Feeling a little hoggish these days? Make it pay, join the IFOCE!

by Ken Carpenter

Totally in the interests of science, and desperately in need of material, I did something on the morning of July 4th that I never thought I would. I watched twenty people devour over 500 hot dogs in twelve minutes.
And it wasn’t even a family reunion!
Nathan’s Famous world hot dog eating contest, live on ESPN, provided more proof of what a dog eat dog world we are living in. The event was sponsored by the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE). Their sole purpose in life is organized, choreographed gluttony.
Eating contests of all description are their forte and hoggishness is their delight.
Nathan’s hot dog contest, the Crown Jewel of competitive eating, must have made them positively orgasmic.
Twenty contestants ranging in size from 98 to 420 pounds came together in Coney Island, at Nathan’s Famous hot dog joint. They had their first contest in 1916, and they could never have dreamed 88 years ago of what a disgusting spectacle it would become.
With thousands watching in person and millions on TV, every single one guaranteed to have a churning stomach, the wiener pigs started in at the beep.
Three-time champion Takeru Kobayashi gobbled 17 in the first three minutes and never looked back, finishing with 53.5 in the allotted 12 minutes. He inhaled 16,532 calories into his 132 pound frame in the time it takes a normal person to scratch their ass, and he barely broke a sweat.
His prize for winning the prestigious hogfest? A year’s worth of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, which for him could be a railroad car full.
By the way, he made $150,000 last year in competitive eating.
My innards are still boiling at the vision that all of those master masticators burned into my brain. I may never again bolt down a quick snack, for starvation may be preferable to resembling those snorting wiener inhalers.
The most amazing part of the contest was 98 pound Sonja Thomas, who took third place with an American and woman’s record 32 hot dogs. The announcer had the gall to point out how graceful she could devour her dogs, but I wasn’t buying it.
Grace does not enter the picture when you chomp down a hot dog in 3 quick bites, I don’t care who you are.
She is kinda cute, but I would not recommend asking her out for dinner.
The bony little gal has an assortment of other records, including pounding down 11 pounds of cheesecake in 9 minutes, daintily I’m sure.
She once ate 4 pounds 14 ounces of fruitcake in 10 minutes. Fruitcake, my worst nightmare! She may not be human.
She also hit the books for 137 chicken wings in 32 minutes, 7 (3/4 pound) burgers in 10 minutes, 43 soft tacos in 11 minutes, and an amazing 65 boiled eggs in 6 minutes and forty seconds.
And I thought Cool Hand Luke was king. Maybe I am dating myself.
The 420-pound entrant, Eric Booker, also has a few records, including 49 glazed doughnuts in 8 minutes. Just the thought of it hardens my arteries.
He also wolfed down 21 baseball-sized matzo balls in 5.5 minutes. I have no idea what a matzo is, perhaps a hippo-type creature. If this kind of gluttony continues there could be a violent uprising by hordes of bloodthirsty matzos, shrieking in a high-pitched manner, that would not be pretty.
A lard-loving gent set a record by devouring 7 sticks of butter in 5 minutes. Why? Because he could, and everybody was too nauseated to stop him.
Another fellow slicked down 4 jars of mayonnaise in 8 minutes. For the sake of anonymity we shall call him Jiffi-Lube.
In three tales of flatulence spawning horror, 6 pounds of baked beans were swallowed in less than two minutes, 6.5 pounds of cabbage in 9 minutes, and 1.5 gallons of Stagg chili in 10 minutes. All the Beano in California could not save those people.
A 130-pound man has the record for Spam, 8 cans in 12 minutes. And he lived! I am sure he is now well preserved.
Just for historical purposes it should be mentioned that Daniel Boone’s descendent, Dale, is on the IFOCE circuit. He is renowned as the Mouth from the South, and he is ranked eighth among the 300 active eaters in the IFOCE. He once ate 274 Russian dumplings in 6 minutes, one of several records he owns.
I am sure Ol’ Daniel twirls in his grave every time he competes.
My belly is churning right along with Daniel’s twirling, and I have to get away from this subject or perish.
I haven’t had dinner yet though, so maybe I should nibble something.
Perhaps a few Pepto-Bismol tablets might make a suitable repast.
I wonder what the record is for those?

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