Eating contests are gross enough, but the competitors are horking down too much of something that’s at least meant to be edible. Then you’ve got the stinging nettle, a plant that’s grown tiny spines to avoid being eaten. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the World Stinging Nettle Eating Championship!
Taking place yesterday in England (of course), this competition has been growing in size every year since it began as a bar bet (of course). And if the tiny daggers stabbing the inside of your throat wasn’t bad enough, try dealing with bright green feces for days. Because I hate you, I bring you video, after the jump.
The contest began more than 20 years ago when two customers at Marshwood’s 16th century Bottle Inn argued over who had the worst infestation of stinging nettles.
“One of them said, ‘I’ll eat any nettle of yours that’s longer than mine”‘ said Rory Macleod, 34, the pub landlord. “And so they had a competition. They’re both dead now. It’s become a highly competitive event, very macho, and we get hundreds of people coming down here. We’re now seeing a lot of east Europeans coming over who take the whole thing very seriously.”
It has indeed become international, with 65 competitors and 1000 spectators traveling to Dorset for the tournament. But why? In the name of god, why?
“They taste totally foul, and everything comes out bright green for a few days afterwards,” shrugged Simon Slee, 48, the reigning world record holder with 76 feet. “Apart from that it’s really not too bad. You need focus and rhythm and some beer to take the taste away.”
You catch that? Seventy-six feet of stinging nettles in an hour. F**k it, he can keep his title.