Mon, November 18, 2013

Thane Burnett bites off more than he can chew

By THANE BURNETT, QMI Agency


Eating the Big One
 

CORBY, ENGLAND - Enough crumbs fall from my trembling lips to feed a Sub-Saharan village.

I am so full I may never eat bacon again.

Yes, bacon ­— that essential food group sitting below french-fries but above butter tarts on the pyramid.

It is 32 minutes since I plopped arrogantly down at a reserved table in an English diner to tackle the “Big One”.

And if you think that sounds obscene, you’re right.

Some time ago, I heard whispers about the most-unhealthy breakfast on the planet.

A helping of morning fare so big, only four humans have managed to consume every bite. None of those gastric athletes are Canadian.

For a nation that eats God-awful food, the English ‘fry up’ is something they take great pride in.

So how — I know you’re nodding your heads — could I come to an event dedicated to human achievement and the thrill of record competition, without attempting gluttony for the glory of my country?

First, the tale of the expanding tapes.

I’m a 40-something dad. About 99.8 kilograms. Love Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain. I’m not into yoga and have half a brain.

The Big One, as served behind a red door in a tidy Corby diner called The Hungry Hossee, should be a 7,500-calorie alert by the World Health Organization.

It is a middle finger to most people on the planet who don’t even own a fork.

But when in Rome, you lay down like Caligula.

Café owner Shelaine Agnes Crabtree has called her cook in early, so I can be catered to like an inmate served a last meal.

It might explain why there is a funeral home next door.

As I walked in to the restaurant, attendants dusting off a hearse looked up and nodded knowingly.

I’ll catch a lift soon enough gents. But first, breakfast.

Crabtree says The Big One is taken as seriously as something ridiculous can be.

Patrons who shell out around $20 — you get that back if you finish — often go to bookies in advance, placing bets on whether they have the stomach for it.

The last cheater beat the watching camera and stuffed bits of food in his shirt. You can walk around, go to the loo or find something healthier to do while you digest, like smoking out back. So he tried flushing great chunks that refused to go quietly down the diner’s plumbing pipes.

The four men who have beaten The Big One — slight looking Englishmen — have their pictures up.

So do the failures.

I actually thought I would chew through Britannia.

I’m big, love toast and a bit dim to reality.

But I discovered fear around ten minutes ago — a time when most diners hit the wall.

“They go silent and move the food around on the plate,” Crabtree grins.

“The thing people don’t realize at first,” explains cook Lynsay Tapner, “is that under the first layer of food is another layer.”

I am now stuck between those steaming piles.

My plate still looks full and I must seem like a little girl — rubbing my tummy and moaning I couldn’t eat another morsel.

I will ask Crabtree for the rest to go, but change my mind when I realize I’ll have to carry it on my lap for the train ride back to London. And it’s so heavy.

Pull my man-card now.

A day, likely this week, a new picture will be tacked to the wall of the Hungry Hossee.

It will be framed by a stranger’s hubris and his nation’s disappointment.

Like the majority of Olympians, I have tasted international defeat here.

And it was so hard to swallow.

thane.burnett@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @thaneburnett

What’s in 'The Big One’?

· 3 Kilos of bad for you stuff, including · 3 sausages · 3 beef burgers · 3 friend eggs · 3 rashes of bacon · 3 slices of black pudding · 3 square sausages · 3 portions of bean · 3 portions of mushrooms · 3 potato waffles · 3 potato scones · 3 hash browns · 3 portions of fried bread · 3 rounds of bread and butter · 3 rounds of toast · Which all adds up to 7,500 calories – three times what a person should consume in each day.

What's the biggest meal you've ever eaten? Tweet us your answers with hashtag #gutbuster