A Look Back with Seth Mazow, HOES Champion of 2008 and 2009
Seth Mazow is the two year reigning champion of the “Hands on an Eggplant Sub” contest that takes place every year at our Carnival O’ Pizza. Seth wrote a blog about his experience eating pizza with all different types of people from friends to loved ones to Austin street celeb, Leslie — called Year of the Pizza. Unfortunately, Seth will not be defending his title this year because he and his wife Erin, who stood together for over a day to secure the second win, have moved to California. I got with Seth recently to chat about his two years of pizza.
Do you miss eating all that pizza?
Goodness yes. Perhaps my arteries might beg to differ, but eff them. More than that though, I miss having a place where everyone knows my name.
What was your record for trips to Home Slice in a week?
I think 8 or 9 the week before my HOES title defense. The competition was on Saturday. I tried to load up on salt (cheese, olives, anchovies, etc) to prep my body for the marathon of non-peeing, so I rocked out for lunch and dinner Sun-Thurs (excluding Tuesday because HS was closed). I think I went once the previous Saturday too. Later I heard Terri mention something about me not being allowed to go more than once a day, so hopefully she won’t read this.
What is your favorite pizza in the whole world? (don’t worry, you don’t have to say Home Slice)
Actually, it is Home Slice. For the community, free-ness and love more than the pizza, but the pizza is crazy good too. Zante’s Indian Pizza in San Francisco is second, and Marco’s in Dallas is third.
When you won the first HOES competition, had you heard of it or was it a spur of the moment decision?
I had heard about the carnival a week before, and I planned on entering the pizza eating contest. I had just finished working on a losing congressional campaign, and was newly unemployed. A friend’s band was crashing at my place, and they got partially compensated by the bar they played at the night before with an open tab. I joined in the merriment, and the next morning, I found myself in NEED of breakfast tacos. Two tacos in, I remembered the eating contest a few hours away, and realized I had no chance. I went anyway (I lived a block away), lost in the first heat of the pizza tossing event, and was consoled by the DJ to try my hand at the HOES contest. And since my candidate had just lost and I was unemployed, I literally had nothing better to do.
What was the hardest part of HOES?
Not peeing more than once every 10 hours. I ate tons of salty stuff beforehand and went to an acupuncturist to strengthen my kidneys. It was still hard.
Statistically, couples who go through a traumatic experience together, like a natural disaster, tend to have a stronger relationship. You and your fiance (now wife) Erin stood together for 30.5 hours for your second win. Do you think the experience affected your relationship?
Absolutely. It started with fun and goofiness, and when she took her hand off for me to win, it ended with love. The delirious combination of no sleep, dehydration, hunger, exhaustion and victory acutely sharpened our bond at that moment, it was one of the more intense feelings of love I’ve ever felt.
So, you wrote a blog about your two year of pizza eating, which is awesome. What gave you the idea? When did you decide to write the blog?
I didn’t blog for the first few months, and I realized that the pizzas and conversations were all blending together. I thought that was a shame, and figured the blog would force me remember the moments and allow me to practice my writing. I hoped the Homeys wouldn’t be mad that I exposed their lives to the interwebz against their will, so I tried to keep it to nicknames, first names, etc. I don’t think they were.
Your blog evolved over time, when and why did you decide to trade pizza for interviews?
I never viewed it as “trading” pizza for interviews. I viewed the posts as snapshots of conversations. I did trade pizza for plenty of other things though. A ride from a swimming hole back to the Kerrville folk festival, HTML help, photography tips, donations to post-quake Haiti, etc.
What was your favorite interview?
Either my interview with Leslie the second time (right after his accident) because he was such a handful, or when I took Kerry and Chris, the winners of my Pizza For Haiti Challenge (they donated $100 each, I raised $325 total). I looked forward to both for quite a while.
Has anything surprising come from writing your blog?
I never thought my insights would be sought for a story on champions that heavily referenced Henry David Thoreaus’s neckbeard: http://www.asylum.com/2010/04/28/eli-manning-joe-cada-seth-mazow-rules-achieving-greatness/ (my apologies for some errors in the story).
If you could have dinner with a rapper, politician, reality TV star, and one other person of any manner of career and level of fame, who would you dine with?
ODB, Kinky Friedman, Kody (the polygamist from Sister Wives) and Takeru Kobayashi.
So, you’re in California now. What are you getting into?
Surfing and paying for pizza. One of those is more fun than the other.
Thanks, Seth, for taking the time out to talk to Home Slice. We wish you the best in California.
Stay tuned for some exciting developments in this year’s “Hands on an Eggplant Sub” contest.