Today, after a nice light lunch of sushi, I was walking back to the office and happened upon the Zocalo Taco-Eating Contest, another event organized by the same guys who emceed the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, so adroitly captured in our October issue (access code required) by David Lidsky, who was a bit chagrined at having missed seeing Sonya Thomas consume 48 soft-shell tacos in 11 minutes. The diminuitive Thomas, who weighs in at around 105 pounds — at least before the event — bested men who were probably three times her size.
For those of you who haven’t had the chance to see such an event, it is an experience both fascinating and disgusting. While there isn’t much movement on stage (aside from half a dozen people shoveling food into their mouths), the Shea brothers, who founded the International Federation of Competitive Eating, and who hail from the Howard Cosell School of Announcing, imbue the proceedings with a flair for the dramatic that would make P.T. Barnum proud. Their commentary makes these events quite entertaining — if you have the stomach for it.