Here’s a great story from NPR about a great character — Simon Sleigh, a Brit who holds the world record for eating 76 feet of a plant called a Stinging Nettle. An eating contest is held every year in the town of Marshwood, England, and Sleigh’s held the record since 2002:
Sleigh says the plant tastes downright disgusting.
“Because it’s so disgusting you think it can’t really be that disgusting, so you persevere with it and see how much you can actually eat,” he says. “And the more you eat, the more you realize you were right in the first place — it is disgusting.”
Sleigh attributes his penchant for nettle-munching to a peculiar life phase he was going through at the time he set the world record. Since then, he hasn’t eaten so much as a leaf.
“I think I was going through some sort of herbal crisis,” he says. “And so by confronting the crisis I was going through by eating these nettles, it helped me through. Now I’ve come out the other side, and to be honest I’m a much better human being as a consequence.”
That’s hilarious. The world is better off for Sleigh and all the other interesting characters who add flavor to our lives.