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Yasir drops the Doggy Bag

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted May 25, 2013
yasir salem eating buffalo wings
The Artist Formerly Known As... Yasir doing wings. © Yasir Salem or maybe Angela Zachary Hoffman

When Yasir Salem scarfs pepperoni rolls in West Virginia today, he will do so without using the Doggy Bag name tag, the R&H can exclusively reveal.

Yasir Salem is a changed man.

For when the Noi York, Noi Yoik-based gurgitator steps up to the table at the Third Annual West Virginia Three Rivers Festival Pepperoni Roll Eating World Championship in Fairmont, West Virginia later today (25/5/13), he will no more be eating as 'the Doggy Bag', the Rake & Herald can exclusively tell the world.

Instead, the Major League Eating (MLE) number 19 will be pitting his teeth, mind and stomach against these local delicacies as simply Yasir Salem.

But why has he decided to ditch his masticatory moniker, the speed-scoffing sobriquet he has used for a year or so?


"I didn't like it," he exclusively twitterises the Rake & Herald while using his new @yasirsalem Twitter handle.

So what should Yasir do now?

Well, like The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, he could always adopt some silly symbol just to make things difficult for hacks like us.

Or perhaps he could call himself 'Iron Man'.

After all, this fearless food fighter, who last month secured his seat at this year's Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest by pulverising 26 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes, is also an accomplished triathlete.

As such, in addition to running numerous marathons and half-marathons, including his third Noi Yoik City Marathon, the months ahead will see Yasir competing in a gruelling full Ironman triathlon in and around Mt Tremblant, Canada this coming August as well as half-Ironmans in Augusta, Georgia and Austin, Texas.

"I've been training for the Ironman [in Canada] for 23 weeks and have another 13 weeks to go," Yasir says.

"That is my main focus on my race schedule."

"All races leading up to that are in my schedule to prep me for it."

"The half-Ironmans in Augusta and Austin are to keep me in shape."

But how does all this running, cycling and swimming help him gourmandise grub against the clock?

"Tri training has gotten me in the best shape of my life," he states.

"I've shed 48 lbs [21.8 kg] over a year."

Consequently, Yasir now has "less visceral fat", resulting in "more room for [his] stomach to expand".

"I also eat a lot of veggies and [drink] a big jug of water for breakfast," he reveals.

"I have much higher caloric needs for tri training."

"That's helping my capacity too."

And that's something that will no doubt come in handy later today as well as on July 4.

"I'm happy I was able to qualify early in season for Nathan's."

"I plan to improve again at the finals."

While we here at the Rake & Herald are all fat lardy bloaters who get knackered coming through a door too quickly, we're nonetheless pretty sure that all that physical exercise malarkey is bound to whip up quite an appetite.

Heck, I get hungry just opening a tin of food.

And when it comes to today's pepperoni roll chowdown, a 10-minute MLE-sanctioned gobathon staged, as its name kinda suggests, as part of the wider West Virginia Three Rivers Festival, a healthy appetite will clearly be a boon given that the record to beat is 33 of the things scarfed at last year's do by Patrick 'Deep Dish' Bertoletti.

While Deep Dish won't be there to defend his title this year having now departed the MLE roster, the competition Yasir will face will nevertheless be pretty bloody impressive to say the least.

Imagine the entire Red Army running at you with their PPSh-41s and Mosin–Nagants blazing.

Except this ain't World War II.

This is competitive eating and those commies charging over the hill like a scene out of Cross of Iron are actually Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut (MLE #1); Tim 'Eater X' Janus (MLE #2); Sonya 'the Black Widow' Thomas (MLE #3); Bob 'Notorious B.O.B.' Shoudt (MLE #5 and not an off-stage veggie); Miki Sudo (MLE #7); 'the Lovely' Juliet Lee (MLE #9); Micah 'Wing Kong' Collins (MLE #15); Marcos 'the Monster' Owens (MLE #28); 'Big' Brian Subich (MLE #29); and William 'Wild Bill' Myers (MLE #37).

Or, as MLE puts it on its Twitter feed, an "elite field for this vaunted event".

And while they probably won't be hell-bent on defending the Russian Motherland against the Nazi onslaught in prelude to spreading their twisted Marxist-Leninism all over the place like rancid jam, all will be fully focussed on winning eternal glory and the top prize of $2,500 (£1,652).

Furthermore, in an almost identical rerun of the Defence of Stalingrad, today's mandible match will be an epic battle of immeasurable historical importance, particularly given that it will mark the first time woman-to-watch Miki Sudo has locked digestional horns with either the Black Widow or the Lovely in no-holds-barred craw-to-craw combat.

So how has Yasir been preparing?

Well, from looking at his Twitter feed, it appears he intends to start the day with a 30-minute swim, a 3.5-hour bike ride (we think) and a 50-minute run.

So yeah, we guess he'll be quite hungry.

Eaters of the world unite!

You have nothing to lose but your lunch!

As ever, we will endeavour to bring you, our cherished and beloved readers, a full report once the results are in. However, due to all the paranormal activity going on in the office right now, this might not happen for a few days. Anyway, in the meantime here's Yasir being interviewed (17 minutes 54 seconds in) about being a gurgitator and running the recent Brooklyn half-marathon.

The above vid is embedded from the NYRRvideo YouTube channel. Top stuff and big thanks for your answers, Yasir!

See also Four in a row for Black Widow, posted 14/4/13.

To understand just what paranormal shenanigans have been going on at Rake & Herald Towers lately, make sure you read Jaws wreaks revenge, posted 24/5/13.

Do you like our Sandi's scribblings? If so, why not befriend her on that FaceBook thing? We don't let her out much, see, preferring instead to shackle her to her desk inside an indestructible cage (it's actually a Perspex box with a couple of air holes stabbed into it with a chisel). As such, she's terribly lonely and unloved. Please find it in your heart to help her before her constant whining drives us to kill her with a sharpened curtain rod. Remember, Sandi's life is in YOUR hands so get 'friending', or whatever the trendy modern verb is. Please. She's just started crying again.

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