Bet you can’t ! Challenges ….


The three teenagers were rolling around on the floor groaning, holding onto their stomachs. On rare occasions my family are all together in the same place at the same time. We live scattered across the continent and beyond.  It happened during one of those rare occasions when we were all gathered together in my home town of Adelaide. We were having a lazy Sunday afternoon after lunching together. Hubby decided to issue a challenge to the kids. There were four eager beavers chomping at the bit.

The rules were simple. Eat fifteen icecreams in two hours. Winner gets $50. That was a LOT of money back then. The kids were cocky. Sure of themselves. It would be a cinch they said. Strategies were discussed. Someone thought the best way would be to scoff them as quickly as possible. Get it over and done with. The others weren’t so sure. They thought a measured, slow and steady pace would be much better. Another suggested dividing up the time to see how long each ice cream should last. That took a while. Not a one was mathematically gifted. Eventually the problem was solved – one every eight minutes would do the trick. That didn’t sound too bad at all. It was ICE CREAM after all! OK. Consensus reached.


Meanwhile the adults sat, listened, laughed, threw out suggestions. No, the kids wanted none of it. It was their show and they were going to decide how to go about it, thank you very much.  No-one really expected it to go ahead. But if the kids wanted to try it, why not! It was harmless fun and would be good afternoon entertainment. Hubby was footing the bill. Besides, everyone would get an icecream to eat while watching the show. Better a live performance than eating popcorn at the movies!

I was sent to the shop to buy the icecreams. All had to be different I was told. Sixty for the contestants. Another dozen for the spectators. Finding fifteen different ice creams proved to be a bit of a challenge. I chose Icy Poles, Magnums, Cornettos, Drumsticks, Hearts – whatever I could get that ensured each one was different. Eventually I had enough and returned carrying 72 icecreams in shopping bags.  The delicatessen owner was just a bit curious. He asked if we were having a big party. I told him, no, there was to be an icecream eating competition. Shaking his head, he tallied the bill. Who was he to argue with a customer!


Eager to start, the kids chose their first icecreams. Everyone had to eat the same type at the same time.  The first few slid down easily enough. Yum! It was summer. It tasted good. This is going to be so easy!!! Give us the next one!

Eager to start, the kids chose their first icecreams. Everyone had to eat the same type at the same time.  The first few slid down easily enough. Yum! It was summer. It tasted good. This is going to be so easy!!! Give us the next one!

Then the pace started to slow down. Somehow, the icecream was not quite as tasty anymore. Tongues were getting cold. Numb. Tummies were getting full. Teeth were starting to hurt. A sickly feeling was slowly beginning to build.  Complaints started to flow about the unfairness of having so many creamy, filling ones.

Should have thought about that before accepting the challenge so readily, I said. And perhaps negotiated the terms a bit more. I was given free reign, I said.  The cold made their heads ache, they said.

Meanwhile the audience slowly licked and savoured their icecreams. It wasn’t that hard, they said. Don’t rush so. Take your time. You still have plenty of it left.

The first to fold was the youngest. He just could not manage another bite. He stopped at six. The other three bravely continued. We didn’t think it would be so hard, they said. Icecreams are fun to eat we thought. But not any more. Snails pace and slower, the challenge finally dwindled at ten. The thought of eating another icecream makes me want to puke, one complained. The others just groaned, curled up on the floor, holding their stomachs.


That was over thirty years ago. The challenge still stands unbroken. My niece, one of the finalists, remains adamant to this day that she can do it if given another go. Somehow, no-one else seems too keen to take her up on it.

© Raili Tanska

Images Pixabay and personal album




24 thoughts on “Bet you can’t ! Challenges ….

      1. If I was taking this challenge, I’d insist on plain scoops of icecream in a waffle cone. So all I had to do was eat icecream, pure and simple. The cone could be refilled. Perhaps I should explain why I’m thinking about this so hard.
        Well, I’ve learnt not to buy icecream in really large quantities, because, alas, I can eat my way through a big tub in an evening. Just a little bit more…and then a little bit more…
        But I don’t think even I would be up for 50.

      2. Lol! They didn’t really think it through at the time in terms of negotiating the conditions. I think the excitement of so much icecream and potential for a big prize got in the way. I’m with you – plain icecream. ALthough, they did have a few plain icy poles – they’re iceblocks, no cream or added extras. I’ve resorted to buying mini icecreams for home. Easier to control quantity and still get a nice desert 🙂

  1. When I first started reading this post I was a little shocked, but thinking about it I see that the contest probably did them a favour – they’ll never take part in those disgusting food challenges and contests that have become so popular in recent years, encouraging greed and morbid obesity.

  2. That’s a pretty tall order (and a big order too). I love ice cream, but there’s no way I could 15 in just two hours. I hope it didn’t put anyone off ice cream for life. 🙂

      1. I does sound like a pretty tempting offer. Here, eat this huge pile of ice cream and I’ll give you this huge amount of cash. What’s not to like for a kid?

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