Holiday Feast

Maybe some golf. Perhaps one last summer barbecue. Or, you could spend your Labor Day weekend scarfing down tamales--like, how about 100 of 'em? That's what some carb-crazy contestants will attempt to do Saturday at 1 p.m. in Lewisville at the Dallas Tortilla and Tamale Factory World Tamale-Eating Championship. You've seen the ridiculousness of competitive eating on TV (and down below), now you can see it, breathe it and, um, taste it?

Eating tamales is an acquired skill that demands both jaw strength and stomach capacity," International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) chairman George Shea says with a straight face. Headlining the event is hometown favorite Levi Oliver, the 2004 tamale-eating champion, though SMU grad Tim "Eater X" Janus has to be considered the favorite. Janus, who grew up in Connecticut but matriculated on the Hilltop, recently captured the New England Hot Dog Eating Championship and is the tiramisu world-record holder.

Saturday's winner gets $1,500 and, we assume, a couple days in the bathroom. "Naw," says Janus, who woofed down 34 hot dogs in 12 minutes in a July 4th competition. "After the competition we all go out and celebrate with beers." --Richie Whitt

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