Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

Sign up and read my novel for free.

All Blog Posts


Free Expert Advice

March 25, 2016

In an effort to make my blog more educational, I’m here to share a special expertise I’ve kept hidden until now. It’s quite possible that a few of you might someday be coerced into an activity of which I can offer useful tips. No, I’m not going to advise anyone on painting or writing because there are already too many so-called experts marketing their expertise. I’m here to help you claim a blue ribbon should you ever find yourself in—a pie eating contest.

           

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that anyone who identifies themselves as a “chubby” chatterbox has eating skills. I’ve never been selected for my athletic prowess, but my ability in pie eating contests was once considered legendary. In high school, where my talent was first discovered, I was a member of Rally Council, a pep squad supporting our high school’s sports teams.

 

At a football rally before the entire student body, I was coerced into my first pie eating contest. Granted, our football team hadn’t won a game in recent memory and needed all the encouragement possible. How burying my face in pies supported our team remains a mystery.

 

Something you should know about pie eating contests is that you never know when you might be coerced into one; usually you’re strong-armed into participating. Peer pressure can play a significant role. Always assume while walking out of your house that someone you’d never suspect has secretly enlisted you into an activity capable of rendering you immobile with volcanic diarrhea for days. Always wear clothes suitable for pie eating. Back in the seventies, paisley prints were good at hiding stains but they’ve yet to come back into fashion.

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, you might not have control over pie content—you might be gobbling berry or cherry pies which stain both skin and clothes—select clothing capable of hiding stains. Diving into a cherry pie could leave you looking like someone who’s been mauled by a pit-bull.

 

My pie of choice is whipped chocolate, light and airy (it’s all about viscosity) and pies with creamy fillings require less chewing and go down the hatch more quickly than peach or apple pies. If given a choice, don’t make the rookie mistake of selecting your favorite pie; it will be a long time before the memory of that crippling diarrhea fades, along with the disgusting sensation of pie being blown out of your nose days after the event. Chances are good you’ll never eat this pie flavor again so don’t select a favorite.

           

Organizers of pie eating contests do all they can to see to it that your face is immersed in pie, such as requiring you to keep your hands behind your back while eating. Images of faces covered in pie gore make good copy. I’ve actually been in pie eating contests where someone standing behind me pushed my head down into the pie. Always be wary who’s standing behind you during these competitions. But the best piece of advice I can give is this: no matter how many people are cheering you on, no matter how curious you are to count empty pie tins on competitor’s tables, do not open your eyes.

           

This might sound like needless advice, but the uninitiated have no idea how difficult it is to keeping their peeps shut at this challenging time. Pressure from diving into pie can cause your eyes to involuntarily open, and if you’re capable of eating many pies you could end up in severe pain, looking like a heroin addict or a zombie in The Walking Dead.

           

Hopefully, I’ve left you better prepared for such a challenge. I’ve never lost a pie eating contest, which I’ve been told is the result of gluttony and not something I should take pride in. My record is six pies. I know of people who’ve consumed far more, but perhaps one day I’ll come out of pie eating retirement and make another attempt at the award most coveted by pie competitors—The Golden Tin.

 

 

 

 

So much for this public service announcement. Next time back to my usual topics.

 

              

 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

              

 



Comments

25 Comments
Um... thanks, but no thanks!
By: Mitchell Is Moving on March 25, 2016
don't think I'll try it. smushing your face in a pie seems doesn't seem like a very efficient way to eat it.
By: Ellen Abbott on March 25, 2016
Ah. Now there is news I can use:) Though I've never competed in pie-eating contest mainly because I've had a beard since 1976 and I try to steer clear of eating situations that could prove problematic. R
By: rick watson on March 25, 2016
Well now I want some pie! But I think I'll try to avoid any contests...
By: The Bug on March 25, 2016
I do love pie... but now that I have been provided with insider information, I'll make every effort to avoid such events.
By: Daniel LaFrance on March 25, 2016
There are often eating contests of various kinds at our annual local agricultural fair. Everything from cupcakes to spam! Good to watch, but not tempted to take part.
By: Botanist on March 25, 2016
Thanks for the advice. I keep my pie mode on at all times. ha. I almost entered a hot dog eating contest but glad I didn't. I love hot dogs. Lisa
By: Lisa on March 25, 2016
Ummm I'll pass thanks! Pie is my favorite dessert and I don't want to ruin that ~ yikes!
By: Kathe W. on March 25, 2016
Ah, you lost me at "volcanic diarrhea for days". That was a side effect I never imagined but now seems obvious. Thanks for the warning.
By: Arkansas Patti on March 25, 2016
well, i love berry pies so i'll abstain from an eating contest for numerous reasons you've pointed out here. :)
By: TexWisGirl on March 25, 2016
I am ready for this challenge if it ever comes my way. However, the potential side effects of volcanic diarrhea might dissuade from pursuing this aggressively.
By: Mr. Shife on March 25, 2016
I don't think I've eaten six pies in the last 30 years. I like pies but they aren't made that much anymore. Anyway, thanks but no thanks for all the hot tips.
By: red Kline on March 25, 2016
My limit would be one piece -- no one ever called me a professional eater.
By: messymimi on March 25, 2016
I think I am 100 per cent safe from ever entering a pie eating contents. You lost me with the blowing it out of my nose and diarrhea comments. I really love pie but I will stick with one slice at a time. Slow and steady.
By: Cheryl P. on March 25, 2016
I'm not much of a pie aficionado, but I'll keep your tips mentally filed away for future reference.
By: Val on March 25, 2016
Very helpful. Back in college I was the champion jello eater. It was a race to finish a gob of jello and whip cream. I was able to eat the whip cream in one shot, ans slurp the jello whole and swallow it while standing up All the other contestants were still working on the whip cream. We do have some talents in common.
By: cranky on March 25, 2016
When I first saw that picture of the pie at the top of your post I thought you'd share your hidden baking skills with us. I expected some recipes...ha!
By: Pixel Peeper on March 25, 2016
Alas, I have never been able to eat all that much in comparison to the amount I have seen others regularly consume, but I could gain weight thinking about food. Often looking like I have eaten everything in sight without receiving the pleasure from it is not fair at all.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on March 25, 2016
I'm a chubby girl too, but have never done an eating contest. It's almost a sin to ruin the appreciation of good food with the necessity of having to suck it down like a vaccuum. I like to savor every bite! :)
By: Lexa Cain on March 25, 2016
I concede you the pie-eating crown, but will challenge you or anyone else to a contest involving ice cream.
By: Tom Sightings on March 26, 2016
For this guy, pie eating is a spectator sport. Good tip though about light and airy instead of heavy apple or pear.
By: Tom Cochrun on March 26, 2016
Uh, no, thanks, Chatterbox. Looks way too messy for me.
By: Catalyst on March 26, 2016
I never considered that I must keep my eyes closed. For that, I thank you. Also, for my sudden hankering for pie.
By: Al Penwasser on March 27, 2016
I thank you for this advice, and I pray I'll never need to use it. If so, I'd have to go with something coconutty - I don't like coconut. Never thought about having to close my eyes either. How do you know how much is left? Dang, this all sounds very challenging, and I'm quite impressed by your pie-eating skills.
By: Robyn Engel on March 27, 2016
I read this amusingly, knowing this is not in my diet, which has been altered again. Six pies! That is something!!
By: MICHAEL MANNING on April 1, 2016

Leave a Comment

Name:
Email:
Comment:

Return to All Blog Posts Main Page


RSS 2.0   Atom