If your idea of a quiet Sunday is watching grown men and women cry, vomit, drink stout or milk and having their bravery questioned all whilst eating chilli, then downtown Canberra was the place to be.
A handful of brave Canberrans faced off in a chilli-eating competition on Sunday that had hospitalised one punter on Saturday. While no one was carted off in the waiting ambulance, some entrants could be seen throwing up - near catatonic - after bowing out.
Contestants worked their way up from your typical red chilli to the dreaded Dixie death machine: the Carolina Reaper. On the chilli measuring scale, your suburban supermarket chillis can rate between 1000 to 3500 Scoville heat units (SHU). The Carolina Reaper measures about 1.5 million SHU. Its extract is 2.5 million SHU and is labelled "hallucinator".
Quentin Botha was one of the paramedics on standby.
"There has been reports of people getting cardiac arrhythmia, severe vomiting, severe stomach cramps," Mr Botha said.
"It's just excruciating pain. It starts eating at the lining of the stomach. I have eaten some chillis before, but nothing on this level."
Lachlan Hart bowed out of the race early, his mouth had ceased up and his face had started vibrating. But he'd beaten his personal best, making seven rounds, an improvement of two rounds from last year.
"I'm an athlete. I love pushing my body to the limit," Mr Hart said.
Sunday's winner Steve Diep was red in the face when he held up the winner's trophy.
"I should have listened to my mum, I shouldn't have done it," Mr Diep said.
"No words, mate. In pain. In the stomach. Headaches. Be on the toilet all night I reckon."
Despite the masochism of the contestants on stage and the schadenfreude of the hosts, the stalls lining the square for the World Curry Festival were packed with variations of curry made to be enjoyed.
Manning one stand was Bhart Ragbud, who said a good spice mix was at the core of every curry, including garam masala, coriander seeds, cumin and fenugreek leaves.
At another stall, Hemant Tate said passion, time and quality ingredients were important.