With continued apologies to John F. Kennedy and his remarkable volume, “Profiles in Courage,” I present another amazing installment of “Profiles in Chewage.” While superhero movies clog the theaters and TVs, a real non-cape wearing super powered human eats among us - Jeff (no nickname) Esper. A mild mannered vocational teacher during the week, he morphs into a meta-human masticator on weekends at Major League Eating events. I was fortunate to interview this real life Tony Stark (he does teach electronics and rumor has it that Gywenth wants to consciously couple with him.)
CLC: What eaters do you look up to?
GE: You, Booker, Sonya - Cookie Jarvis - I saw those people on TV. I saw the MTV show with you and Janus. Pat Bertoletti and even beyond MLE, Molly Shulyer.
CLC: You ascended the heights of powerlifting - as did Takeru Kobayashi at one point - do you see a parallel that benefits competitive eating?
GE: I think it actually is hurting me. I had to scale back some, When you lift really heavy weights your midsection gets thick and doesn’t stretch well. That was hurting my capacity and would stop. Heavy lifting isn’t the best - getting lean is.
CLC: As a teacher, do any of the kids recognize your competitive eating prowess?
GE: Nah, everybody asks me that - they are hard to impress.
CLC: What do you think of the Pork Roll mascot - the large pink disk with pink liver spots and pink tights?
GE: No comment.
CLC: Probably the wisest answer
CLC: What do you think of poutine - it’s got to be hard to find cheese curds in Oxford, Ma?
GE: I bought a block of soft mozzarella and I am going to cube it up and give it a go this weekend.
(Note - soft mozz seems to work as Geoff “Still no nickname” Esper did a whopping 18.5 pounds to finish third in the Smoke’s Poutine Eating Championship)
CLC: I found Poutine to be delicious - what foods have you found palpable, what foods delicious and what foods, in competition repulsed you?
GE: I haven’t eaten anything that repulsed me. As far as the tastiest thing - the cheeseburg contest we just did - I really liked those and the onions were good to the end. I liked Gyros and I don’t even like tomatoes and I thought it was delicious.
CLC: Groupie talk - you have your choice - the entire Kardashian Clan but Andy Dick gets to ride on your back leapfrog style through all the interactions or Kate Hudson, but with Colin Firth sitting there with no trousers or underwear on, knitting a sweater?
GE: As long as Firth just keeps knitting….
CLC: What food would you like to see a Major League Eating championship in that you would excel at?
GE: Where I live they have these table top pies. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them. They are little pies in all flavors - they have apple, pumpkin. I think they should have contest with four on a plate, all the different flavors - you eat one and then go the next one. I think that would be a really fun contest.
There you have it, Geoff “He really needs a nickname” Esper is a man who can pound almost twenty pounds of poutine, lift the really big circular weights that I eschew at the gym because the pink handhelds ones seem lonely, and mold the minds of tomorrow’s youths, despite their ignorance of his alter superhero ego. How does he not have a nickname yet?
In today’s contest based reality TV and social media world (sadly “Eating with the Stars” the competitive eating celeb hybrid show was shot down by the major networks but is still pending at the CW) there is only one way to settle the lack of Geoff Esper’s nickname - a contest. Tweet your nickname suggestions to Major League Eating’s @eatingcontest and like the Coliseum of yesteryear (the shuttered all-you-can-eat Greek buffet diner), the winner will be chosen by the people. Remember, only fourteen entries per household and the prize - a game worn jersey from Crazy Legs Conti (dry cleaning sold separately.) So take off that dining bib and put on your thinking cap (or earmuffs - it’s a bit chilly) and get nicknaming!
Crazy Legs Conti’s stomach rumbling sounds a lot like Coldplay. Hear the churning at www.crazylegsconti.com