What won’t people do to become an Internet sensation these days? Well, 10-year-old Mitchell Schebeci proceeded to eat much of a whole watermelon during yesterday’s Melbourne, Australia cricket game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) yesterday afternoon. There were almost 81,000 fans there, but more eyes were apparently on Schebeci.
The boy ate the watermelon like an apple (a very large apple), nonchalantly chomping away… even the skin. (Um…) And, last night, the hashtag “watermelonboy” was the top trending topic on Twitter in Australia, with hundreds of tweets bombarding the site.
When cameras caught Schibeci eating the watermelon on tape at the game, TV commentators were shocked. “That’s… I’ve never seen that before in my life,” said one, while another said, “That is unbelievable.”
One has to wonder where Schibeci got the idea to do this watermelon-eating stunt. True, it’s an innocent enough activity, and the Watermelon Diet (aka the Watermelon Detox) used to be all the rage a few decades back (You’d have to eat three watermelons in three days; my grandma said she tried it decades ago and gained weight from all the sugar!). But, to me, the story lost its cuteness when I found out the boy did it just for the Internet fame. And, he certainly got it, the Twitterverse blowing up with memes and even an appearance on Australia’s version of the Today show this morning, Jan 3. “I have seen people do weird stuff and get on the big screen,” he said on the segment. “I thought it was cool when everyone was cheering when I was eating it.”
Watermelon Boy also happens to be the son of radio host Tony Schibeci, a sports reporter and on-air host on Radio 1116 SEN in Melbourne whose Twitter bio reads, “I have the best job in the world.” Did his father know his son’s get-famous-quick plan?
Here’s a still shot of Watermelon Boy in action.
He did finish almost all of it…!
It looked exhausting…!
But people cheered Watermelon Boy on…
Some thought it may be a marketing ploy. (Hah!)
Others wondered if his famous dad would feel threatened…
Many seemed to love Watermelon Boy…
But, not everyone…
And others had a comical outlook on the whole thing.
Whatever your take, it looks like we have one of our first (but certainly not one of our last) Weird Internet Things of 2016.