Saturday, September 08, 2007
“A big man is always accused of gluttony, whereas a wizened or osseous man can eat like a refugee at every meal, and no one ever notices his greed.”
On friday I turned 30. I did something extraordinary on my 30th birthday to mark the occasion. It was my first foray into competitive eating, sort of. I became a SushiLand "Plate Champion."
This is truly an American art--overeating for the sole purpose of saying you overate... The feat of becoming Plate Champion involves consuming, in whole, 30 plates of sushi in 90 minutes. 30 plates means at least two pieces of nigiri-style sushi over rice per plate, or 60 pieces of sushi. Maybe this doesn't sound difficult to many of you out there, and indeed, for me, it was not as hard as, say, Ironman. But at 25 plates my body began to negotiate with me when it came to swallowing.
Body: You think you are going to really swallow that mouthful of salmon, rice, wasabi and soy?
Body: Go ahead and try.
Gluttony: (chewing, chewing, chewing, chewing...still chewing...) So you have a point.
Body: Tell you what, dumb-ass. I will let you swallow HALF of a bite at a time, and only after you mix it with some tea and chew each HALF bite for approximately 5 minutes. And you will accept this deal or barf.
I turned 30. I ate 34 plates. I am a Plate Champion. Not only that but I set a new record for our department at school, the former record being 33 plates. I actually finished 20 plates in about 45 minutes. It was nuts.
I got a t-shirt and photos to prove it. Its really not something to be proud of, but somewhere on the edge of reason I tell myself that this might decrease the amount of wasted food that might have otherwise populated the garbage. It might be partially true. Maybe.