Ah, the thrill of competitive eating—the wind gusting through your hair as your shovel ungodly amounts of calories down your gullet, the public waiting for that glorious moment when you finally puke—it's the stuff of great novels and riveting reality television. Unless, instead of glory, you end up in the hospital after a disastrous spicy curry-eating contest for charity.
Two eaters were hospitalized over the weekend following a spicy curry contest at Kismot Indian restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland. The "Kismot Killer" curry (described by the restaurant as "a top secret nuclear strength recipe using some of the worlds hottest chillies") left 21-year-old American exchange student Curie Kim writhing: "It was very painful and felt like I was being chainsawed in the stomach with hot sauce on the chainsaw," she told BBC. Kim, it should be noted, came in second (loser), while the winner "ate the last bowl in four seconds and then ran outside to be sick," the way champions do.
Following the competition, the Scottish Ambulance Service had to be called in because two of the contestants had such violent reactions to the curry. The restaurant said they had eaters sign a waiver before chowing down, but hey, it was for a good cause. Kim, perhaps unsurprisingly, disagrees: "I don't think the restaurant should do it any more as I think there are a lot less painful ways to raise money for charity," she said. Which is true—at Brick Lane Curry House in the East Village, Phaal Challenge winners compete only for themselves: the prize is pride, glory and a free beer.