BOSTON—Patrons of a Boylston St. bar owned by popular local band The Dropkick Murphy’s were stunned earlier this week to witness Boston Herald columnist Gayle Fee methodically ingest a gigantic cheeseburger promoted by Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett.
Fenway Pastoral snitches saw the whole thing unfold and first-person reports from People Who Were There varied from troubling to downright hilarious.
According to eyewitnesses, Fee and colleague Laura Raposa entered McGreevy’s at around 8 p.m. Monday evening. Fee proceeded to order the $30 “Big Mouth Beckett Burger,” described to be roughly the size of home plate, with all the fixings.
Molly McDougal, 31, a regular at the Irish bar, was surprised to see the woman attack such a ridiculous feat by herself. “She looked like John Candy in The Great Outdoors eating ‘the Old 96er’ sitting there. We were all waiting for her to break out in meat sweats.”
Fee’s Herald gal pal Raposa sat idly by sipping a milkshake, watching her fellow giggly gossiper devour the monstrosity.
“We kept yelling to her that Ben Affleck was across the street getting a drink at the Mandarin Hotel bar, but she was focused on that burger,” said Ethan Yates, 21, a junior from nearby Emerson College. “The fact that she finished all her fries too made it all the more impressive in my mind.”
Fee becomes the first customer to actually finish both the entire burger and all accompanying French fries since the burger was added to the menu last month, according to bar employees. Proceeds from sales of the burger go toward The Josh Beckett Foundation, a charitable organization devoted to improving the health and well-being of ill, disabled and disadvantaged children.
“We had a bucket ready for her in case she got sick, but she didn’t need it,” said busboy Gregory Powers, a locally-raised homey who lives in Brighton. “It’s really just a heck of an accomplishment.”
Powers’ awe turned into visible disgust when told that Fee was later spotted at J.P. Licks on Newbury St., licking an ice cream cone and bragging of her Beckett Burger binge.
Other bargoers were said to be equally as horrified even before the burger met its ultimate demise.
“That was awful. She absolutely inhaled that thing. I’m disgusted and honestly, I don’t think I can hang out here anymore,” said Vanessa Thicke, 21, who claims she initially started frequenting the establishment several years ago when it was known as The Foggy Goggle.
Given the number of local enemies the petty gossip columnists have made over the years, some patrons expressed surprise that either woman was still willing to risk such public humiliation.
“I guess they’re just used to it all by now…Once word got around the bar and people realized who she was, they were really letting her have it,” said one unidentified man.
As for Beckett himself, restaurant personnel said he failed to finish the burger. After dousing it with mustard and taking a number of unnecessarily large bites in the early going, the Red Sox pitcher threw in the towel with about one-third of the burger left.
File Under: Un-Herald-ed Pigging Out in Boston.