My hero, "Bozo Miller," RIP
Man, they don't make 'em like Bozo Miller, anymore. Billed by Guinness as the "world's greatest trencherman," Miller earned his fame with feats such as these.
He once won a contest in Idaho Falls, Idaho, by eating 30 pounds of elk and moose meatloaf. He boasted of downing 25 bowls of minestrone and 30 pounds of shrimp, and drinking a whole bottle of gin in a single chug on a bet, then offering to buy the loser a drink. His Guinness records -- in categories no longer recorded in the book -- were for eating 27 two-pound pullets of chicken, and for downing 324 raviolis, each at single sittings in 1963. Guinness noted that he downed the first 250 raviolis in 70 minutes. Then there was a delay while the Rendezvous Room restaurant in his home town of Oakland, Calif., replenished its supply.
And he boasted of seldom suffering indigestion, except once, in 1942, when a snack of 10 pounds of cheese crackers made him ill. He said he often sank a dozen martinis before his first lunch of the day.
A competitive spirit drove him, he said. Too often in periods when he tried to diet, someone would challenge his gustatory supremacy and he would suddenly find himself downing 25 7-Ups or three steaks. "A friend will say, 'Hey Boz, eat a jar of white horseradish for my wife,'" he told the Los Angeles Times in 1972. "I can't say no."
Miller has passed away January 7, a few days shy of his 90th birthday (take that, Mike Bloomberg!) Bozo, I hope you're in a place now where your gin bottle never runs dry and your ravioli plate never needs replenishing. Thanks for the living inspiration you were. Rest in peace, and rest assured that I will find some "suitable" way of honoring your legacy this weekend. (It will probably involve a trip to Costco and the wholesale liquor store today and a trip to CVS in the morning.)