Well gag me with a hot dog bun. That gosh dern Joey Chestnut gobbled up a gazillion franks (okay, more like 68) for his 6th straight title today in the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. (Man, that's more of a mouthful than all those wieners.)
Meanwhile, Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas won the women's championship again, putting away an impressive 45 hot dogs and looking like she'd just had a little nibble of a tea sandwich.
Before we go cheering and slapping them on the back with hardy har har congratulatory guffaws, just -- no. This might be a funny, cute little tradition and all but IT IS TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY GRODY. It encourages horribly unhealthy binge-eating habits, is harder on the body than pregnancy (almost), and involves ingesting what is probably the worst food you could probably eat one of, let alone 70 (sorry, hot dogs).
Oh, who am I kidding?
This is the coolest.thing.ever. Joey and Sonya and the rest of them are my heroes. And mmmmm, hot dogs. Grilled just right, dripping with ketchup and mustard, nestled in a soft bun -- there's just nothing like biting into one on a steamy summer day and ...
Ahem. Sorry. I haven't had lunch yet. Anyway, while I could never stomach competitive eating contests myself -- my sensitive tummy wouldn't hear of it -- and I do think it's pretty revolting to watch and yes, I hear the American Medical Association's points on why this is really a very bad thing from a health standpoint, I think everyone needs to just calm down a little.
It's just once a year, people, and it's a tradition that's gone on for almost a century. Like our own little Hunger Games or something. It's disgusting and maybe a little dangerous but it's also fun, and July 4th wouldn't really be the same without it. And kudos -- er, hot dogs -- to the brave ones like Joey and Sonya who are willing to look ridiculous and unattractive, covered in their own spit and vomit in front of throngs of gawkers, all while baking in the scorching sun, simply for our own amusement. Well, and the money. And the title. Okay, fine, they're greedy, gluttonous, fame-hungry narcissists.
But seriously, let's lighten up. If you don't like it, don't watch it. Don't read about it. Don't even THINK about hot dogs at all. Totally your prerogative. But don't take away our fun. The obesity epidemic is not fueled by a 97-year-old dog-eating competition in New York City, and if we ban it, we'll still be battling the bulge and munching on wieners at summer bbqs. You know I'm right.
Are you fiercely opposed to the hot dog eating competition, or do you wish you were Joey Chestnut?
Image via Getty