Sunday, April 30, 2006

Jalapeño Eating Radio Contest – Texas Style!

One of the funniest things I’ve heard while driving was a jalapeño-eating contest on a rock and roll station in Houston. I guess it was in the late 80’s and I laughed so hard I almost had to pull over.

To this day I do not know if it was real or staged and personally, it didn’t matter. The usual 45 minute drive home in the hot Texas muggy weather was not even a consideration that afternoon, or the fact that I was jockeying for position at the Baytown/La Porte tunnel.

If I remember correctly, the DJ placed a large bowl of big Texas jalapeño peppers in front of three “contestants”. They may have been ‘volun-told’s (as in Interns) at the radio station – I don’t remember. One of them remarked he had never seen peppers so big and the DJ confirmed the peppers were as big as small cucumbers.

The contest began and each masochistic pepper-eater had a microphone in front of them. It honestly sounded like a pig trough in full form as they gobbled these peppers down. “Grunt, chomp, gulp…gasp”!!!

First one, then number two started screaming and the third kept chomping. The Disc Jockey was crying he was laughing so hard and so was I, as I sat in line trying not to look too foolish, guffawing like a lunatic.

I believe the winner ate 38 or 39 peppers before he ran off hacking and wheezing, knocking over furniture. The contest was over and I dipped off into the tunnel and no radio reception. I still had a goofy look on my face when I came out on the Baytown side.

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