Eric (left) and Phaedra (right) doing a test run
Mr. Kai Reinsborough
Eric Couture, a 16 year old sophomore at Champlain Valley Union High School, has a love of lighthearted competition. He’s been involved in theater and music, and plays the tuba, but this is the first project he’s undertaken on his own. “It’s my sense of humor, I have a really terrible sense of humor,” Couture said, in reference to a club he’s proposed that “started off as a joke, and then we started talking to some people about it … so we thought we might as well make it a real club.”
Inspired by an internet post, he’s organizing what he calls “Lettuce Club World Championships 2017.” It’s a competition to see who can eat a head of lettuce the fastest. “It’s a free for all,” Couture explained, “Whoever finishes their lettuce first is president for the next year, and is in charge of organizing the next meeting.”
“Most likely we’ll start before school at 7:45, so less than a half an hour. Half an hour at max. We did a test run yesterday and it took us around 15 minutes, so we’re thinking half an hour should be long enough for most people.” I tuned in to the 9/18 test run on instagram live where Couture and his good friend/co-organizer, Phaedra Miller, each ate a head of lettuce, albeit at a more leisurely pace. “You have to eat the whole lettuce from top to bottom to be able to win. Even that gross part at the bottom.”
Other than organizing the next championship, “There’s no actual useful prize, just bragging rights,” said Couture. “We might get a plastic tiara.”
I asked Couture how he got his club approved by the school. “We haven’t yet …We already have a club advisor, so the last hurdle is getting it approved as a club, and we’re hoping that that happens. We should be hearing about that soon.” TJ Mead, the Chittenden Core health teacher, is lined up to be their advisor.
Dan “Shep” Shepardson, CVU administrator, was hesitant about the idea. “Seems like it’s trying to make a mockery of the co-curricular/club setup,” he said, when reached for comment, “I don’t support any kind of activity that encourages people to do anything to excess.” Though he did say he “[might] be willing to do it as a ‘one time’ thing for a cause/purpose or fun,” he said that he was “doubtful that anyone would actually join a club to do this.”