Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Taco Tuesday Tom

In honor of Taco Tuesday...

Last week Tom forwarded me a link to an article I hadn't see in years, maybe even decades. He apparently went in search of it in an effort to prove to his coworkers that the story he'd told them was actually true, and then shared it with me thinking I'd enjoy the walk down memory lane.

After reading the article, I hopped over to the blog to find the post I'd written previously about this life-changing (in that it earned Tom his most used nickname) event...and was shocked to discover I'd never actually written about that day in detail before. Yes, I'd mentioned that we often call my better half "Taco Tom," but I hadn't share the specifics.

So here are the specifics, about the day we were walking by Panchero's in downtown Iowa City and Tom was roped into participating in their annual burrito eating contest. About how he, as a skinny mini sophomore, stripped off his shirt and in his topless state ate five giant burritos. About how he beat out his nine opponents to win "free burritos for a year." (Tom was told that first prize was free burritos for a year. It wasn't. 😂)  About how his post-competition "reversal of fortune" caused a blood vessel in his eye to burst...just a couple of days before he was scheduled to have his photo taken for an official University of Iowa brochure. (Yep, they still took his picture and used it in the brochure, despite his terribly creepy eye.) About the day he became Taco Tom.

I transcribed the article below because it's incredibly difficult to read here. Warning: the article mentions vomit quite a few times. 

Burrito Contestants Compete to Eat

A UI sophomore wins Panchero's fifth annual contest by downing five.

UI Sophomore Tom Ferris may have lost a hard-boiled egg-eating contest during breakfast with his friends Wednesday morning, but he made up for it last night by winning Panchero's Mexican Grill's burrito-eating contest.

Ten contestants, including Ferris, participated in the annual event at the downtown Panchero's, 32. S. Clinton St., by eating burritos non-stop for 45 minutes Wednesday evening.

Ferris ate almost five half-pound burritos and was declared the official winner right after he finished vomiting in the bathroom.

Regurgitation was the center of controversy after a Panchero's employee apparently told runner-up Sean Hansen, a UI Senior, that vomiting was permitted during competition when in fact it was against contest rules. Hansen went into the bathroom and vomited during the competition after three of his total four and a half burritos. He eventually argued his way back into the competition.

While it appeared Hansen would win, the crowd started to support Ferris by yelling, "Taco Tom! Taco Tom!" Soon the whole place was chanting as Ferris took the lead in the final minutes. Competition between the two had already erupted earlier when they book took their shirts off to show their eating power.

The official winners were announced after the remaining burritos were weighed. Because Ferris vomited after the competition, instead of during, he was declared the official winner and given 12 free burrito tickets. Hansen and Iowa City resident Daryl Stephenson, a former contest champion, were declared runners-up and were rewarded with 10 tickets.

The other seven competitors slowly gave up during the competition. After eating almost two burritos, UI junior Nathan Huffman was the first to quit.

"I can't do it," he said. "I don't even know if I'd want to eat a semester's worth of free burritos."

Huffman wasn't the only contestant who gave up early. UI freshman Melissa Brown, the only female competitor who said she was signed up by her friend, quit after eating a little more than two burritos.

"This isn't fun anymore," Brown said after finishing her second burrito. 

This was the fifth year for the contest, said Panchero's owner Rodney Anderson. Four contestants entered by signing up in advance, and the other six volunteered right before the contest began, he said.

Ferris, who volunteered the day of the contest, said he plans to do it again next year.

"This is the best day," he said, and added that the free burritos may go to charity since he probably won't be able to eat any more for the rest of the year.


Should I make tacos - or maybe burritos - for dinner tonight? 🌮 🌯

No comments:

Post a Comment