The Eating Man

December 31st, 2011 § 0 comments

During the immediate post-World War Two period, The Eating Man was often hired by publicity seeking New York restaurants and department stores. Permit HG to clarify: There was not a single Eating Man, but many. The Eating Man was a precursor to the “professional” eaters we have now who enter contests such as the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition

What did The Eating Man do? Well, The Eating Man would be seated at a table in the front window of the restaurant. He ate. A lot. A big crowd gathered. There was lots of news coverage. It seems the public was fascinated by feats of outrageous gluttony. Legends arose. It was said The Eating Man ate 250 hot dogs, or five hams or six turkeys. Of course, this was all hyperbole from the press agents who hired these big eaters. One true fact: The Eating Man was never a big, fat guy. Robust, yes (and with a good appetite). The champion amateur big eater during HG’s days as a Broadway flack was Kenneth MacSarin, a stage manager. Typical MacSarin anecdote: Kenneth was finishing breakfast at Lindy’s. One dozen eggs with two dozen strips of bacon. Lots of Danish pastry. A quart of orange juice. Endless coffee. Turns down a last cup from an astonished waiter : “Sorry, I’m in a hurry,” says Kenneth, “I’ve got an early lunch date.”


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