Beef Wings are as much a part of the Tokyo Lift experience as cheering for gains, raising the roof and losing to the Tigers. The product itself needs little introduction, beyond Cudi Di Batterino's famous description: "You know buffalo wings? Not remotely like that."
Nandy Slumps has claimed credit for introducing Beef Wings to Tokyo, although this account is contradicted by every available source including three different anecdotes in her own memoirs. Where these stories do agree is that the city experienced a short-lived Beef Wings boom around 1997: contemporary photographs show countless gaudy shopfronts offering "1000% Authentic Beef Wings", "Uncle Gronk's Beef Wings", "Beef vs. Wings" and "Original French-style Biff Weengs".
The market has since contracted, and a greasy-napkin calculation by Math Velazquez suggests that somewhere between 88% and 107% of global Beef Wings consumption now takes place at Tokyo Lift home games.
Beef Wings at the Tokyo Lift
The Gym's Beef Wings concession stand is a Daihatsu Hijet microvan, modified in a Beef Wings Corp greenwashing exercise to run on out-of-date Beef Wings sauce. It averages 0.3 miles per gallon. The stand is reluctantly helmed by Shadows player Val Hitherto, who acquired an official Beef Wings vendor's license while on a Costco date. He is often assisted by other Shadowed players, although the van's cramped, sweltering interior can make their presence more a hindrance than a help.
The van's distinctive lovecore branding stems from a long-passed Valentine's Day promotion; the bold red-and-pink heart decals and Hitherto's eyecatching Cupid-winged uniform (with heart-shaped peekaboo cutouts) together exhausted the marketing budget and have never been updated.
The dish has spawned fusion styles, including a taco-shelled variant, a meringue-shelled dessert and a pizza topping known as "none pizza left beef wings". All are viewed by purists with intense suspicion. The same is true of twin products Oops! All Beef and Oops! All Wings, so called because nobody has ever ordered either on purpose. More recently, a team of vodinopterologists from Osaka have developed a product they call "vegan beef wings". These are not yet commercially available and remain subject to scrutiny from the United Nations Security Council.
In popular culture
- Globetrotting gourmet Anthony Blourdain sampled beef wings during their television series on Pacific Asian street food. They described the dish as "potently beefy, yet defiantly wingy".
- The Tokyo Lift Beef Wings anthem is a slight reworking of Danish Eurovision hit Fly On The Wings Of Love, in which Hitherto himself has recorded over every instance of "love" with the whispered word "beef".
- A local statute explicitly bans shipping the Beef Wings van with the Taco Chariot. This is widely ignored.
- The Beef Wings Trail is a five-kilometre route visiting independent Beef Wings outlets in central Tokyo. It was completed in a record 57.12:24 by Norwegian Bjørg Lundvall in XX17. Her medal was presented posthumously.
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