PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) -- At 5 a.m. on a freezing January morning, more than 15,000 Philadelphians crammed into a sports arena on Friday to witness the city's annual festival of gluttony and lust.
It's the Wing Bowl, a competitive-eating extravaganza in which 27 men try to eat the largest number of chicken wings in 30 minutes.
They are assisted by legions of bikini-clad young women called "Wingettes", and encouraged by a baying crowd which stayed up most of the night to take part in the spectacle.
Jonathon Squibb, a 23-year-old computer technician from Berlin, New Jersey, won the event and a $30,000 Mini Cooper after eating 203 wings without getting sick.
Squibb, who was unknown in competitive eating circles, beat better-known participants including the favorite, "Damaging Doug" Canavin of Philadelphia.Our nation faces economic ruin, crippling unemployment, emotional instability, a huge winter storm barreling up the Eastern seaboard, two stupid foreign wars, the hatred of foreigners everywhere (including here) and a ticking tock of infrastructure and ecological timebombs across the land.
Time for Wing Bowl! Let's hear it for 27-year-old Jonathon Squibb, a computer technician from New Jersey, who managed to get 203 wings down his neck in a contest staged by WIP radio in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.
My move toward more sensible eating had a memorable genesis. A wonderful friend, Kristin, then a WIC nutritionist and now a labor-and-delivery nurse, was in the lunchroom at work one day when I burst in with my usual exuberance, brandishing my Hungry Man® Dinner, with a yellow logo on its box screaming "Over ONE POUND of FOOD!"
With the same patience and love that she must display when telling her two-year-old daughter why sticking the tines of a fork into a wall outlet would not be a good idea, Kristin pointed out to me that no human needs one pound of food. Looking over the frozen dinner's outer packaging with the same attention to detail that a Kennedy scholar would employ with newly-found Zapruder footage, Kristin told me that the sodium content of this "meal" rivalled the daily output of a Siberian salt mine, and that the caloric content would be enough to feed the Green Bay Packers en masse.
This is why it often takes me four hours to go to the grocery store. Sometimes I am jackpotting, chatting with neighbors and deli clerks alike, and sometimes it's because I am standing in an aisle, reading package labels.
There might have been a day when I could have given this Squibb fellow a run for his money in this contest, even though I would have been handicapped: I prefer left wings only. Pass the Hot Sauce!