Chowfest 2007!

Holy Cow! Yesterday I was flipping through the channels and came across a show that was somehow celebrating St. Patrick's Day and eating together. It was called the St. Patrick's Day Chowfest.

I was intrigued... how often do you get to watch some sort of Saintly eating fest? That was obviously not the case here. Contestants from all over the world entered this eating contest. They first had to eat as much Corned Beef as they could in 5 minutes, then as many green frosted donuts in 5 minutes and then they had to eat as many jalapenos (whole-with seed) in 5 minutes.

The winner was a young guy with a mohawk and tattoos who ate a total of 10lbs. of the blessed beef, 4 dozen donuts, and 95, YES 95, jalapenos! I was equally disgusted, amazed, and a little jealous.

I did not get to watch the corned beef portion of the program, but the donut portion was pretty much gross. The contestants stand in front of a table where there are green frosted donuts piled high on plates in front of them. Next to these plates are cups of whatever liquid the contestant asks for. Most chose water-mohawk guy chose red kool-aid. It was like watching Jerry Springer-I just couldn't bring myself to turn the channel! They would dunk the donuts into the water-or kool aid and then stuff them two at a time into their mouths. There was a female contestant who was about 5 foot nothing and weighted about as much as my dog. She was putting those donuts away I tell ya!

The jalapeno portion was just as disgusting and I still could not change the stupid channel. There were only two contestants left-mohawk guy and regular Joe guy. It was excruciating watching them stuff those peppers in their mouths and down chocolate milk-yes, chocolate milk. They were sweating, they were crying, and they had so much snot coming out of their noses that they looked like the slime monster in a 1950's horror flick.

We have all heard of those restaurants that have the "Can You Eat The Meat?" slogan where a sorry sucker comes into the place with his evil friends and after they have all gotten good and drunk they peer pressure him into ordering the 10 lbs. of beef to eat in 60 minutes or less. Many have tried these feats, and I believe that not many have survived-as they have been air lifted to the nearest hospital and had their stomachs pumped! Their obituary usually reads:

Joe Sucker, Son of Joe and Ima Yutz died on Saturday night after an evening of
drinking and eating an entire cow.
Joe was an avid reader and runner--and interestingly enough,
Joe was a self-proclaimed vegetarian.
The funeral will be held at Bucky's Bar and Grill where they ask all patrons
"Can You Eat The Meat?"
In loo of flowers, please send a donation to PETA

When I was in high school, the boys always had little contests to show their manhood in the cafeteria. I remember watching (OK, I admit, I was cheering on) a kid eat 14 hard boiled eggs. I also remember cheering on a couple of friends of mine at a party who were having a salsa eating contest. And then there was the raw potato incident that did not end well and the toilets in the boys locker room were stopped up for weeks. Why do people do this?

Last night as I watched mohawk guy win the eating contest I started to think of his mother. I imagine their first conversation on him being a professional eater.

Mohawk guy: Mom, I have decided to drop out of law school and start touring all the all-you-can-eat buffets in the Tri-state area.

Mom: Don't you remember when you were a boy and you threw up because you stuffed 30 pieces of hubba bubba in your mouth? Have you thought this through?

Mohawk guy: Yes-there is quick cash in eating for a living... I can win $5000 in the St. Patrick's Day Chowfest one day. I do have goals you know.

Mom: Excuse me while I go add stomach pumping to our health insurance.

But, I could be wrong-mom could be very proud of mohawk son. It could even be a family tradition to eat themselves until they puke. Maybe she is his trainer and cooks up 75 hot dogs for him every night. There is a lot to be said for motherly love.

Some days I wish I was a professional eater. When I have a Saturday where there are no plans and plenty of good rented movies at the house I think--I am going to eat chocolate all day and drink soda and order pizza and finish the day off with a jumbo ice cream sunday! I usually get through one soda and two slices of pizza and call it a day... I obviously have no will power.

I wonder how mohawk guy is feeling today. I imagine that all of that corned beef, all of those donuts, and especially all of those 95 jalapenos do not come out as easily as they went in. Visions of liquid fire fill my mind and I bet they have a lot of air freshener on hand and a plumber standing by at his house. But hey~he won $5000!

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