Bob was the orange-eating world record holder, but he was about to lose that title.
He could peel and eat six 7-10 oz oranges in two minutes and forty-two seconds. MrOrangePeel, a YouTuber, could do seven in two minutes thirty-four seconds. Since it’s always possible YouTube videos could be sped up or otherwise doctored, MrOrangePeel had to prove his prowess live, with the Guinness World Record folks nearby to observe.
Everyone gathered at Whistling Kettle Diner to view the event. Bob almost didn’t go, but his pride got the better of him and he sneaked in behind the crowd to watch the attempt.
It had already begun. MrOrangePeel, actually a teenager named Jin, was tearing into his third orange. Forty-three seconds. Jesus. This kid was a monster. The peels were yanked off like skin from fried chicken. Those teeth, stripping away the orange in quarters with each massive chomp from a deceptively small jaw. He had a pile of oranges in front of him. They looked delicious, this mound of juicy perfection. Bob licked his lips, and returned his attention to the contest.
He looked at the timer, presented as a kind of mini-scoreboard next to the Guinness people. The crowd was oohing and ewwing at the ferocity. People were catching small spatters of orange juice on their clothes, cheeks. One guy rubbed the acid out of his eye with a curse. Several people filmed the whole thing on their phones–no doubt for MrOrangePeel’s YouTube channel. Bob hoped the cameras would be covered in orange juice too, but it never happened.
Onto the sixth orange. Two minutes even. Bob was getting nervous. But more than that, he was getting hungry. Seeing the unwrapping of the orange, those plump petals disappearing into that unappreciative kid’s mouth. No savouring. No enjoyment. Bob ate them quickly, but he enjoyed it. He ate oranges because he loved it, not because he wanted to impress some idiot kids on YouTube.
He could hear the juiciness mashing between teeth. He could smell the citrus in the air. God, his stomach was a growling beast. He couldn’t stand it.
The kid finished seven oranges in two minutes and thirty-one seconds, and the instant the timer stopped and the crowds cheered, Bob barreled through the crowd and shouldered Jin to the side, right off his chair. Before anyone knew what was happening, Bob had removed the peel from one of the oranges in the unused orange pile. It was like a magic trick–he just swiped his hand over the peel and suddenly it was gone, hurled across the room to splat against a window.
At least a third of an orange for every bite. People had a hard time keeping track, the oranges were going so fast. Unsure what to do, the Guinness people let the timer keep going. After all, it was all recorded. They knew exactly when he started.
But Bob didn’t pay attention. The kid, Jin, was screaming at him, screaming at his fans to stop filming, pulp flying from his lips. Everyone just watched Bob.
Another orange. Or was it the third? He was eating so fast, people were losing track.
And when it was clear he beat Jin’s newly-set record, everyone jumped with excitement and patted him on the back–but he kept eating. And eating. There was a whole pile in front of him, and he was hungry. In the same time Jin took to peel and eat seven oranges, Bob had done eight–and a half.
Eventually the excitement and the cheering quieted. Even Jin became silent. The filmers kept filming. The only noise was the scrunching teeth squishing into orange-and-pulp-white fruitmeat, peel and juice everywhere, a monstrous, inhuman display of gluttony and savagery, all on a pile of 7-10 oz oranges.
At last the oranges were mere peels on the table, the ground, the chairs. The Guinness people packed up the timer, the camera. The YouTubers put their phones away. Bob huffed and huffed, his shirt wet with juice, his chin sticky and shiny, white pulp pocked on his lips. And there he sat, while everyone–not just Jin–exited the diner, utterly defeated.
Today’s three prompt categories were, “Pride,” “Gluttony,” and, “Orange.”
I looked it up. The actual record for most oranges peeled and eaten in three minutes is six, and belongs to Dinesh Upadhyaya (India), as well as Ashrita Furman (USA). The more you know~