It began simply. My friend Bob ate two baskets of Norris Fries (note: Norris Fries are fries from Norris). That was an unprecedented feat. Telephone calls were made. Beads of sweat on his forehead were wiped by perfumed handkerchiefs.

Seeing the look of intense satisfaction on his face, I decided to top him. I ate three boxes of Cap’n Crunch. Of course, that included the boxes, and the plastic whistles. I saved the UPCs.

Bob upped the ante considerably by attending a magic show at a grade-school library and eating one hundred doves that flew out of the magician’s cape. The children squealed with delight, but were disappointed when the magician ran out of doves. Suggestions that Bob eat him as well went unheeded. Instead, a post-pubescent 6-year-old named Hank ate him.

I ate the left-field foul pole at a local minor league park. I later felt bad, for its absence might have cost the home team a game that night. Articles blaming me for the team’s defeat appeared in several area newspapers. I, however, contend that the team’s porous defense and absurd conglomerations of facial hair deserve more of the blame. Still, feeling bad, I bought them a new pair of cleats.

Bob ate three baskets of Norris Fries, an unprecedented feat.

I ate all the tuna, causing its extinction. I did so in an entirely dolphin-safe fashion.

Bob ate all the dolphins.

Tiring of the contest, I ate all 500,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit. I suggested to the Detroit city fathers that the acres and acres of vacant land created by my efforts be made into a park, with grass and ponds and picnic tables and cheeseburger trees and barbecue pits and pigs with apples in their mouths. I suggested that this park be named Iron Stomach Park, and that it most definitely not be named after some rich corporation, unless that rich corporation is named Iron Stomach Park (or The Iron Stomach Park Corporation) and is dedicated to the promotion of eating contests world-wide. Detroit’s city fathers will get back to me.

Bob ate a Hawaiian Island. It was not believed to be volcanically active, but his groaning indicates otherwise.

On the sidewalk in front of my home, awaiting me, are four baskets of Norris Fries. Should I die in the attempt, I ask that my body be given to the neighborhood kids, for use as a fort.