Confirming the rumor that some reporters will do just about anything for a free lunch, six of Utah's press personalities this week pigged out.
All for a good cause, of course.Six media gluttons, each a bit green around the gills, competed for $10,000 in prize money during the first (and maybe last) "Great AT&T Coleslaw Media Bowl" to benefit the homeless.
Winnings from Thursday's contest in the ZCMI Center were donated by AT&T to launch an employment outreach program for the homeless at the new Salt Lake Community Shelter and Resource Center.
Spurred on from a heckling crowd who yelled, "Gulp, don't chew," the chowhounds devoured cup after cup of coleslaw during three 60-second segments of the contest.
Proving that practice makes perfect, Gaylen Palmer, KLCY Radio, walked away with the grand prize of $4,000, which will be donated to the center in his name. "I knew this was going to someday be an Olympic event so I have been in training," said Palmer, who reportedly has been seen at Wendy's Restaurant daily for the pastseveral weeks.
Palmer wolfed down 15 cups, 2.2 ounces each, of fresh coleslaw, donated by Siegfried's Delicatessen. So did KSL newsman/outdoors reporter Doug Miller.
But Miller, exhibiting his earthy instincts as he shoveled in the slaw, was declared first runner-up.
"Unfortunately because of a mere technicality, commonly known as `cheating,' Miller came in second," announced emcee Danny Kramer of KALL Radio. Judges found smithereens of coleslaw left in Miller's containers. "But he has challenged Gaylen to another eat-all tomorrow," Kramer promised.
Diminutive 110-pound Deseret News social services writer Lois Collins, using a technique that had her thrown out of Market Street Boiler recently, edged out voracious competition by scarfing up 12 containers of slaw.
"If I did such a good job, why do I feel so bad," said Collins. "I don't know whether to be pleased or embarrassed to nudge out much bigger people."
Collins, who snarfed down Alka-Seltzer Plus on her way to an afternoon meeting at the State Health Department, said she would have done better had they served her favorite dish, cucumbers, instead of coleslaw.