Down in New Orleans over the weekend, they were flexing their gullets for the Acme World Oyster Eating championship where the winner was a young man from Chicago, Patrick Bertoletti. "Deep Dish", as the 22-year-old Bertoletti is apparently known in the competitive gastronomical game, inhaled 35 DOZEN raw oysters in eight minutes to claim the title.
But competitive eating is one of those sports where women can compete on an even footing with men and Germantown, Maryland's Juliet Lee -- all of 105 pounds -- finished second. Lee, who used to be a chemistry professor, ate 31 1/2 dozen and beat last year's winner, Crazy Legs Conti. Lee's eating exploits are reminiscent of another woman pro eater, the famous Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas of Alexandria, Va.
The post-game photo is priceless, Lee is beaming holding her plaque and Bertoletti, the winner (note title belt), looks like he needs a bucket.
Say what you will about the legitimacy of competitive eating compared to mainstream sports like football and baseball but I have to tell you, the quotes are much better. Dethroned champ Conti on the challenge of eating raw oysters: "They're supposed to be an aphrodisiac but I think that's only true for about the first three dozen."
According to an Associated Press story, a guy named Tim "Gravy" Brown (you gotta love these nicknames) was eliminated when he experience a "reversal of fortune" -- or should we make that a regurgitation of fortune.
Thanks to reader Richard Marshall who alerted us to the story.
Photo credit: Judi Bottoni/AP
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