Friday, July 06, 2007

Wiener Winner

If I didn’t love wieners so much, I doubt I could have convinced myself to get up early on a holiday, especially after a very late previous night. I met up with my friends Rob and Dave and headed out to Coney Island for the 4th of July Nathan’s hot dog eating contest! On the train ride down there, we saw quite an interesting character (Rob called him an Andy Warhol wanna-be). I pulled my “oh I am just testing my camera” act and snapped a picture of him. He he he.

Well we had perfect timing (10:50) and were stationed about 20 people back from the competition stage. Within the next ten minutes the area behind us was as deep as you could see. While waiting, they had opening entertainers that included clog dancers, comedians, and some really horrible singers. Rob was so excited about the contest, that he went over to the Nathan’s stand and got a dog for himself (he also ate some of the awful fries and agreed they are terrible). Anyway, the MC was hilarious and said plenty of stuff that they didn’t air (or I assume didn’t air) on ESPN. An hour before the contest, he did the “real” introductions which were about 5 minutes per person. I’m sure the details he quipped about the individual competitors were all bogus, but they were soooo funny. One guy he claimed had named all of his teeth, men on top and women on bottom. He he he. It is amazing all the eating contests the participants had won. I’m talking reining spam, pig knuckle, crystal burgers, and ice cream champs. The black widow Sonja (who is only 105 pounds) reportedly ate 48 dozen oysters in a 10 minutes or so. Yeah that comes out to 576 oysters! She evidently also once ate 11 pounds of cheesecake. What diet is she on?

After the real introductions, they took all the competitors back stage to talk to ESPN. We were left with some hot short sporting skanks who shot t-shirt’s into the crowd. I wonder if those girls’ life long dream was of the one day they would shake their ass before a hot dog eating contest. Next stop, ring girl at an AC boxing match (featherweight division). Sad sad sad life. About 15 minutes before the competition start, the MC brought out the competitors again and did the “tv appropriate” introductions.

Just like a track event or swim meet, they put the top seeds in the middle next to eachother. The reining champ was a tiny Japanese guy Kobi-blah blah blah, you know who he is. He was about to be usurped by a civil engineering student (hurrah), Joey Chestnut, from California. Actually there were two civil engineering students in the field, yeah it figures engineers would be the only ones to sit around and try to figure out how to excel at a sporting event that requires no hand-eye coordination. Anyway the crowd was divided among shouting “Joey” , “Kobe” and “USA” (holla holla to the rednecks). The MC was biased and kept routing for Joey, which was another blow to Kobe since he was suffering from a jaw injury, or was he…my theory to be discussed at the end.

Behind the top three eaters, they had the hot short skanks holding turn numbers that would let the crowd know how many dogs the competitors had downed. In front of each eater was also two or three referees also with turn counters. Well the competition can only be described as thrilling! The top two started out neck and neck with Joey consistently one or two dogs ahead of Kobe. At one time Joey sprinted out to a lead of 5 dogs, but like sprinters, he started waning in towards the mid to end of the time limit. Kobe, the distance runner metaphor, was steady and consistent, and was able to gain ground on Joey as the competition progressed. It is amazing to see how these guys eat hot dogs! Joey had this dance where he would shove in two or three dogs and then shimmy and shake and toss his head up and down like a baying horse. Okay you just have to see it for yourself. Towards the end, both eaters eclipsed the world record and were one dog apart. I found myself jumping up and down and cheering for Joey. In the final twenty seconds, Joey’s flip card turned to 63. A second or two later, Kobe’s also flipped to 63. In the remaining seconds, both Joey and Kobe shoved three dogs into their mouths. Then the buzzer went off! Evidently, the final push was too much for Kobe and he spit out the three dogs (I think ESPN was showing that throw up scene in slow motion). Like a good American, Joey swallowed the dogs and took the Mustard Belt with a total of 66 hot dogs and buns!

Okay he didn’t just beat the previous world record (and his personal best) of 59.5, he shattered it. Come on, surpassing your best by 6.5 dogs when most people could not eat that much in 12 minutes, what a feat! My theory on Kobe was that the jaw injury was fake. He knew that Joey was capable of surpassing him, so he throws out word of a disadvantage. This way, if he looses, it was because of the injury, if he wins, then it would be a spectacular upset. Anyway, Kobe’s previous personal best was 56 dogs, so for him to beat his record by 10 (well actually 7 if you count the three he spit out), you know he must have been operating on all cylinders. Well that or some kick ass pain drugs.

After the contest, the three of us went to the side show. Okay this is Coney Island…aka the most glamorous dump on the east coast, so the side show follows in that image. We saw a guy put a screw driver, nail, and eventually a drill up his nose. He also later juggled chainsaws. Also there was a girl who did a sexy dance with a big boa constrictor (they advertised that she would be dancing with a deadly poisonous snake…errr wrong, boas are constrictors and not poisonous). A hot young girl swallowed swords and later climbed into a box before thrusting 20 steel blades into it. The wolfman (guy with serious hair overgrowth on his face) came out and walked the tight rope, granted it was only suspended four feet and he walked a total of five steps…hey remember Coney Island. The best act was the fire eater. Her routine was extremely polished and on cue with the music. She ate fire, lit her arms and hands on fire, held a flame in her mouth. In the finale of the act, she took a sip from her flask, winked at the crowd, and then blew a flame from her mouth 10 feet in the air! Seriously impressive except the whole place stunk of kerosene afterwards. My fav was the sign advertising that the performers were "all real and all alive", as if they would wheel out dead Doug for his amazing feat of lying perfectly still! Ah ha ha.


Post a Comment

<< Home