GQ shadowed a few “competitive” eaters to give us normal eaters a glimpse into their fascinating lifestyles. Let’s take a look…

…he has studied the ingestion techniques of snakes: “Their muscles are contracting constantly. You’ll see when I’m eating, there’s a constant weird up-and-down motion. I’m using my whole rib cage to compact the food.


…after all of Joey’s talk of science and preparation, I was imagining the corned-beef contest to be somehow more graceful and balletic. But as Shea counts down to zero and the eating begins, what I see instead are twelve people grotesquely cramming huge piles of meat and fat-sodden rye bread into their mouths. The juice drips down their arms, saturating their shirts. Their puffed-out cheeks are beetroot red. They resemble sweaty, meat-smeared squirrels.


“I’d never eaten lobster before,” Joey told me. “I was 21. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I was scooping guts. But I tied for third. And the two men who beat me didn’t look good. One was Bob Shoudt. He seemed in pain. And I felt fine! I was ‘Oh, my God, they look like they’re dying. And I can eat so much more!‘ I knew I was made for it after that contest.”

After the cupcake eating contest…


I’ve never seen so many people experience such a profound sugar rush all at the same time. They’re like windup dolls, lost in the middle of nowhere, discombobulated without enforceable rules to keep them steady, pacing around and around, starving for order.

It gets better…

“I know it’s viewed as horror, shock, a sideshow. But when people see us up there, it blows them away. Which is why the groupies are insane.”

“Groupies?!” I say.

“I’m thoroughly happily married, so I’m on the sidelines,” says Bob. “But I’ve seen stuff. Doors open.”

There are good men right now who work in modern office buildings and can’t get laid. But Bob here has girls who want to have sex with him because he can eat 25,000 calories in one sitting. God bless America!

One lesson from this article (there aren’t many) is that if you’re good at something, no matter how grotesque,  you will get laid. The only rule is that it can’t involve a cubicle and Dockers khakis.

The truth is, rarely have I done a story about something that’s so utterly, existentially pointless and so emblematic of the American tendency to go way too far.

Read The Article: Clear Eyes, Full Plates, Can’t Puke

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