To support Florida batboy, I try other food challenges
Posted: Thursday August 25, 2005 4:19PM; Updated: Thursday August 25, 2005 4:19PM
Dodger P Brad Penny can't stay out of trouble, and now is getting others in trouble.
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
"In Los Angeles all the loose objects in the country were collected, as if America had been tilted and everything that wasn't tightly screwed down had slid into Southern California" writes Saul Bellow in Seize the Day. Judging from the latest exploits of the ballclub that slithered over to L.A. from Brooklyn, that statement rings truer than ever. There are enough loose screws on this year's squad to make second-year owner Frank McCourt wish he'd never uprooted from Boston to take over the 'Gers.
Dodgers skipper Jim Tracy is less a baseball manager than a soap opera director. Most recently, he's overseen the feuds between Derrick and Trinka Lowe and Milton Bradley and Jeff Kent. But of all the recent shenanigans involving the Dodgers, the one that made milk spew out of my nose was a challenge made by L.A. pitcher Brad Penny to a Marlins batboy.
Last Sunday, the right-hander offered the Marlins' youngster $500 if the batboy could complete the Gallon of Milk Challenge. This consists of chugging an entire gallon of leche in an hour without throwing it back up. (Quick side note: In college, if someone had overindulged in spirits and looked like they were going to boot, we would all gather around them and start singing, "Do the boot dance. Do the boot dance." While puking, the spewer would have to do a little jig, at which point the chant would shift to "Boutros Boutros Gali, Boutros Boutros Gali." Mmmm...college.) The Marlins batboy managed to ingest the liquid in the set time but lost his milk money when he was unable to keep it down. His antics earned him belly laughs from the players, as well as a six game suspension from the Fish brass.
"It's kind of ridiculous that you get a 10-game suspension for steroids and a six-game suspension for milk," pointed out Penny. Lucky for the Marlins, I am not a season ticket holder but if I were, they can be sure I would have canceled my account in protest. But I am not sure how to show solidarity. I wondered, What would Gandhi do? A hunger strike? Au contraire, I think he'd bring attention to this batboy's plight by attempting other well-known Foodie Challenges. And so that's what I did.
The Saltine Challenge: Ingest six Saltine crackers in 60 seconds (Note: All challenges must occur without the help of water or any other digestive lubricants). Tip: Try the chunking strategy, which consists of first stuffing three crackers in your mouth while it's still wet, then two, then one. Others prefer the 2-2-2 strategy. Result: I chugged a 32 ounce bottle of Riptide Rush in hopes of pre-lubing and decided to go with the chunking strategy. The first three crackers completely dried me out and by the time I swallowed the pasty mess after 48 seconds I was cooked. Final time: 1 min., 39 sec
The White Bread Challenge: Ingest two slices of white bread in 60 seconds. Tip: Before the clock starts, squish the soft bread into marble-sized balls. Result: Rolled the Wonder Bread into eight tight marble-sized balls. My time and saliva dried up before I popped the fifth ball in my mouth. Final time: 2 min., 43 sec
The Cinnamon Challenge: Ingest one teaspoon of cinnamon in 60 seconds (Note: cinnamon sugar is not acceptable). Tip: Work up a mouthful of saliva before inserting powder. Result: I was coughing up the spicy dust within five seconds. Once inserted, trying to generate moisture was as futile as swimming against a riptide. I ended up spitting out the entire congealed brown hunk without intaking even a thimble of cinnamon. Final time: N/A
Other challenges I encountered while researching this include:
The Saltine Challenge No. 2: Ingest four saltines in 60 seconds AND then whistle. The Twinkies Challenge: Ingest three twinkies in 60 seconds. The Wendy's Challenge: Put the entire contents of a Wendy's kids meal into a blender (small hamburger, fries and Sprite), and ingest it in five minutes.
The guy who mentioned this one added a side challenge of guessing the final color of the blended product, using a hexadecimal color chart.
I proved myself to be a veritable William Perry of competitive eating. But I ask, can you do better?