In the latest chapter of contests where eating like a pig is rewarded, Pat Bertoletti of Chicago ate 21 pounds of grits in 10 minutes to win the World Grits Eating Championship in Louisiana last week.
I've never been a big grits fan even though I have lived in Tennessee my entire life. The idea of eating an amount of this stuff that equals one-ninth of my body weight like Bertoletti did is definitely not something I crave. It just isn't up my alley.
Additionally, the allure of speed eating contests like this one mystifies me. How do people come to realize that they have this talent? Do they wake up one morning and think, "Hmmmmmmm. I wonder if I can eat 21 pounds of grits in 10 minutes?"
Is this something they train for? Do they gobble down eight pounds one day then go for nine pounds the next to build up endurance? Or do they just starve themselves for a long time and start woofing it down when the bell rings during the competition?
Back in the summer, Joey Chestnut won a hot dog eating contest by eating 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Think about that for a moment. I enjoy a hot dog when I go to a football game, but think about eating that many of them that quickly.
However, that was a very impressive record for Chestnut. Based on what I know about the impact of hot dogs on the body, I bet he broke another record about 30 minutes after that competition was over.