Friday, July 6

Area man lays claim to 'non-competitive' eating title.

Delaware, OH — After finishing off a third helping of his wife’s Tuna Noodle Casserole, Jerry Basham named himself The World’s First Non-Competitive Eating Champion.

“Kobayashi ain’t got nothin’ on me. Neither does that Joey kid frm California.” Basham boasted. “Lightweights, both of ‘em.”

Basham contends he’s been eating ‘non-competitively’ for the past 61 of his 64 years of life.

“My momma fed me ‘til I was three, so I can’t count that.”

Basham believes that eating at competitive ‘events’ is just a gimmick dreamed up to sell hot dogs. He says, the real true champion eaters are those who do it every day for a lifetime.

“I may not sit down to a plate of 66 wieners, but give me a bag of Cheetos and I’ll polish it off during a Matlock rerun. And I won’t stop there, no sir. I’ll add a couple of Zebra Cakes, a container of Slim Jims, and a 2-liter of Vernors. Tomorrow, it will be Pinwheels and pretzel sticks.”

Basham has even fashioned a ‘belt buckle’ that touts the self-imposed title.

“I didn’t get an A in metal shop for nothing.”

Basham's wife, Edna, wearily testifies to his eating prowess.

“I’m at the damned Kroger’s four times a week.”

Basham now boasts a 49-inch waistline, a testament, he says, to his lifelong commitment to mastication and digestion.

“The real prize, is the knowledge that there’s always another meal. And snacks in between those meals.” said Basham, drifting off into an enchilada-induced haze.

Edna, however, secretly hopes to soon see an end to her husband’s reign.

“Please dear God, is one fatal heart attack too much to ask? I’d like to go on a cruise.”