"It is possible to die from eating. But I think to be professional means you don't die." (Takeru Kobayashi)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Today I saw an anal probe that would have made E.T. blush. It was called the Spirus. It resembled a four foot long, flexible light saber with a corkscrew attachment on the end. Upon spotting it and realizing what it was, I had to resist the urge to drop my messenger bag and run screaming in the opposite direction.

Let me back up a bit. Today I attended the American College of Gastroenterology’s annual trade show in Philadelphia. Nothing but colon, stomach and esophageal doctors as far as the eye could see. And me. I was there because one of our clients was there. I was sent to do “industry research.”

As a competitive eater, I felt a little awkward in the midst of so many digestive system experts. Me in my suit with my little secret. If they knew, I might have been banished. Or probed with the Spirus. I kept my secret to myself as I walked past the Celebrex booth, past the Prevacid booth and past the booth displaying a product called the Tushower (it’s a combination of two words, figure it out).

I wandered over to the area of the trade show featuring case studies of various gastrointestinal maladies assembled by medical teams from around the world. Big four by five foot posters explained “Patient A” and what ails him and then went on to explain how they made him right again. I didn’t understand any of it.

The case studies were categorized by area of the body: Colon studies, liver studies, studies of the small intestine and pancreas. Thinking I’d find something I might understand and be able to apply to competitive eating, I rushed over to the stomach and esophagus sections. Nothing but more words I didn’t understand and pictures I didn’t want to look at. “Esophagus: Endoscopic Full Thickness Plication for GERD” read one.

The only thing that even remotely resembled something related to CE was a study called “Human Small Intestine Anisakiasis Due to Consumption of Raw Sardines”. It was the result of work by several Japanese doctors including two named Kobayashi. Lesson learned: Eating sashimi can cause little worms to grow in your intestines.

I left the conference after a few hours of wandering and chatting. With my appetite somehow still intact, I walked across the street to the Reading Terminal Market and grabbed a cheesesteak with whiz and onions at Rick’s, which I ate while reading a framed and yellowed Philly Inquirer article from 1951 about Pat Olivieri. I was back in familiar territory. And not a light saber anal probe in sight.


Blogger steakbellie said...

Both me and Philly guy were blocks away. Reading Terminal is an awesome place to eat, and I like Rick's Steaks...good choice!

1:17 PM

Blogger Carey said...

Steak, he doesn't call anyone when he is in town. It is as if he is embarrased to be seen with us.

5:17 PM

Anonymous Philly Guy said...

At least we're not checking out anal probes.

5:35 PM

Blogger Hall "Hoover" Hunt said...

The Spirus! That sounds like a vilan's name. Yikes!
Eric "The Spirus" Livingston I presume.

8:28 AM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

Guys, you're making me feel bad. It was a relatively quick trip. In and out (bad choice of words).

The Spirus! I like that, Hall. He would have snakelike arms and shoot KY Jelly from his fingers to create a slippery trap for his victims.

10:03 AM

Anonymous Philly Guy said...

So thats why he can't wear pants like the rest of us...

7:05 AM

Blogger steakbellie said...

I've already GOT a nickname!!!!

9:02 AM


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