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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to Ask Me Another from NPR and WNYC. I'm Ophira Eisenberg. Coming up, we'll get the story behind some children's nursery rhymes. Plus we'll see if Bon Appetit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport can take the heat of the puzzle hot seat.

Our next two contestants are both esteemed members of Major League Eating. Please welcome competitive eaters Crazy Legs Conti and Eric "Badlands" Booker.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome.

CRAZY LEGS CONTI: Thank you for having us.

EISENBERG: It is my absolute pleasure. I have many questions for the two of you because we are super-interested in what you do. So first of all, Crazy Legs, what is your food of choice when it comes to competitive eating. Do you have a favorite?

CONTI: I do have a favorite food. I just got back from New Orleans, where we did the Acme oyster eating contest. And this year the oysters were so large someone compared them to beef tongues, they were that big, very creamy. So it was a pretty tough year on the pro eating circuit in New Orleans.

EISENBERG: And how'd you do?

CONTI: I finished fifth, which isn't bad. I was the 2002 world champion. I've sort of been chasing that moment ever since. So the oysters are my favorite because it's kind of a homecoming for me, and there's a street down there named Conti, which is my last name. So I feel at home there.

EISENBERG: When we're talking, you come in fifth, how many oysters is that?

CONTI: It's well over 100.

EISENBERG: Badlands, how about you? What is your food of choice for competitive eating?

ERIC BOOKER: Well, I'm pretty much an omnivore, but I think the things that I do best in is Buffalo wings and hot dogs.

EISENBERG: Oh nice, OK. Yes, some classics, you've got some classics. And what - how do you train?

BOOKER: Well, you need four things in order to be a great competitive eater. You need capacity, you need stamina, you need strategy, and you need focus, what I call being hungry and focused.

EISENBERG: Hungry and focused.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And I hear, Badlands, that you also have a hidden talent.

BOOKER: Yeah, I have a little genre of music called competitive eating-themed hip-hop.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Can we have a sample?

BOOKER: (Rapping) What's up, eating fans? They call me Badlands, top-ranked American eating champion, aka the all-day buffet, and when it comes to doing game shows, I don't play. What you eat in a wake, I eat in mere minutes, put all-you-can-eat buffets out of business. Just in case you forgot who the heck is this, I'm Badlands Booker and a (unintelligible).

(APPLAUSE)

BOOKER: Yes, sir.

EISENBERG: This is going to be so good, this game, I can tell.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This is going to be so good. So with two competitive eaters onstage, clearly we have to play a food musical game.

JONATHAN COULTON: That's right, a food musical game, you know that kind of game, of course. This game is called We're Not Gonna Bake It.

(LAUGHTER)

BOOKER: Nice, nice.

COULTON: And it based on the Twisted Sister song "We're Not Gonna Take It." As you might expect, we have rewritten the lyrics to be about baked goods, making it the least revolutionary revolution song ever. All you have to do is tell us which baked good I am singing about. Ring in when you know the answer, and the winner will face off against our VIP Adam Rapoport in a special trivia game later on in the show. It goes a little something like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) We're not gonna bake it, no, we ain't gonna bake it. We're not gonna bake it anymore. We've got the right to hate this last Christmas when we ate this. It weighed a ton; it made us gag.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Badlands.

BOOKER: Of course it's fruitcake.

COULTON: Of course it's fruitcake.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Brand name corn chips are silly when baked with cheese and chili. Hot burn alert; please pass the Tums.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Badlands.

BOOKER: Nachos?

COULTON: No, I'm sorry, it's not nachos. Crazy Legs, do you know what this is?

CONTI: I'm going to go with Frito pie.

COULTON: You got it, Frito pie.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Have you had that, Crazy Legs, have you had Frito pie?

CONTI: I've only had seven pounds, so I can't really say if it's good or bad.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Was there are a Frito pie eating contest?

CONTI: There's not been Frito pie, but Badlands was runner-up in the fruitcake eating contest.

BOOKER: Yes, I was.

CONTI: How many pounds did you eat?

BOOKER: No, I lost by one crumb to Sonia "The Black Widow" Thomas(ph). I mean, she's 5'5", a buck-0-5, and she beat me by five-thousandths of a pound, which is like literally this.

EISENBERG: A crumb.

COULTON: That's the game, though, you know. What are you going to do?

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) We're not gonna bake it, real men ain't gonna fake it. Ixnay on this egg dish from Lorraine.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Crazy Legs.

CONTI: Quiche.

COULTON: Quiche, you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Just a tip to anyone who's thinking of writing a rock-'n'-roll song: Do not put the word egg dish anywhere in the song that you are writing.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Have you competed with any quiches?

CONTI: We do a variety of egg dishes. We do juevos rancheros, and I am the lumberjack breakfast eating champion. But with - that's actually pancakes and bacon, but you can order an egg side at the halfway point when you hit the wall, just to avoid flavor fatigue.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That must be refreshing.

CONTI: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) These artsy craftsy cutouts shrivel when baked, but watch out. They're plastic toys not finger food.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Crazy Legs.

CONTI: Shrinky Dinks.

COULTON: Shrinky Dinks.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Oh lordy, we are almost done with this game, everybody.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: This is your last question.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) We're not gonna bake it. This loaf ain't gonna make it. No green summer squash in our desserts.

EISENBERG: Mary, do we have a hint for them?

MARY TOBLER: Sure, if you filed your recipes alphabetically, this would be near the back, almost at the very back.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Crazy Legs.

CONTI: Zucchini loaf?

COULTON: Yes, that's absolutely correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Mary, how did our competitive eaters do?

TOBLER: Congratulations, Crazy Legs, you're moving on to the VIP game against Bon Appetit editor Adam Rapoport.

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Crazy Legs.

(APPLAUSE)

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