Click to Enlarge
  • Click to Enlarge
As I've previously announced, I'm training our own Cienna Madrid and the Hugo House's Brian McGuigan to compete in this year's SCIDpda Spring Roll Eating Contest. Last night, we did a test run at Phnom Penh, the delicious Cambodian restaurant on King St. in the ID.

We ordered two servings of spring rolls, a grand total of twelve. I explained some of the basics: Eat the spring rolls two at a time, drink as much water as you need, and remember to chew before you swallow. So all three of us set about eating four spring rolls as fast as we could. It was not a promising start. I almost lapped them, eating four in the same amount of time that they each consumed two. Brian finished a distant second, and Cienna wound up way in the back. The problem, I explained, was that they were eating—bringing the rolls to their mouths, taking bites and setting the rolls back down on the table before bringing it back up again. This is a common mistake among wanna-be eaters. You're not eating when you competitively eat; you're a rhythmic chewing and swallowing machine.

Click to Enlarge
  • Click to Enlarge
After a real meal—try the veggie noodles, they're great!—we ordered six more spring rolls and tried again. This time was completely different. Brian's form was pretty good. But Cienna was a demon. In the middle of her eating, one spring roll split in half and fell on the floor. Cienna picked up the roll and ate it—a major time-suck—and still came within a hair's breadth of tying me. Brian was a good two or three seconds behind us.

Support The Stranger

So here's the thing: You can't tell a lot from two sets of spring roll sprinting. But if Cienna manages to keep the form that she showed last night, she could do really well. The trick is that she'll have to find a way to make room for 24 spring rolls. In two minutes, she might not feel herself getting full if she gets into the rhythm. I bet Brian will improve as he eats, speeding up as he goes. And anyone who attended his talk about binge-eating at Central Cinema on Wednesday night will know that he has a capacity to hold a lot of food.

So on Monday, both my competitive-eating babies will eat a small, carb-filled breakfast and then fast, drinking gallons of water all day to expand their stomachs. They'll quit with the water about two hours before the competition, and then they'll take the stage and do battle against each other and a list of competitors including a Seahawk, a Sounder, and an Army major. I'll be there, watching. Will you?