Original Publication: Archie at Riverdale High, No. 97
Cover Date: June, 1984
Length: 10 pages
*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the PEP Digital #45: The Best of Cheryl Blossom e-book (where it appears as a flashback within the 1996 story, “The Big Yak Flack!”, from Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 4, which is one of the few issues of any Cheryl Blossom series for which there’s no digital edition). The story might originally be uncredited. Grand Comics Database doesn’t have credits for this story.
For everyone’s sanity, I’ve kept the title of this post short. This story’s title is one of the wordiest and most inconsistent that I’ve ever seen.
The Great All-American Pembrooke-Riverdale Food-Eating Contest! Munchie Mania! Part 1
Out on a sidewalk, downtown, Jason, Cheryl, Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Dilton are gathered. Jason’s sick of the notion of Riverdale being great, and he declares his school challenges Archie’s to a contest. He allows Archie to pick any game and promises Pembrooke will beat them. Jason is thinking of only hoity-toity sports, but Archie surprises “Jase” by picking a food-eating contest. This surprises Betty and Dilton, but Jughead seems okay with it.
Archie introduces Jughead “The Man” Jones, their “champion, all-time food eater”. Jason and Cheryl are upset. Cheryl actually growls! Who actually does that in real life? Anyway, Jason takes issue with “food eating” being a sport, but Dilton points out that Jason used the words “contest” and “game”, not “sport”. Jason tells him to shut the fuck up, calls this a “con job”, and sets the contest for a week from today. He still says Pembrooke will win.
Jason and Cheryl get into Cheryl’s yellow sports car and drive off. Cheryl’s upset at Jason and points out Jughead’s eating ability. Jason wants to rig the contest in their favor. Cheryl knows exactly what to do.
The night before the contest, a cute girl named Jane Dough shows up at Jughead’s house. Gladys, Jughead’s mom, lets her in, impressed with her manners. Jughead’s eating a sub sandwich and ice cream while watching TV. Jane introduces herself as Jughead’s competition tomorrow. She wants to make peace. Jughead advises her against going through with the contest for her sake. Jane takes him out for a movie and dinner – her treat. Oh, and a “quick snack” first. Jason and Cheryl are watching from behind a tree. Cheryl’s plan is to have her friend Jane force-feed Jughead so much food that he can’t out-eat them tomorrow. Jason’s impressed.
Shortly, at “the local burger palace” (a fast-food place, not Pop’s), Jason and Cheryl have tailed Jane and Jughead here at Cheryl’s insistence. Cheryl had given Jane her allowance for a week, and she wants to be sure that Jane spends every penny on Jughead.
Inside, Jughead orders an insane amount of food while the startled employee is bringing him…what I guess is what he’d initially ordered before Jane told him to order whatever.
Soon, Jughead’s stuffed, but Jane guesses he’ll get his appetite back at the movies.
Jason and Cheryl follow Jane and Jughead to the Riverdale Bijou. I wonder if this brings back bad memories for Jason.
Inside, Jughead orders an insane amount of food at the candy counter. Despite being unspecific with some of the quantities, the cashier is able to give him an exact total.
Jane and Jughead have gone to see “a classic sci-fi picture”, The Creature That Drank Lake Eerie. Halfway through the movie, though, Jughead’s out of food, and his stomach’s rumbling, so Jane suggests they leave and go to dinner, claiming she’s seen this movie a dozen times. Jughead readily agrees. Cheryl gets down and has Jason do the same, because it would “ruin everything” if Jughead…sees them at the movies.
Outside, Cheryl’s pissed that there’s a ticket on her car, because Jason left it in a no parking zone. Two questions: Why didn’t Cheryl notice this earlier? And why’s Jason driving Cheryl’s car? Anyway, Jason tells her to hurry the fuck up and get in, because Jane and Jughead are leaving.
The Great All-American Pembrooke-Riverdale Food Eating Contest! …And in This Corner, Jughead Jones! Chapter Two
Jason and Cheryl follow Jane and Jughead to “one of Riverdale’s poshest restaurants”. Cheryl hopes Jane knows what she’s doing with her money. She doesn’t. If Jane was smart, she would have cut out the movie tickets, overpriced theater snacks, and fancy restaurant and stuck with fast food, where Cheryl would get more bang for her buck.
Anyway, Jason and Cheryl go inside El Swanko, and Jason’s worried that they won’t let them in without reservations. Cheryl’s got it covered, though, slipping the maitre d some cash. Where’d she get that? I thought she’d given her entire week’s allowance to Jane. Anyway, Jughead is doing lobster, steak, and imported seltzer water, items that Spanish-themed restaurants are known to serve. Jane’s worried that Cheryl’s gonna kill her, because she’s spent most of her money, and Jughead’s still going strong.
Jane finally suggests a cheaper place, and Jughead agrees. Cheryl shoves Jason’s face into a bowl of soup to “hide” him, but she remains visible. Somehow, it gets all over his suit as well. Cheryl offers to buy him a whole new wardrobe.
Jason and Cheryl follow Jane and Jughead to a greasy spoon diner. Cheryl declines to follow them inside, since she’s nearly broke, and decides they can watch everything from her car. How does Cheryl have any cash at all? I find it hard to believe she’s the type that would save cash from a previous week. Did she withdraw this money from her bank account?
Anyway, Jane and Jughead go in for $10 all-you-can-eat spaghetti. Much later, the chef throws them out for cleaning out the kitchen. Jughead’s had more than enough and says it’s been a wonderful “date”. Jane’s pleased with herself. Cheryl (who suddenly has an upside-down “u” nose for one panel) is excited, and so is Jason, who predicts a Pembrooke victory. They’ve got a flat tire, though, so Cheryl flags down a police wrecker.
It turns out that Jason had parked in a fire zone (which neither Jason nor Cheryl had noticed during that entire time…somehow), so the cops tow Cheryl’s car. Y’know, Cheryl could have lied and said they had no choice but to stop in the fire zone, because of the flat tire. Anyway, Cheryl’s pissed, saying she never should’ve let Jason drive her car in the first place. Why did Cheryl let Jason drive her car? Is he better at keeping up with people or something?
Anyway, early the following day, in…a park (I guess), a huge crowd has gathered to watch this stupid contest. Cheryl informs Jughead that Jane “can’t make it”. Jason introduces
the real competitor her replacement, Jane’s cousin, “Two Ton Tommy”. Tommy growls. Jughead makes fun of Tommy’s weight (specifically, his stomach). Y’know, not everyone with an overeating problem has as great a metabolism as you, asshole. Anyway, the referee fires the gun, and Tommy and Jughead start chowing down the food on the table. How do they keep track of whose food is whose and how much that each of them has eaten? Anyway, Cheryl cheers on Tommy, and Reggie (who’s suddenly in this story) cheers on Jughead.
Tommy eventually concedes. Betty cheers Jughead’s victory. Jughead tells her to shut the fuck up, because he’s “on a roll”. Cheryl asks Jughead why he “quit” eating in the middle of his date. Jughead says it was to discipline himself, comparing himself to an athlete. This is all bullshit. Jughead didn’t quit and didn’t discipline himself. He’d gotten thrown out for eating all of the food in the place! Anyway, Jughead tells Cheryl that last night was only a “practice run” for today. He has Cheryl thank Jane for her “expert coaching”; otherwise, he couldn’t have won. Cheryl and Jason argue with each other. Archie guesses they lost more than their school’s reputation.
This story was okay, but it couldn’t keep track of a basic plot point, and Reggie’s sudden appearance at the end was kind of jarring.