You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Potato peeling’ category.

(Blogger’s note: If you are an e-mail subscriber and received a post that appeared to be a draft, please accept my apologies. I’m just getting the hang of of blogging on the iPad and accidentally published a draft.)

After one year of pursuing some of the oddest contests I could find and traveling all over the country to reach them, Carie and I did something completely insane last week: We went on a vacation focused solely on rest and relaxation.

It was fantastic to go away without an agenda, but I did spend a fair amount of time thinking about and preparing for future events. Here’s a quick look at what’s in store in the weeks and months ahead.

– Co-national egg toss champion Mike Hepp and I are still plotting a path to the World Egg Throwing Championship in June. We’re still wooing potential sponsors, but we’re confident that we’ll make it to England to defend the honor of American-laid eggs. Unfortunately, I’ve had to waste some time monitoring the Wikipedia page for the National Egg Toss Championship. Last week, some hackers erased our names and added the names Wells Winegar and Yaj Jacobs as the winners of the 2011 championship, which has yet to take place. Wells and Yaj, if you’re reading this, and if you want to challenge the champs, drop me a line. But please, respect the sanctity of our Wikipedia page.


– While it wasn’t an official contest, I recently tried an incredibly fun new sport. NBC 17 morning anchor Penn Holderness invited me to play a round of speed golf, which is just like regular golf, except you run between shots and combine your total strokes with minutes played to tally your final score. I’m not yet sure when Penn will air the story, but I’ll keep you posted and write more about our round later.

– I’ve been challenged by a reader to compete in his upcoming 999 Challenge, in which competitors must eat 9 hot dogs and drink 9 beers during 9 innings of a baseball game. Although I keep saying that I’ll never compete in another eating contest, especially after my miserable failure at the Krispy Kreme Challenge, I simply cannot turn down an invitation to drink beer and watch baseball. It would be un-American.

– On May 21, Carie and I will compete in the National Potato Peeling Contest in Elizabeth City, NC. Of course, I said the same thing last year and we never found two more teammates. But this year we will not be denied. If you think you’ve got what it takes to join our team, so long as your name isn’t Wells or Yaj, let me know.

For now, I have a Wikipedia page to monitor.

Weeks of procrastination combined with an apathetic approach to team building atop an inattention to detail have spoiled my dreams of winning a national championship this weekend.

What’s worse, for the second time in two months, a competition involving potatoes is getting the better of me.

But unlike the potato decorating contest, I’m not even able to enter the National Potato Peeling Contest. Not any more, at least.

Just because there’s an event that anyone can enter, it doesn’t mean that the event takes entries the week of the competition. That’s what I finally realized after reading the fine print on the contest’s registration form. According to that, I should have registered by May 7.

Sure, maybe I could have contacted the contest coordinators and begged for mercy, but it would be hard to do that without a team. In the last two weeks, my efforts to recruit the necessary four team members have failed miserably. My pitch to join the team has elicited the following responses:

“That sounds like a complete waste of my time.”

“If I want French fries I’ll just buy them myself.”

“Maybe you should get a new hobby.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, my own wife dropped out on me.

So if you were looking forward to a report on the potato peeling contest (and if you were, where were you two weeks ago when I was trying to assemble a team?), I apologize. But fear not. There’s always next year. And, fortunately, we still have the Asheville Idiotarod to look forward to on May 23.

Time is running out in our search for two teammates to join us for the National Potato Peeling Contest. Last week, I asked you—faithful reader—to comment here and explain what you might be able to bring to the team. So far, the only comment I have received is an insult about the fact that no one wants to join us.

I come to you today with added incentive.

According to Potato Festival committee member Cindy Williams, 1,500 pounds of potatoes are donated to the festival. All of these potatoes, including those used in the peeling contest, are destined to become delicious, golden French fries. But not just regular French fries—free French fries.

It’s true. Apparently, the Potato Festival is the least bit interested in making money. All they want is for you to enjoy free French fries. And while you’re at it, why not take a stab at tater greatness?

Williams said that only 24-28 teams usually enter the potato peeling contest. Name another national championship event that gives you those kind of chances. I dare you.

But I’d rather you join us for potato peeling. And free French fries.

Are you a champion potato peeler?

Or, at least, have you ever made potato salad?

Or even eaten a French fry?

And might it be convenient for you to be in Elizabeth City, N.C., on Saturday May 15, around, oh, 10:30 a.m.?

At this point, I’d accept any of those abilities as a qualification to join our potato peeling team.

That’s right. If you are a warm body, are not allergic to potatoes, aren’t afraid of holding a sharp object, and can make it to Elizabeth City on May 15, you have just what it takes to compete in the National Potato Peeling Contest at the North Carolina Potato Festival.

Sure, it might be nice to sleep-in that day. But you know what would be better? Being a national champion. Who cares if it’s a national champion in potato peeling? How many people can actually say they’re a national champion in anything? Not many. But maybe you will be saying that in a few weeks.

Carie and I need two teammates to round out our team of four. If you’re ready to compete for a national title, leave a comment and explain what you’ll bring to the team.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 38 other subscribers