Competitive Gluttony

In the movie Talledega Nights, Ricky Bobby is driven by the one thing his deadbeat father shared with him before driving off and out of his life.

"If you ain't first, you're last!"

Nowhere in sports is this more true than in feats of gastronomic excess.  Did you happen to catch the Nathan's hot dog eating competition this past weekend?  You know what's worse than finishing second in an eating contest?  Nothing.

Look at these people.

"Don't throw up, don't throw up, don't throw up..."
Does this look fun to you? Only in America. In other parts of the world there are people eating dung and feeling fortunate to have it.  Here in the U.S.A., we've discovered yet another way to irritate the rest of the planet.
"Hey world, we have it so good here that we are going to show you just how much we can eat in ten minutes. Check this out! Don't be too jealous."  
If you did watch it, how many times did you almost retch? Even if you love hot dogs more than anything else, I'll bet you anything that the thought of eating 50 of them in ten minutes is enough to end the love affair.   If one of these contestants had thrown up it would no doubt have started a vomit chain reaction amongst the entrants, the crowd, and the television audience. Every one of the competitors at some point made a throw up face. By the way, as you might expect in contests of this sort, vomiting results in immediate disqualification.
So, imagine for a minute that you are a competitor in this contest.  You eat in ten minutes more hot dogs than any health-conscious person would eat in a year.  This year's winner, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut ate 61. (UPDATE: In the 2017 contest, he ate 72.) For you calorie counters out there that's almost 20,000 calories.  In 2011 Chestnut made more than $200,000 eating competitively. Okay.   I suppose making six figures partially offsets the dangers inherent in competitive gluttony. Maybe not. 
But how about the guy who finished second by eating 56 hot dogs?  Do you know his name without looking it up? Didn't think so. Think about your post-Thanksgiving meal food coma and multiply that uncomfortable feeling by infinity.  You've just eaten 56 hotdogs in ten minutes and lost.  You feel godawful. There is no trophy. No fame. No paycheck. 
In competitive eating, if you ain't first, you're last.


  1. what no mustard ?? BUUUUUURP -=john=-

  2. Bulimia that rewards you with cash and not an enormous psychiatric bill!


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