If you find yourself in a pie-eating contest at any of this weekend's festivals, Fat City wants to give you the best chance of surviving with your dignity intact.
You don't want to end up like this blogger -- hoping that your love of food is enough to get you through the competition. So here are your top five strategies for either taking the gold or keeping the pies down, whichever's more important to you.
1. Get yourself a nickname. Intimidation is a big deal and if you're not a large man or woman -- you might as well have a pie-eating moniker that sounds like you know what you're doing. Bad puns are a decent place to start -- something like the Cherry Gobbler.
2. If given a choice, don't choose a pie flavor you love. You don't want to ruin a pie that brings you joy. Instead opt for you second choice to avoid lasting repercussions.
3. Join the International Federation of Championship Eaters -- then you can call yourself a professional eater, even if you're an IT guy. Plus, you'll be in good company. IFOCE member Eric Booker holds the record for pumpkin pies: 4 3/8 Entenmann's pumpkin pies in 12 minutes, set back in 2004.
4. Get your face and hair dirty, quickly. In moving your head to every point on the compass, you can push pie out of the tin, smear it on your face, and stick it in your hair. The idea is to make sure a lot of pie is ending up outside your mouth, but off the plate. We all have only so much pie we can eat; this will expand your capacity.
5. Get in shape. Many competitive eaters believe that a "band of fat" can prevent larger eaters from eating as much as their thinner competitors. Moreover, you're going to need the added breathing capacity and a slightly faster metabolism to absorb that much pie. Plus, you'll want to fit into that souvenir T-shirt.