Last year Max described — in epic format — how he won the Fourth Annual Sixth & I Pickle Eating Contest. This year — the fifth year — Max placed second behind Ben S., a former Jewish Guy of the Week and our new Pickle Eating Champion.
All photos taken by Sarah A. of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
What weighs two ounces these days?
Some pocket lint. A few feathers. A $20 drink from a bartender with sunglasses on.
Oh, and the amount of pickles that cost me my crown.
I thought I sized up my 11 other competitors pretty accurately, who mostly sized me down — my lanky frame belies the nuclear reactor churning my digestive track within.
Across our stage were a few gluttons for punishment who I dominated in last year’s victory, as well as a couple of new huskier gentlemen that gave me a little cause for concern. Nonetheless, I was sure this was in the bag, again.
The contest began and the beasts were unchained. I quickly outpaced the 10 others but noticed the bowl of dills to my left rapidly diminishing. To my absolute astonishment, the contestant behind it, Ben, grabbed a last handful and motioned for a second bowl. I never got to my second bowl last year.
I strengthened my resolve.
In a fury I started choking down the dills, three bites to a swallow, no chewing, no breathing. I had the solace of knowing that if I happen to suffocate, I’d go out the American way — eating.
Give. me. another. bowl.
I did damage on that second bowl but with about 10 seconds to go, I knew my fate. Ben gained an insurmountable lead.
With a last, desperate stroke, I scooped up all the remaining nubs, bits, and pieces I could muster and shoved them into every nook and cranny of my mouth. Time was called and we had 15 seconds to swallow.
Gains were measured, the results were in – Ben over Bluestein by 2 ounces. Two measly, freaking ounces.
Now my blood is running white as salt, I haven’t been able to sweat in a full week, and my Cheerios still taste like pickle in the morning.
Lesson learned: When you play the game of pickle eating, you either win or you smell like dill for 2 weeks for no reason.
That being said, Ben, usurper, consider this an official and very public challenge to a rematch.
I’m thinking 4 pound burrito or the Strassburger. To hell with the sprint, let’s do a marathon.