I intended to kill Twinkie the Kid. I was going to macerate, masticate and mash the cowboy themed foam filled Kid. I had arraigned to meet the yellow bellied sponge cakester at an hour past high noon at the World Twinkie Eating Championship at the Bally's Tunica Casino. The Casino has a weathered barn look and the folks there we all glad to see me and have a Twinkie shoot out (or stuff in).
The clock started and down the table Joey Chestnut was slamming three Twinkies at a time into his mouth, until the foamy whiteness leaked onto his cheeks. It looked like yellow waves crashing into a saliva soaked cave. Joey would consume an astonishing 121 Twinkies in six minutes. Matt Stonie, aka "The Stone Ranger," would crush 111 Twinkies, finishing just behind Joey. I would finish a couple of bites behind in a close 6th place, eating 28.
I know I was leading in the early three seconds. The truth is, I had it out for Twinkie the Kid, but he whipped my behind, stomach and various other body parts to make the me the laughing stock of the Bally's Tunica Casino. The $5 high rollers slot machines were swallowing faster than I was. For me, it all past in a yellow blur. I really didn't hit my stride until the six and half minute mark when the contest was over.
Since our sport doesn't have a Gatorade bath, I took a plate of ten Twinkies and did the, "Twinkie stuff" into winner Joey Chestnut's face. He was not happy. I thought the stuff would go viral and other contests (perhaps not chili) would feature the winning Major League Eater getting face-stuffed with the victorious food. I had a shirt from the generous Hostess sponsors that read, "Prepare your cakeface." I thought that was what it meant. Did I mention that Joey was mad? I had to buy him beer from Clarksdale to Memphis to make up for that faux foam pas.
Despite my pitiful "just desserts" finish, I had an amazing 24 hours in Clarksdale, Tunica and Memphis. I went from down home Delta BBQ at Ground Zero (Morgan Freeman's graffiti covered bar) to giant Canadian burgers at Kooky Canuck in Memphis. I wandered Beale Street and got some of the 100 year old grease on me from Dyers. I tuned into AM stations playing scratchy blues as I sped down Highway 61. I spoke to high ranking Hostess executives about the bakery braintrust that thinks up and creates new desserts (they are self admittedly very good at flavors). It was a great, albeit exhausting trip. Tunica, perhaps I'll be back. Twinkie the Kid...you won this round, but I'm already prepping for the next go round at the OK Corral...Buffet.
Crazy Legs Conti can be reached at www.crazylegsconti.com where he got his just desserts from a kid named Twinkie.