Perhaps a recap is in order: Last night, this here Minute was summoned via text message by Mr. Beauregard H. Montgomery to the "Vending Machine Challenge." We showed up at the Pioneer Bar on the Bowery to watch two teams compete to determine which one could gobble down 46 items from the machines the fastest. Each machine contained 13,800 calories worth of pure junk, stuff like Snickers, Oreos, Starburst Fruit Chews, chips, and the most challenging to the gullet--Skittles. The title match pitted three members of the New York City Ballet against three employees from J. Walter Thompson.
The winning team? It was J. Walter by a smidge, we were told. But don't think those primas didn't put up a fight. They silently teased and taunted their creative rivals, pirouetting, plieing, bobbing, and weaving in their space with grandiose dramatic gestures. They provided the evening's most ironic entertainment. Have you ever seen dancers raiding a vending machine and feeding one another fistfuls of chips, crackers, and cookies as quickly as possible?
When asked in a pre-match interview why he was participating, dancer Christian Tworzyanski told the Minute, "I think I was drunk when they asked." We also asked what everyone really wanted to know: "Are you going to purge the junk immediately after the match, and do you have class tomorrow?" Tworzyanski answered "yes" to both; Gwyneth Muller and Megan LeCrone were more cryptic.
Prior to the title match, Studio Red at Rockwell Group beat the team from Counts Media in a 42-minute bout. We watched the guys from Studio Red pulverize bags of chips, pour water in them, and imbibe the mix. Don't get us wrong, they had a strategy. One guy would dump coins in the machine and select items for the other two, leaving the most challenging junk for last. When it was over, Geoffrey Baldwin of Studio Red told us: "The worst was the Skittles, and the Mounds [bar] was terrible." But he was still smiling. One of his teammates seemed wrecked, sitting outside on the street.
Nearly halfway through the title match, we couldn't hold out due to an early engagement this morning. We still witnessed at least half of the match, and hear that the battle raged for a total of 54 minutes. One of the three J. Walter guys vomited during the competition and was disqualified; it must have happened after we left, or we would have seen it from our premium viewing position.
With one man out, J. Walter suffered another blow as another teammate hurled shortly thereafter. The last man standing for J. Walter, Jason Campbell, managed to choke down the last Starburst Fruit Chew to pull his team to victory.
The NYC Ballet? Well, it lost by only a few half-eaten candy bars and a cookie. Never underestimate the discipline, focus, and sense of humor of dancers.
While we didn't see any Little Debbie snack cakes or Hostess HoHos, Mr. Montgomery's LVHRD Foundation, put on a good show.
Congratulations to everyone who participated. Good sports all!