It is not everyday that you receive a challenge at something you love. So when Pooja Guha, a girl who is about 10 inches shorter than me and a couple of dozen kilos lighter, challenged me (and Debraj) to a KFC eating competition last Friday, I realised it's one of those once in a lifetime opportunity knocking on my door on a dark stormy night.
Quickly the rules were framed 1) hot chicken wings 2) 90 minutes 3) total expenses to be borne by the loser:runner up:champion in the ratio of 3:2:1 4) Tuesday evening.
But then the problem with such unequal competition is that the challenger plays with very little to lose, while the unquestioned champion (read: Me) in some deep corner of the heart/mind wonders, 'what if?' That thought of losing the battle and fame and ego can be quite gnawing. Further winning strategies were chalked out, more so to come on tops than see off the challenger. Debraj was a formidable competitor. At the end, so was Pooja.
Tuesday came and with it came a first-in-4-years veg lunch at work. Well, not counting the eggs of course.
As it drew closer to the D hour (5:30 PM) the fears within were won over.
Reached the venue on time, all competitors, referee (Mrinalini Singh) and audience and photographer (Veni) together. There was a sense of underplayed tension as we chose our table carefully, ergonomically and gastronomically. The cashiers at the store were in for much entertainment.
After many photographs, some videos and 57 chicken wings Babu gave up after his 21st wing. Pooja had quit sometime back at 14. My count read 22! There was a small prize distribution ceremony (the video of which is embedded below). I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my well wishers and believers in my Obelix-ish appetite and love for chicken and other forms of meat which they compare to that of Romeo for Juliet. Well, a little more maybe.
It was fun, while it lasted. Looking forward to any further challenges. And in the meanwhile a question for you. Why did the chicken cross the road?
Too vague? Okay, what came first, the chicken or the egg?
In the meantime, you can have a look at the pictures of the competition.
Chickening out. Not.