Clubs, Events, Lettuce Club

Lasting Longer than Liss Truce – Lettuce Club

Photo Credits : Sumnit Boparai

Official Notice of the Publication of the W24 Lettuce Log
As well as a refresher on the Lettuce Club – UWaterloo History
For the very well informed, this resource can be found at

My former loyal subjects, as your Interim Head Lettuce ‘A’ (a title deferred [i] due to Chris’ time on exchange this term), I am overjoyed to announce our rendezvous of the term passed on March 7. I jointly passed my title, along with my peer Interim Head Lettuces, Paige Ackerman and Sabina Neumeyer, onto a one Roni Katcharovski, a fine competitor, and a youth with deep respect for our noble sport. Roni is our first prim-and-proper Head Lettuce to have come from the Electrical Department, and the youngest head lettuce since F22.

I will highlight the strongest competitors of the day as well : Alice Shroeder of the Faculty of Mathematics with an astounding 2.56 g/s, (yours truly with a 2.32 g/s), and my fellow fourth-year engineers Alex Conte and Austin Milne with 1.74 and 1.54 g/s, respectively.

Congratulations to all competitors, with W24 having the largest class of rabbits [ii] in our records, you’ve made me proud.

Had this article come out a few weeks ago, a timeline that in hindsight was far too short on my part, here is the information you needed to have known:

Lettuce Club is a termly competition and celebration of the eating of lettuce. During the event it is considered good sportsmanship to fully consume a head of iceberg lettuce (apart from the woody stem [iii]), and to acknowledge the rabbit-inclined among us via the awarding of the title of Head Lettuce and the responsibilities which that title entails. Competitors that choose to vie for the role are ranked in order of consumption rate (that is, the largest mass of lettuce eaten per unit time).

More specifics for the deeply invested:

In order to best normalize times, we will continue to record and rank competitors by their consumption rate and expect the glorious spirit of sportsmanship to continue. It is, as always, an exceedingly silly event.

The following paragraph is one facet of this whimsy…

As always, our competition followed an open format, with the expectation that you bring your own head. Misinformed at the time as I was, and given pandemic related delays had largely waned, as your former Interim Head Lettuce I had proposed the long-fabled return to a 400g minimum eaten mass. This was due to my understanding that our current smaller minimum, rumored, falsely, had come about due to pandemic era restrictions on shipping of vegetables and supply chain issues. Further investigation has found this to be woefully untrue, instead the rule being put in place to prevent unsportsmanly-small heads of lettuce from being consumed.

I argue that this number is serendipitously quite good. The 300g minimum set-in place by the Regulation v02 Ruleset written by my peer H.L. Ackerman seems to work well from the observations and analysis of the data collected and compiled in the Lettuce Log W24 figures. The minimum moves the competition from the exponential region of the stomach-satiation graph into the linear region (Table 3. Charting and Fitting Lettuce Consumption). There are additional accessibility requirements to keeping the low-end of masses small, especially as traditionally successful Head Lettuces, like former Champion and Head Lettuce Chukwunonso Moneme (an individual who could regularly reach paces of low 2.7X g/s with the [2.73 g/s] setting event being particularly notable), myself (2.81 g/s), Head Lettuce Chris O. (1.95 g/s), and others doing better with slightly higher masses than most competitors. Small heads take longer to finish that one might originally conceptualize. This year we saw the first pace above 2 g/s with a head of lettuce below 450g by current Champion, (but not Head Lettuce due to eligibility criteria as of Reg v02) at 346g. Heck even blender assist [vi] does not benefit from low mass loads. As such the 300g standard makes as much, if not more sense in today’s competition as it did at time of conception.

We did not hold a ROMAINE league this meeting [iv], restricting ourselves to iceberg, though local grocery stores have been known to misclassify BOSTON and GREEN LEAF in the past. If you unwrap your head to discover this honest mistake, it is not considered a competitive advantage. Consider yourself lucky for having received a tastier heritage! With the water content of iceberg near the top of the leafy green table [citation needed], what is lost in speed is made up for in taste.

Anecdotally, we’ve seen Farah’s and other Green Groceries become depleted of their iceberg stock in the days preceding our rendezvous, old lettuce is gross so don’t buy too early, but locations further afield (think Sobeys) seem immune to the sprouting swarm.

Performance or taste enhancing ingredients, namely salad dressings and personal digestive doctor-prescribed medications, and non-participating service animals [v] are explicitly allowed. We encourage experimentation while adhering to the spirit of just f*****g munchin’ down an entire head of lettuce raw.  Taste enhancement may be essential to a pleasant experience, consider this before attendance.

Competitors were asked to weigh in beforehand, and the mass of the stem is subtracted from their total mass. We eat in unison, and your recorded time from the clock is used for calculation of rate, traditionally recorded in grams per second. Times are recorded to 2 decimals points, as we are engineers and have forgotten how to do proper sig-figs, and we’re too lazy to figure anything else out.

If any class of competitor (as seen with the Civil Engineers in F23) chooses to self-select and sub-compete they may do so at their own peril, but eligibility for the title of Head Lettuce continues to be granted by the primary rules of good sportsmanship and competition. This nearly was an issue in the W24 competition, with overwhelming participation from a variety of faculties, years and parties. It was good fun for all, but made the selection of Head Lettuce, an individual who can be held accountable to the burden of booking POETS once a term, more challenging. Roni is an excellent candidate for the position, with both the merit of a good pace, and the gumption to bother getting onto the EngSoc calendar, and print two dozen posters.

Now, for a “brief” recap of the past few years of competition:

In the mythical time before the pandemic the foundations of competitive lettuce eating were laid. Inspired by the height of vines, and the brief resurgence of vine-content on the internet, and still ages before the rise of the Tik-Tok a handful of Waterloo Engineering students decided to revive the juvenile event that is Lettuce Club (not to be confused with the adjacent but unrelated Club Sandwich Club, Cheese Club, and ‘a’ lettuce club, the vegetarian sandwich).

Highschoolers across the continent made an event of the cheap thrills that consuming an entire head of lettuce in one go and feeling nostalgic for the whimsy of our Halcyon days the first competition was arranged at Waterloo. We had seen the secondary school vines and chose to bring the competition local. The Engineering Society provided the space, and we provided our own heads. Already by the time of the first competition the Controversy of the Salad Dressing had begun, with some feeling it provides an unfair advantage. My opinion on the matter is clear, it adds mass with little to no benefit to the challenger. If you want to make a salad, it is your prerogative.

Ranch is a perennial favourite, and its inclusion only made messier the horrid display that was the grueling slugfest between Christian Mele and Benjamin Beelen to avoid finishing last. You see, at that time we had yet to adopt the normalized scoring system that graces our modern competition. The two gentlemen had fallen victim to the deception of iceberg lettuce density, with similarly large lettuces weighing altogether different amounts. Their fight lasted well above a half-hour before the conclusion of the inaugural. Some competitors that find themselves sticking around until today first found their cause at this event, and early competitions are recorded almost entirely in photographs and Iron Warrior accounts. Rather than saving rates, we compared times peer to peer.

This event, and the next few prior to the start of quarantine, did serve to cement H.L. Nonso Moneme as a dominant presence in the sport, an era that would finally come to an end in F22 with my personal best eclipsing his under a herculean effort I am yet to repeat. H.L. Moneme was a notable competitor both in his love for the vegetable, but also in how effortless he made it seem. Nonchalant and laidback in the fight, we even once celebrated his birthday post competition with a cake covered in lettuce leaves. The guy really likes lettuce.

Not only did he bring a sense of class to the event, but H.L. Moneme also helped pioneer, along with the other Head Lettuces of the age, the scoring system of measuring grams per second. Though not without the occasional bump in the road. It took us a competition or two to realize we should measure not only the mass at the beginning of the day, but also after a competitor has concluded their attempt, better accommodating bad leaves, stems, and other gross bits. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and in this case our drive for socially distant events caused the implementation of such rules to try and standardize the competition across time zones and locales, having weigh-ins in our kitchens with baking scales, and recording videos of our events to send around the world.

Simultaneously to the development of our local competition, some Leafy Green minded individuals such as H.L. Alex Matos took the event cross country, largely growing the event at other engineering schools across Canada. Waterloo became noteworthy for finding loopholes in their less-mature rule books, and H.L. Matos’ blender technique has become infamous to insiders. The video of it in execution is hilarious, uncomfortable, and shocking, but what it did do was cause near total domination of Canada’s Lettuce Clubs by University of Waterloo students. Such is the nature of an open competition.

With the end of the quarantine came a vibrant return to campus, and while Nonso graduated in the Spring of 2022, the shadow he cast over the field now gone spured open season on the top job. Fall 2022 is the oldest date we have good record keeping for in the modern era. Top competitor paces were less than those buoyed during the prior age, but nonetheless competitors like Alex T. (1.39 g/s), H.L. Audrey C. (1.39 g/s), Eidan (1.37 g/s) and Ian Truong (1.35 g/s) had strong times. [vii]

Personally, this was also a big time in my pursuit of the sport, posting my personal best pace, completed while drinking over a liter of water. One thing that isn’t obvious about lettuce club is how little food you actually eat, with me almost immediately turning to eat dinner after having put up my time. Lettuce is vitamins, it’s fiber, … but is it food?

S23 was the first event since the graduation of H.L. Moneme that saw the winning time coincide with the awarding of the Head Lettuce title, this being a narrow race between myself and H.L. Chris O. putting up times of 1.9 and 1.95 g/s, respectively. For the first time in many, no competitor broke the 2.0 g/s barrier, making it a laid back and relaxed competition for the dog days of summer. Relatively few competitors, and a general sense of ennui beset the city, the refreshing crunch of a head of iceberg melting away your climate anxiety.

With the return of first years to campus, so too do they move en-masse to Lettuce Club, seeing a significant uptick in the number of competitors, and a shockingly high proportion of Civil Engineering students, enough to form their own side competition as a subsection of the main event. H.L. Matos once again revived the showmanship of appliance use, with the enigmatic dachshund Becky by their side. I mentioned him in passing before, but as far as I can tell, this is also the event during which Alex Conte put up his best personal best pace, a (2.08 g/s), and H.L. Aidan Cocklin (1.52 g/s) being crowned at the termination of the day’s festivity.

That finally brings us to last week’s event, the results of which you may already know. I’m overjoyed at the diversity of participants and had a blast seeing you all there to join in on the fun. We had a tense race for the title of Head Lettuce between H.L. Katcharovski and his main rival to the Verdant Throne, Steven Singh (1.06 g/s), who only faltered in getting the last few mouthfuls down. The other factoid of note, one that I hope she’s not to embarrassed as to share, is to point out H.L. Neumeyer’s abysmal result, which I’m told is due to her having just eaten dinner, and not properly preparing for eating an entire f*****g head of lettuce. We all have our rough days. 😀

I hope to see as many of you as possible returning to the S24 Open and wish you good eating in the weeks and months ahead.

In Solidarity,

-Nicholas Pfeifle


[i] For any who dare challenge my hostile takeover of this title, please refer to my rate in S23, the previous Lettuce Club ‘A’ that would have granted such role, and my F22 rate of 2.81 g/s.

[ii] Rabbits are competitors who finish their head of lettuce during the allotted competition window. [viii]

[iii] It leads to weird poops.

[iv] A one-time event [ix] during the Fall 2022 competition due to miscommunications and the extreme shortage of iceberg lettuce in nearby grocery stores due to the lettuce club event.

[v] Guinea pigs may provide wonderful emotional support, but their diet leaves their presence suspect. If you bring your animal, farmyard, working, or otherwise along, make sure they are fed adequately beforehand.

[vi] A forbidden technique, a dark art of the crisper drawer, taking half of the competition lettuce to eat while you work, one blends the other half immersed in water, then while drinking the horrid concoction, blends the second half. While successful H.L. Moneme on a good day could achieve these dark results of (2.7 g/s) without the need for infernal non-muscle powered devices, or even water for that matter.

[vii] This is also notable for witnessing the heaviest completion in record by Camill L, consuming a whopping 799g of lettuce in 800s.

[viii] The competition lasts as long as Campus Response Team is willing to stick around and watch us eat vegetables, with an overwhelming number of competitors finishing before the 20-minute mark.

[ix] Also notable for the sole recorded instance of a competitor attempting to argue an Apple counts as a head of lettuce. The ‘Airbud’ defense is now-considered invalid for future Lettuce Club competitions.

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