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all brief words: Frank Turner
all photos: Blink Ofaneye and Frank Turner

The 3rd Annual Hamburger Eating Contest at Z Burger in Tenleytown started off with a significant dose of pro wrestling-like dramatic flair and comedy. An announcer wearing a stars and stripes top hat brought out competitors (all male) with names like Stinky Pete and The Beast that flexed and fist pumped for the media-heavy crowd.

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Each competitor was paired with a cute girl in a tight red top to keep tally of burgers swallowed and, more importantly, distract us from the sick excess we would soon encounter and encourage

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As many burgers as you can eat in ten minutes. Simple. And, the announcer politely reminded, all competitors had to keep it down. Keeping it down was the real challenge of the day. With each burger that was dunked in water (to make going down easier) and inhaled the competitors clutched their stomachs and covered their mouths. More than cheers there were speculations, aw, dude, look… he’s about to puke.

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At the end of the ten minutes there was controversy. Dale Boone, or The Mouth from the South, lifted his arms in victory and shouted USA! USA! for the cameras while whispers of cheating and puking on the down-low circulated. After getting a tip he should check Dale’s water cups, Furious Pete, the fit defending champion from Toronto, pulled handfuls of chewed up burger from Dale’s cups in front of the crowd like a rock star attorney revealing damning evidence to a jury.

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There were shouts and near-shoves. Dale should have been instantly disqualified but wasn’t, so there was a one-minute burger eat-off, to the collective eww of the crowd, between the two men, which Furious Pete easily won. In all, Furious Pete ate 17 burgers to keep his title and take home a check for $2500. I’m not sure if he kept the burgers down for the drive back to Canada or if he grabbed a few extra patties for the road. When the competition wrapped the owner announced free burgers for everyone present. Hope you had a nice 4th.

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more snaps from BLINK OFANEYE:

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