Monsieur Mangetout. Remember this guy?
Any kid who ever got lost in a dog-eared copy of the Guinness Book of World Records sooner or later came across Monsieur Mangetout. He's the guy who ate a bicycle.
Since c. 1960, the Frenchman with the stomach of steel (born Michel Lotito) has eaten everything from bicycles to television sets. His greatest coup was stomaching a Cessna 150 (a feat which took two years... fortunately Cessnas don't need to be refrigerated).
I was thinking about this on the way home today.
Remember back in high school there was 'that kid' who would eat/drink anything for a buck? I remember we had one of these immortals among our crowd at school and for a buck a head, he'd drink whatever you put in his 16 oz paper cup. Got Dr. Pepper? Pour it in. Mix it up with Mustard? In goes the Mustard. Relish? Coffee? The grease off the top of a slice of cafeteria pizza? Pour it all in, that'll be a buck an ingredient.
Stir it up and down it goes.
And let's not even get into bodily fluids.
So I was thinking about how there is this fascination we have with people who will eat 'weird' things. We have television shows where contestants are rewarded for eating live insects. Cannibalism is always a sure bet to make the front page of cnn.com (US edition).
In the Old Irish sagas, heroes became so awash in rage that they might eat their enemies on the battlefield.
And there's Monsieur Mangetout with his bicycles and airplanes, that kid with his blended gross-out shake, Divine and the dog-poo.
What's left to eat? What is the Everest of eating-oddities? What mountain is left to eat?