Chicken, Waffles, and the Time We Almost Lost Our Founder

Gather round, and listen to one of the most prominent tales in Team Horde Overwatch history. Though this tale takes place in the team’s infancy, it was one of the formative experiences that brought us founding members closer together. It is a David and Goliath story, pitting a small chicken bone versus a large Australian man, a story of fear at the potential loss of a new friend, and of quick thinking. Enter what I will now call “Bloke and the Wing”

Blizzcon 2016. Team Horde Overwatch and friends make dinner plans as the sun sets. As though planning for 15 people wasn’t difficult enough, the reader must remember that the Aussies were without phones, and the rest without solid contact between each other. After deliberations and many missed texts and calls, it was settled: Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. A short hop, skip and a jump away from the Hilton, the crew(cut down to 7 by now) made their way down the street, intent on filling their bellies with the delectable combination.

Upon arrival, we found the joint was packed, and although another round of Denny’s was tempting, decided to stick it out. Before long, Leeroy Jenkins’ table was set, and in we went with empty stomachs and no idea that the night was about to take a dark turn. The time spent waiting was for nought, as we still had trouble deciding what to order, but soon made our choices and twiddled our thumbs in anticipation of the upcoming feast.

Obligatory selfies were had, jokes were made, and soon the table was stacked high with chicken, waffles, and all their fatty counterparts. We dug in, intent on cramming food down our gullets in preparation for the drinks to follow. Suddenly, a sound. A cough. Nay, choking.

“Bloke, you alright?” We asked, eyebrows furrowed in worry.

Though he motioned us away with a wave of the hand, the man still choked. Now he stood, struggling to dislodge the nefarious chicken bone stuck in his throat. Acting fast, Slink jumped up and performed the Heimlich on the large Australian man. This seemed to help, if only for a moment. With a few more coughs and gags, he seemed to have recovered.

As he regained color, Bloke stepped outside to compose himself, thankful for the air he still breathed. Upon returning, we all assured ourselves he was okay, and hesitantly returned to our meal. Bloke, on the other hand, left the rest of his meal untouched.

At the time it was scary for all of us. Is he actually choking? Is he asking for help or waving us way? Upon his return to the table, we picked through every piece of that meal to make sure no one else would suffer at the feet of this fiendish fowl. The whole evening was one of those small events that you don’t know will stick with you. Even still, I can remember the anxiety of my newfound friend, and the relief when he had caught his breath and assured us he was okay. However, that meal taught us a few things. We were friends now, had a shared experience worth retelling, a “you had to be there” deal. We solidified our team for more than casual Overwatch and slinging Tito’s. That, and to never return to that godforsaken restaurant, lest it try to claim another member of our team.

Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading!
-Burnie, Team Manager