When we last left our heroes, they were hoping someone would vomit from eating too many Jalapenos. Being disappointed that no one had a “reversal”, it was on to their next best bet…The Wing Eating Competition! The fools…err…contestants signed up and took their places around the center area. I was amazed how many people signed up. Some familiar faces were there too including last year’s reigning champion, Dante!
As CaJohn prepped the wings in the back kitchen, Joe Levinson and Mary brought the wings out to the contestants. As the starting bell rang, people dove into the wings with the crowd cheering them on. Speaking of cheering, one contestant had a whole section holding up pieces of paper rooting for him. His name is Dan and he sure was the highlight of the competition.
One set of wings down and no one dropped out yet although some were starting to show their pain. The second set of wings was placed in front of the contestants and they were mean looking. Like the Jalapeno contest before this, these things were massive! Someone must have gone through bags of wings and hand picked only the largest ones available!
As the heat built, the contestants did what they could to take their mind off the pain. Some talked with their loved ones, others taunted the crowd. Dan and company sang “99 bottles of beer on the wall”, and then proceeded to do the “Hot Pepper Dance”. I had seen many people do this dance before but none had thrown as much effort and care into it as Dan did.
More and more wings went down and by the fourth round, people started to drop out. That was the shocking thing though because not many dropped out. I completely believe the theory that the collective masses are starting to become more capsaicin tolerant based on their consumption of spicy products. Every year I see events like these, the better people handle them. Although one thing that’s hard to build a tolerance to is getting it on your hands.
Last year everyone was allowed to wear gloves. This was not the case this year. No gloves means a horrible case of the dreaded, Hunan Hands. Dan was smart enough to only use one hand while eating his wings, others were not as smart.
As more wings came out, the pain levels increased. The next round began and as the wing entered his mouth, Dan screamed, “What IS THIS?!?!?”. One guy even put his sunglasses on. I think it was to hid his pain.
We were down to the second to last round, and still, many people remained vigilant. The crowd were all amazed so many people were able to last this long. Dan spotted someone in the crowd wearing earmuffs and that person let him wear them. He proceeded to entertain the crowd.
The wings disappeared, and only two people dropped out. We have now entered Sudden Death. CaJohn made the wings as hot as he could without being arrested for attempted manslaughter. The first person to finish their wings would win.
This whole time, Dante was a wing eating machine. His precision and technique were something to be marveled at. He would tilt his head back, put the wing into his mouth, and pull it out, completely stripped of its meat. Last round, let’s eat!
There was a major controversy here. Dante was the first person to strip the wings clean, I mean absolutely clean of meat and sauce. The judge pointed to him as the first person done but he played the honest route and pointed to his mouth. He was still chewing. Then the two people next to him opened their mouths showing that they had swallowed their meat and their were declared first and second place with Dante as third place.
Thing is, there was a ton of meat still on those wings. Dante was the honorable and true winner, but the glory went to others. Dante didn’t weaver, he didn’t show any pain, and he’s the fastest, most precise wing eater I’ve ever seen. He even rivals The Great HUDD. Hat’s off to you, Dante!
And thus ended the Fiery Foods Festival. But wait! Don’t walk away. Just because the festival is over, doesn’t mean that ends my coverage. Come back soon for my fourth and final part of the days events. Up next you’ll see a wonderful, invite only dinner, and Eric Grant will show us how a real man drinks a “girly-drink”.