January 14, 2014 7:21 AM

Now that gluttony is a competitive sport, I can hardly wait for the Adultery Games

Molly Schuyler weighs a paltry 120 pounds, but last Friday she set a world record by finishing an entire 72 oz. steak as big as her whole head in under three minutes. To put that in perspective, the previous Guinness World Record for consuming a 72 oz. steak was 6 minutes and 48 seconds. The mother of four from Minnesota is a top-ranked competitive eater who has been making room for women at the big boy table since 2012, taking title after title away from her male counterparts…. “(It’s) an unexplained phenomenon; I was just born that way,” she told KPTV. “I started doing this about a year ago, and I guess it’s like a stupid human trick.”

I’ve long struggled to wrap my head around the idea that gluttony is now a competitive sport. Then again, considering some of the things now considered competitive undertakings in America, why not one of the Seven Deadly Sins?

There’s a middle-of-the-road steak restaurant in southeast Portland whose claim to fame is their 72-oz. steak. If you can finish it in one sitting, it’s free. To make things even better, Adventist Hospital’s emergency room is just down the street. Sayler’s offers their challenge because they know that there’s NO WAY most normal (i.e.- non-gluttonous) people could choke down 4 1/2 pounds of steak. Even if I wasn’t vegan, I wouldn’t begin to think that was a good idea and an interesting challenge. Of course, I’m not Molly Schuyler, a 120-lb. mother from Minnesota with a much different philosophy.

On the one hand, you almost have to admire the “skills” of a waif of a woman who can consume a 72-oz. steak in under three minutes. Then, as if she needed to further prove her gluttonous bona fides, she went to a Greek about a mile from where I live and completed the Mad Greek Deli Challenge.

On Thursday night at the Mad Greek Deli, Schuyler gulped down one of her biggest meals yet: an enormous 12-pound sandwich, a pound of fries and a large soda.

With five minutes left on the clock, she took her final bite and finished off the 12-pound sandwich. It took her 54 minutes, and she became the fastest - and only - woman to eat the giant sandwich.

Schuyler was given $650 for her efforts.

I’ve always subscribed to the theory that it’s never a good idea to eat anything bigger than your head. Then along comes Ms. Schuyler, who proceeded to demolish a sandwich almost as large as she is…along with a pound of fries and a large soda.

For her sake, I hope it was a diet soda.

I have some decidedly mixed feelings about Ms Schuyler’s “accomplishments.” On some level, I suppose one can admire someone so tiny who can put away so much food at one sitting. Just trying to wrap my head around the physics involved leaves me queasy, but when one consumes a quantity of food that’s just a hair over 10% of your body weight, where does it all go? No, wait…maybe I don’t need to know after all.

In a world where so many go hungry, is this sort of gluttony something worthy of celebration? I understand the success of Man vs. Food (and I’ve seen every episode), but Adam Richman eventually had to give up the challenges because of the toll the constant gluttony took on his health. I realize that competitive gluttony eating, relatively speaking, has little to do with even less effect on world hunger. Somehow, though, I just can’t get past the symbolism.

Who would have thought that we’d ever live in a world where one of the Seven Deadly Sins became a competitive sport?

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on January 14, 2014 7:21 AM.

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