Saturday, July 05, 2008

God Bless America

We're mired in Iraq, moving backwards in Afghanistan, the economy is tanking, unions are an endangered species, and the middle class is rapidly becoming a quaint memory. But the important news today is that Joey Chestnut has won the mustard yellow belt at Nathan's, thus rekindling pride in the US for the second year in a row.

I remember an SCTV sketch in which a kid asks legendary Yankee slugger Babe Ruth, "Can you eat 50 hot dogs for me, Babe?" I found that so absurd I couldn't stop laughing. But no one's laughing at Joey, who managed to swallow 59 hot dogs in ten minutes. Nonetheless, that was good enough only to tie his archrival, Takeru Kobayashi, who'd held the belt for several years before losing it to Joey for the first time last year.

In a five hot dog run off, Joey reclaimed his glory.

Kobayashi still holds records for rice balls and cow brains, but Joey, who is number one in hamburgers, chicken wings and grilled cheese sandwiches, is nipping at his heels. And everyone knows Nathan's is the big contest anyway. No one talks about rice balls anymore, and I'm fairly certain of that because I'm not exactly sure what they are.
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