As far as competitive eating goes, I thought watermelon would be pretty tame. Turns out, not so much. It’s a big mess, actually.
I went to Nintendo World at Rockefeller Center today to watch Tim “Eater X” Janus and Crazy Legs Conti battle it out with watermelon slices both real and virtual. That screen shot above is Crazy Legs and Eater X’s Wii doppelgangers, eating burritos. (I couldn’t get one showing the watermelon, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.)
First, the two eaters battled it out with real watermelon, then they played the new Wii competitive eating game, their cartoon likenesses downing virtual watermelon on the screen.
The reality-based competition (as the Bush administration would call it) was highly entertaining. Watermelon has a lot of bulk to it. The two of them went at it like chipmunks, their cheeks stuffed and juice pouring down their chins. In a big upset, Crazy Legs, who is lower ranked than Eater X, won the 6 minute competition. He prevailed by one bite—15 wedges to 15 wedges and one bite. Drama!
Then the two played the new Wii competitive eating game, which actually looks like it might get old really quickly (although watching people play video games is always dull). Basically, you pick up the food (watermelon in this case) with a movement of your hand, and then place it in your mouth and chew by hitting the “B” button. You have to keep track of your “barf-o-meter” though, because if you throw up (“suffer an unfortunate reversal) you loose. You can out-wit your opponent by doing things like burping at him or her. Gross. Anyway! The virtual Crazy Legs threw up all his watermelon, leaving Eater X the overall winner of the day.
Eater X and Crazy Legs are actually roommates. (I’m profiling them as they prepare for Nathan’s Hot Dog Contest on July 4th, so check in the paper for that story this summer.)
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 20, 2008