One of life's simplest pleasures is eating too much. Just a little too much. That sweet spot where your body, and more importantly, your mind, knows that you overdid it a tad but not so thoroughly that you're about to be bolted to the bed or toilet for the next 24 hours. There's something freeing about the level of indulgence that sees you polish off two dozen chicken nuggets, even though by the time you were throwing number 16 down, your body was telling you to stop. Pounding that extra slice of pizza that will take you from stuffed to double stuf is a goddamn birthright that all of us share and should dip into from time to time.
But then, holy shit, THEN, there is the world of competitive eating and the absolute bodily red lights that these bottomless beasts blast clean through with reckless abandon. One of my favorite things on the planet is to go onto the official Major League Eating website and take a peek at some of their many insane world records and just imagine the hell that these people and their bodies are going through during and after these events that led to worst eating records known to man ...
Silver Dollar Pancakes
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We start with the records that teeter on the lines of "things you could maybe do when you're drunk enough." Look, I'm not saying this isn't just the stupidest amount of pancakes ever eaten, because it totally is. But, as you'll see while we make our way down this list, this shit gets a whole lot grosser than this. What makes this one almost passable is that these are silver dollar pancakes, so, you know, they're only eating over a hundred of these things at a fraction of the regular pancake size. What keeps it on the list is that they're still eating OVER A HUNDRED mini pancakes. I couldn't even eat 100 Skittle-sized pancakes, so forget going anywhere near these.
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As a food scientist, it's also common knowledge that pancakes grow inside of you immediately after you swallow them like some kind bowel-Gremlin, doubling in size and density in your stomach like they're performing their own Rocky bulk-up montage down there after you've had any more than three, so I cannot even fathom how miserable this felt on minute nine.
Eating two pounds of anything in six minutes is impossible for us mortals. Imagine those two pounds being this nebulous, undefined "chocolate candy bar" on top of that. I'd like to imagine that they couldn't get the rights for any decent brand bar for this contest, so they had to get some Dollar General brand chocolate bar to make the experience even more miserable than usual. There is something uniquely bad about the idea of your competitive eating lane being candy. I'd have a far easier time sucking down a thousand bagels than I would just three packs of Starburst. These people are hitting their bodies with this confusing mix of the biggest sugar rush they've ever had while forcing it to fight off a full-blown diabetic coma at the same time.
This is where things start to take a turn for the worse. When the records become the kinds of things a character on The X-Files would be forced on the daily to eat to stay alive because they were hit in the head by a meteor. To recreate this one, go down to your local FroYo spot, put your head under the food faucet, and pour that shit in until you've got two Shih Tzu's worth of chocolate cookie dough inside of you.
Easily among my favorite on the list. The idea of pounding nearly 20 pounds of this appetizer meant for functions that are supposed to be fancy but are, in reality, just people cosplaying as civilized adults is fantastic. A surefire way to spice up your shitty office holiday party is to post up at the shrimp cocktail and eat until the shrimp literally just start coming out of your butt because they have nowhere else to go, and your ass starts to rise up on this tower of ass shrimp until you bust through the roof of this holiday party and into heaven because you are now dead from eating 18 pounds of shrimp, but you got to go to heaven because you ate 18 pounds of shrimp.
The fact that they list this one as "long-form" is pure gold. Like when you go to one of these events, you're given a program, as if at the orchestra, but instead of The Beautiful Blue Danube, it just says Eating So Much Bologna That There's a Good Chance He Dies Right Here In Front of You From Bologna Overdose.
61. Sixty. One. Make sure you are really taking in that number when you picture the amount of ears of sweet corn this shucker is putting back. You would struggle to have 61 ears of corn over your entire adult life, so it is borderline incomprehensible to even grasp how one can physically put down that many ears of corn over such a short span. At that point, you have reached superhero-like levels of mastery with your mouth, and you should probably be putting it to better use. On what? I don't know. Surely the government could use some super chewer to swim around in Russia and nibble on the wiring of their aquatic bases or whatever. I'm just saying that we need to get this guy out of this state fair in West Shitpoint, America, and put his ass to use chewing up our enemies' vital infrastructure instead.
We now cross over to the place on this list where feats go from the disgusting to something out of a Ren and Stimpy episode. That ain't pounds up there. That's gallons. That is going to the Exxon, moving just to the left of premium, selecting chili, and putting that hose in your mouth until the auto-filler pops over. In half of your average Prince song, this person has loaded their stomach with your office wastebasket full of piping hot chili. You'd have to imagine that somewhere, maybe around the one-gallon mark, every decision this man has ever made that led to this flashes before his eyes. It ends with that fateful night where YouTube started auto-playing the video, Goddamn Dude. We're Out of Shit To Serve You. Have You Tried Waterboarding Yourself with Chili?
No. Just. No. What? How? Why? I want you at home to grab some Oreos and lay 48 of them out in front of you. Chances are, you will have to make quite a lot of room on your coffee table before doing so. Now picture jamming all of these into you, and the amount of shuffling your organs have to do like they're making way for a 3000-piece puzzle from chocolatey hell. And, when they think it's finally over, they begin to crawl back onto the beach for a gasp of air. Exhausted, but alive. But then, the hatch above opens up again, and a goddamn half gallon of whole milk dumps in as a dairy Tsunami crashes over to wash you back out to sea once more.
These are the kinds of records where there are clearly no utensils being used, right? They just skip straight to the most efficient way of consuming this much food to make this work. I'd imagine you would have to have some competitive eating-style PED here, like a vacuum cleaner that runs from your asshole up to your mouth to find a way to put back this amount of beans this fast. The other normal food that you ate from the day before must be so shocked when the beans start flying in at this rate. Yesterday's banana is just chilling when a bean drops. Then another. Then another. And before it knows it, there's a locust swarm of canned baked beans terrorizing the joint to send his insides into pure survival mode.
Mmm. A nice, relaxing, hot bowl of gumbo sounds good right now. But you know what sounds even better? 14 more bowls of gumbo. Because for me, a hellbeast, when I sit down to eat my bowl of gumbo, I just can't shake the feeling that it would be a whole lot better if the entire restaurant staff back there dropped everything they were doing to get to work on a conveyor belt of seafood stew to pipe directly into my head for the next eight minutes straight to see whether I can eat this much seafood stew or just explode right here on the spot.
Stocking up for one of these contests must be a hell of a scene. This is just one competitor's take, nearly 150 eggs, so you have to assume that everyone else on stage is pushing right behind them. No doubt there comes a point when the intern making the food run in the biggest UHaul they offer takes a look in the back at five thousand loose eggs (no room for the cartons) stuffed in there and begins to wonder if there is somewhere else more deserving or in need of this food before shaking their head, turning the key, and driving off to an eating contest to watch people suffer through their egg-eating because they'll be goddamned if this country didn't maintain some of its ever-evaporating dignity.
This record was actually topped, undocumented, by a lazy husband somewhere in Indiana who was about to deliver an Edible Arrangement to his wife for the fourth anniversary in a row, when he received a text in the driveway: if you're coming in with another Edible Arrangement, we're getting a divorce. That man plowed down every last bite in under three minutes and drove his ass right back out to the store.
"Hey, can I get a slice of pepperoni? Actually, screw it. It's Friday. Let me grab two. Wait. Nah. Hold up. I absolutely loathe myself, but I hate my body even more; can I go ahead and get two hundred and fifty-two slices of pepperoni and some mozz sticks? Throw in a Fanta as well."
Lobster has, of course, become synonymous with luxurious eating. It's something that you may treat yourself to once a year. Hell, some people can't even get the whole thing, and just the tail is enough of a splurge. But then, you have competitive eaters who can't be bothered to go to the seafood market for their yearly surf and turf meal. They'll just be heading straight out with the captain on board and diving to the bottom of the Atlantic off the coast of New England and chomping down on whatever the hell they can find like some kind of roaming man shark designed to take perfectly good food away from normal people in ludicrous quantities.
After this person finished their 200 plus Peeps in five minutes, they were escorted to a gallows and hung in front of a crowd because, as they had agreed upon before partaking in this event, anyone that would do such a thing has no business on this planet with the rest of us and should be punished accordingly for their missteps.
The seafood ones on this list are uniquely hard to get your head around. By the time you've had, oh, I don't know, maybe twenty dozen oysters, a part of you must really start to do some serious self-exploration. Putting this many oysters in your body is the equivalent to doing a Cormac McCarthy marathon over a weekend; you'll be left with a sense of existential dread that will follow you for the rest of your life like a broken, beaten down dog.
Walk to your fridge and try eating one stick of butter. I bet you don't even make it halfway in before a fist grows out from your belly button and knocks you clean the hell out. These eaters lack something inside that the rest of us have. A primal instinct that didn't make it over in the evolutionary sense like it did with the rest of us. These are people at the pinnacle of humanity. Where athletes are out there pushing themselves to climb the highest peaks or swim the furthest oceans, the real top humans can eat seven sticks of butter in five minutes and still grab a bite to eat an hour later.
At the forefront of any sport, there are records that will never be broken. Barry Bonds' homerun count or Tom Brady's Superbowl wins. Then, at the very apex of competitive eating, there are records that should not only have never been set to begin with but should never be attempted again. This is one that has to be retired. The very flagship of a sport without equal. One that should lead every conversation about the legitimacy of this field because someone out there really did this -- really pushed themselves to these heights -- and there is not a soul that will ever take that away from them. Because, well, there is probably not a single other person out there that would ever want to take this from them. Take a bow, mayonnaise eater; you will forever stand as one of the most absurd humans to ever live.