I announced at our news meeting here at Weekly World Headquarters last week I would be entering in a crawfish eating contest and our Editorial Assistant LP Hastings would be there filming the madness. I was initially met with skepticism. “If it's judged by time, you're going to lose,” our Mexican-in-Chief Gustavo said.
It's true, I am an abnormally slow eater. I suppose I concentrate on talking or working more than eating during meals. It's a phenomenon that has served to amuse my friends and coworkers for reasons why I'm not entirely sure. I don't laugh at everyone for drinking slower than me, after all.
But when I heard the Long Beach Bayou and Blues Festival would be holding a crawfish eating competition last weekend, I knew I had to enter. I just flippin love crawfish. I go to local mudbug restaurants alone and eat a whole pound to myself frequently. For what I typically lacked in mastication speed, I knew I would make up for in enthusiasm.
So LP and I went to the festival at Rainbow Lagoon Park on Sunday and went to figure out the details. We found the competition was to be held at Harold & Belle's To Geaux at 4 p.m. I signed up–$13 to enter plus you get a free pound of crawfish to go!
The rules were simple: eat as many crawfish as you can in 5 minutes. The judges would then come by and count how many empty tails you had discarded in your tray. The heads didn't count to win. Check out the video and see how I did here:
The first place winner ate 54, the second ate 52 and then third place ate 36. Guess who came in third? That's right! Hellcat Hamby knocked back 36 crawfish in five minutes. Not bad considering the men who won first place were both twice my size!
I celebrated my third place win of my first-ever eating competition later that night by–what else?–going out to dinner and eating a pound of crawfish.