Eating challenges are by and large disgusting things, designed to reward the gluttonous and humble the bold.
Whether they’re eating 40 hot dogs or chowing down on a whole cow to get their swollen picture on the wall – the people who take part in them are invariably tragic, completely consumed by their greed and foolishly believing it a skill.
Well let me tell you one thing, there’s nothing remotely impressive about eating challenges.
READ MORE: Croydon cafe serving up ‘London’s biggest breakfast’ with 1kg of chips
How do I know? I’ve been there buddy.
In my time as a reporter, I’ve tackled burgers, breakfasts, fast food and ice cream shacks and by the end of it I could barely look myself in the mirror (the turn of phrase here is deliberate, I had swelled to a grotesque shape).
I thought my eating days were behind me until I heard about Croydon’s Fat Boy Cafe which served the ‘biggest breakfast in London’.
Wearily then, I headed down to Croydon to show the café there was a new sheriff in town.
‘The Blow Out’
For 25 years, Fat Boys Cafe has been serving up the Blow Out breakfast challenge.
It consists of two sausages, six slices of bacon, a slice of fried bread, mushrooms, beans and 1.25kg of chips, and is thought to contain over 4,500 calories.
Of course, all that had to be finished in an hour.
According to the owner, only 1 in 40 challengers complete the meal with the rest being saddled with the £20 bill.
As my breakfast was carried out to my table the atmosphere in the café electrified.
A huddle of builders began to jeer as the rules were explained to me but that sort of stuff doesn’t put me off anymore – in the eating game you learn to cope with tough crowds.
I started my timer and began.
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‘Treat it like a normal meal’
The thing with breakfasts is that you can’t just dive in and see what happens, they’re far too starchy and you’ll be overwhelmed within a few bites.
You have to treat it like a normal meal and approach each constituent bit at a time, which is what I did despite the harsh criticism I was receiving on the MyLondon livestream.
I tackled the first sausage leisurely and moved on apace to the mushrooms which I gobbled like a hog.
Next up was the fried bread, half of which I dispatched with a wolfish grin.
The jeers had descended to a murmur now, it was clear to everyone assembled I was a man who knew his mushrooms breakfast wise.
Arrogantly I dived into the chips and crammed handfuls into my open mouth with delight – this was barely touching the sides, I was on a roll.
This is when it all went wrong.
Do you think you could complete this immortal breakfast? Let us know in the comments here.
‘I flew too close to the sun’
As I forked the second sausage, I began to feel the unmistakeable tremors of the meat sweats.
I ignored them and soldiered on demolishing the sausage and starting on a slice of bacon, which I wrapped round a chip.
Still, I didn’t feel right and as I gazed at the mountain of food still before me, I knew the game was up.
If you start seeing spirits before you’ve hit the eggs, you know its best to head back down the slope.
I surrendered, and meekly accepted what I was and surely always have been: a quivering sweaty mess covered in baked bean sauce and crumbs.
A failure to the sacred creed of eating challenges, a fool who flew near the sun and crashed headfirst into the waves (which in this case were chips) with a sickening thud.
I paid my £20 and left in a huff.
One day the challenge will be beaten, but not by me.
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