during the surveys done?" I instantly regret how I've worded that sentence but its its too late, its already out there in the universe haunting me, awaiting to crop up when I'm trying to sleep at night.
"I'm sorry can you repeat that?" She asks
I put my thumb and forefinger between my eyes and pinch as i force the words out with a sigh "Is there... Any mention of a life sized cardboard cut out of... myself... in the attic... in the surveys?" I ask before staring at the walls imagining how much damage i could do to my fists and the plasterboard right now. She answers no, and I apologize before making an excuse to end the call.
Maybe I am going mental, there cant really be a cardboard cutout of myself in the attic surly. I'd wake up mike and ask but he's probably been playing chess and smoking weed until 9am and I'd rather not go in his room because it smells real bad and i don't want to open the door and subject myself to it.
So I climb the rickety stepladder to the attic and peak again into the corner. But it's still there, me, in the corner looking back at me in 2D, like a shit mirror. I look terrible, but then again I'd stopped paying attention to my own reflection after i turned 30 because it was too depressing. I was feeling a little morose and powerless about the situation so I decided to tube in and switch off, planting myself on the couch and loading up some professional eater content on youtube. Man Meets Beard put out a new video where he eats 30 sea cucumbers in under 20 minutes and I had money on him winning, which he did with ease. He even ordered himself a little piece of mochi as a desert, showing off whilst getting thumbs up from the locals. Last time I ate a meal that fast everyone looked at me like they regretted I was in the room and this guy's out here eating sea cocks getting praise, where did i go wrong in life?
It was probably when I was younger and thought it would be a wise decision to get a film degree, not just regular film but Art cinema production to be precise. It was a course built for people who were a smarter than average, in that they were accepted into a university, but not smart enough to realize any art degree is a scam. It left me with a massive amount of debt and mediocre skills in all aspects of film making. It was the perfect level of talent required to film and edit my own eating challenge themed youtube channel.
The next day I quit my job, telling my boss I was going onto the big leagues and no longer had time for my tech support call centre role. He wished me well and told me he was thinking about starting a podcast himself, which was absurd as I know the man is boring as fuck and the market for podcasts was already totally saturated. I smiled and shook his hand, doomed i thought, lying to him that I can't wait to listen to the first episode when he gets around to it.
With a small loan from the bank to float me for the next few months whilst my channel grew, I headed to my film my first video. It was a local cafe that had a giant classic english breakfast meal consisting of six bacon rashers, six eggs, six sausages, a burger and chips along with nearly a kilo of baked beans and toast. If you ate it within a 20 minute time frame they'd take your photo and put it on the wall of winners and the meal was for free. It seemed like an easy start, nothing too crazy and if I fucked it I could walk home and maybe throw up along the way. Apparently Pete Doherty tried to do the challenge once whilst off his tits on heroin and dozed off into his eggs and would have drowned in the yolk (aka egg gravy) if somebody hadn't narcanned him in time.
I sat down, setup my camera's (gotta go with a two camera setup, in my case it was 2 old phones) and the waitress brought over my meal, explaining that if I puked or went to the bathroom, I'd be disqualified. I nodded with understanding before turning to face the camera to introduce myself to the world.
"Hello and welcome to Meal Deal Dominic's, the channel where I deal with the meal for your pleasure."
And I start, first with the sausages which I swallow whole before moving onto the rest of the meal. I feelin total artistic flow as I my every move, every chew and gesture, is calculated to minimise the amount of time it takes for me to remove what is in front of me and load it into the landfill that is my body. I've never felt so in my element and within 5 minutes I'm using the last piece of toast to wipe the bean grease from my face before eating it, completing the challenge in record timing. The waitress gasps when she see's how quick I've eaten it but she might also have just burped im not sure, either way I think she's impressed and no doubt dripped wet from seeing a true master of his craft work. She takes my photo with an old polaroid camera and has to stand on her tip toes to place it high above the rest of the photos on the wall, a king of kings.
I don't even feel full as I leave and walk home to edit the footage, excited to begin my new life as a professional youtube eating guy, knowing that many children tonight will eat their food watching me eat mine, maybe they will wish to one day grow up to be just like me.
Chapter 3 -
No longer confined to the chains of a 9-5 occupation, I awake around 10 to see how my new youtube channel is faring. I only have one video so far and I'm not expecting much but holy shit, the video has over 420690 views already. It's hit the front page of reddit in a thread titled 'Disgusting Swallower Demolishes Britain' and I spend a couple of hours laying in bed on my laptop reading the commentary.
"This is brutal, I've never seen food eaten in this way before, this man should be chained"
"Who is this beast? I used to love eating challenges but this feels like a massacre"
"I didn't even know it was humanly possible to inhale beans like that. I have seen the face of gluttony and it is weeping"
Hell yeah. I didn't know I had it in me but clearly my antics had struck a nerve in the online mukbang scene. I didn't let my new found fame from getting to my head and focused my mind onto the next task and video. Today is the day I'm going to DJ Baby Ray's wing shack to attempt their currently unbeaten chicken wing eating challenge. The dive bar is famous for having the proprietor still spin records above the eating tables with greasy fingers, which somehow distorts the music in an ungodly manner.
There’s one thing on the menu I have on mind and its the wing eating challenge which is currently undefeated - Consume 200 chicken wings in 20 minutes. By my calculations, you'd need to eat 1 wing every 6 seconds to complete the challenge, essentially eating at a 600WPH speed. With my new found ego brought on by youtube views, i think I can demolish this wall of chicken meat to become the new daddy of Ray's bar.
I call in advance to let them know I'll be turning up
"Hey It's me" I say, the noise of the bar assaulting my eardrums as a woman's voice on the other end responds "Who?"
"I'll be there at 8pm to turbo fuck your chicken wing challenge into my guts. Be ready". I hang up before she can reply. I assume at this point that she knows exactly what kind of demon she is dealing with and I hope she's warned the kitchen of my oncoming slaughter.
Later that day I put on my most stretched out Tshirt and head out with my equipment to Ray's bar to record my next win. It's pretty empty for a Thursday evening but DJ Baby Ray is still on his podium spinning the distorted sounds of what I think is late 90's UK garage music. It's too hard to tell, the amount of grease emanating from the DJ booth's direction seems to be distorting sound and light giving the whole bar a haze akin to a sepia audio/visual filter.
I'm quick to setup and the waitress wasn't aware that I was coming in to film today but was ok with it. I guess she didn't get the memo about who I was. She places the huge mound of 200 chicken wings in front of me and then reads me the rules - No leaving your seat, no puking, every wing bone must be as dry as queen Elizabeth's cooch to win the competition, I was ready.
And so the onslaught began, in a merciless flurry of grease and bone I suck and chew my way to victory. My mind is zen but I Imagine that to an outsider, it would look like I was drowning in a vat of bbq soup and I’m clawing at the heavens for help. But I didn't need any help, just a 1 meter splash zone around myself and an understanding that if you entered that area during my trial, any damage done is on you.
I complete the task in 14 minutes and 20 seconds as the music goes quiet and I can hear somebody puking in the distance. I feel smug, knowing I am a champion but the eyes that look upon my achievement are not that of awe but of taument. I clap my hands together mightily before extending them outwards above my head in celebration of my accomplishment, standing I shout "Are you not entertained!?" looking around the bar like it's a coliseum but there's just more silence and staring.
It takes a moment before the place goes back to normal, but I can't help but feel like what I’ve done went beyond performance and spectacle and entered into new paradigms people were not willing to accept at this time. Maybe I was just too good at this? I feel very alone in a crowded room and when they come to take my photo for the wall and give me my Tshirts, I can't help but notice the fear in the eyes of the people around me, like I'm some kind of bomb.
At home Mike is watching some new youtube channel where people do tricks with chess pieces as they play. I walk into the house to see him slumped on the sofa like a deadman as the TV blasts a close up of a guy holding a rook like a tek deck making it do an ollie before landing on a checkmate to trap music.
"It's called battle chess, its for the culture" he says as I walk upstairs still thinking about how everyone looked at me back at the bar. Am I some kind of monster? I'm sure the youtube comments from my last video will make me feel a lot better. Before I go to edit my latest footage I decide to take a brief look into the attic to see what's going on with that weird cardboard cutout of myself.
I climb the steps to the ladder and as I open the hatch to go into the attic, a few fruit flies fly into my face. I waft them away and shine my torch onto the cardboard cutout to see if it's still there, and it is, but it's different. In the dark corner of the attic illuminated by my flashlight is my cardboard form, but it looks terrible, even worse than normal. There's dark sagging bags under the eyes and it’s skin is almost yellow in color. Not only that but as I look further the cardboard cutout seems larger, like it's gone up a few inches in the mid section, which is bloated and stained with food grease. I recognise it as myself but I've never seen me look that horrible and unhealthy before. Spooked to the bones I decide to focus on my future, heading back to my room to edit the footage of today's challenge.
Chapter 4 -
My YouTube channel has finally hit 50,000 subscribers. The comments are mostly positive with some disturbing ones littered in there, but that's to be expected. Here are some of my favorites...
"I watch this channel whilst trying to purge myself" - Umm ok.
"I like the sloshing noises" - Another person whose YouTube likes seemed to be mostly videos of people in wetsuits heavy breathing and rolling around in septic tanks. Not sure what this means.
"This is a prime example of a beta male, always consuming. He thinks he's the incredible bulk of the story but really he's the ant man of ego, somebody who really needs to pick a lane" - Go read another book you fucking loser.
The nice comments are grand though and I enjoy how much positivity I seem to be bringing the world. There's a lot of comments about how everyone at DJ baby Rays was just a miserable cunt who didn't recognise a true legend when they saw one. This wave of compliments online was louder than the silence I endured from the bar patrons that night, so to me it was more relevant and important. After all, who do you want to be? You or the version of yourself you project onto the internet for validation?
My next few eating challenges were a breeze and I started getting recognized in real life from my channel. People would come up to me and say things like "Oh shit I love your channel bro, I watch you every day whilst I'm eating my cereal!" and I couldn't get enough of it. I was live streaming my attempt at a jellied eel challenge in the east end of London, eating 2 Kilos of jellied eels in an hour, when my live stream got raided by Joey Chestnut, the legendary speed hotdog eater. I didn't even know he had a twitch account, that's when I knew I was hitting the big leagues.
At home though, despite my new fame and financial security, things were deteriorating. My relationship with my housemate Mike was deteriorating. He would just sit smoking weed all day on the living room couch watching people play chess or documentaries about ancient Rome or playing chess online. He had become obsessed with battle chess, the act of doing real life trick moves with the pieces before you place them on the board, to the detriment of my coffee table which now had a hundred scratches engraved into it. I was starting to resent him.
When we first moved in together, we would share meals and responsibilities but after a while I realized I was the only one cooking dinner and cleaning. I had somehow sleep walked into being his mother. I remember one night in particular I cooked us both some hotdogs and he was livid that the meal didn't have any side's like a salad and I was so angry I had to stop myself from launching the hotdog through his fucking skull. I didn't cook for him again after that and told him if he wanted to eat he could make his own dinner or rummage through the bins like a fucking rat for all I care.
Right now I felt like that was boiling over again. Him always in the living room chiseling away at my coffee table with his chess pieces, farting up a storm. I gave up on the shared space for the tranquility of my room. Whilst I was trying to sleep that night, I heard this dripping sound on my ceiling coming from the attic. A slow drip, drip drip like a leaky roof in the rain, but it wasn't raining.
Unable to get over the sound, I climbed the ladder in the hallway to peak my head into the attic to see where the dripping sound was coming from, armed only with a flashlight and my expert 20/20 vision. peering around for any leaky slates but I could find nothing, until I braved myself to look towards the cardboard cutout of me in the far corner of the room I'd been avoiding.
It was bad... like really bad. It was still me, I could tell by its eyes. But the body was bloated, sagging under its weight. Its clothes stained a myriad of colors, like joseph's technicolor raincoat if the raincoat was a wife beater and the colors were all something you'd find on a used napkin. Disgusting looking. It was also glistening, not with water but with grease, which is what was likely dripping onto my ceiling above my head as I was trying to sleep. The disgusting death patter of a fat dying man. Not too dissimilar to Boogie's career.
I didn't have time for this mirage in my attic, my future called out to me from my duel monitors, in the comments section I was a god. What good would it be to focus on this bizarre visage in my attic when I could indulge in online discourse? I had amassed a loyal fanbase who would protect me like factor 50 SPF and were eager to consume my next video. This is what I needed to focus on, not my past and present, just the adoring masses I needed to feed my content to like mewling pups. I would be there for them whilst they were looking for a ten minute video to watch whilst eating dinner. I will let them suckle on my entert-teet-ment and relax their brains for a moment, nourished by my content.
To be Continued.