One person's loss is another person's gain.
In this instance, the loss was a fantasy football season last-place finish and subsequent stay at Waffle House for Michael Carsley, who had to spend 24 consecutive hours in the restaurant with an hour subtracted for every scrumptious waffle he scarfed down. But while we can all assume that it would be a dreadful experience for Carsley — it's a punishment, after all, which Carsley called the "single most miserable thing I've ever put my body through" — we may not assume that someone else would benefit from it so much.
And we're not talking about his league mates benefitting by being supremely entertained and laughing their behinds off. We're talking about the waitress that watched over Carsley's waffle-binging session, in which he consumed 18 of the chain restaurant's specialities in nearly six hours for a $49 tab.
"A lot of people started paying it forward after seeing what we were doing," Carsley explained to Travis Caldwell of CNN, referencing fellow customers at the Waffle House.
But it was not the physical donations but the virtual ones, thanks to a Facebook livestream of the event, that really helped waitress Mosammat Shumi's day turn from an unusual one into an unforgettable one.
"I went into this thinking, we might be able to raise 100, 200 bucks," Carsley said of his mindset prior to polishing off a stack of seven waffles. "It was growing exponentially. First it was $60, then $150, then $200, close to $300."
By the end of the excruciating process, with the donations continuing to pile up, over $1,000 went to Shumi as a tip. She thanked him profusely, and her reaction was "priceless" according to Carsley.
"I would do it again," Carsley said. "The punishment was absolutely horrible, but it was more worth it than anything."
In one of my leagues, the punishment was to perform a 10-minute set of stand up comedy at an open mic night, and we're still waiting for that day to come. But should our last-place finisher chicken out, Waffle House may not be a bad alternative, especially now that we know of the potential positive consequences.