Monday, July 6, 2009
Over the last few July 4ths, I've found myself watching the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating World Championships live from Coney Island on ESPN. More than 40,000 spectators were there at the famous amusement park. If excessive overindulgence isn't America, I don't know what is.
I'm watching more with morbid fascination and humor than anything. I don't see how the human body can accept the stress it's put under in those 10 minutes. One dog after another after another. And I'm sorry, but watching people put in almost a humiliating position of expanded cheeks, bulging veins and forced swallowing is weirdly funny.
The 218-pound Joey Chestnut repeated as champion again, taking home $20,000 and the coveted mustard belt. He ate 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes, a world's record. That's 6.8 hot dogs per minute, just more than one every 10 seconds. He beat out again former world record holder Kobayashi, who downed 65.
What's amazing were the two petite women who more than held their own. In fact, it's one of the mysteries of metabolism as to why so many of the contestants looked so small.
Probably the worst thing about the comeptition is for the buns to go down easier, they have to be dunked in water. A wet soggy bun, that should fire up the old gag reflex. Imagine quaffing down 68 wet soggy buns in 10 minutes.
Joey, you're the man.