I think it’s because an American, Joey Chestnut, won his 15th Nathan Hot Dog eating contest that I even contemplated the thought of having a hot dog for lunch. After all, anyone who can successfully defend his dubious title “Hot Dog King” by gulping down 63 of them of them in 10 minutes—that’s buns and weiners—deserves to have little ol’ me eating at least one. However, Mr. Chestnut must be slipping a tad as last year, he woofed down 76 of them dogs.
But another short article caught my eye , as it too mentioned Joey Chestnut. This time Canadians in Regina, Saskatchewan would be the lucky ones to see Joey in action. He was going to compete in the “Celebrity Mini-Donut” contest in August. Competitors would have to be very good to beat Joey’s world record of chomping down 220 mini-donuts in 8 minutes.
My brain tried to figure out how anyone could possibly force that many mini donuts down their gullet without spewing them back out. My other question was why anyone would want to do that—speed eating specific foods in x number of minutes.
I think everyone is a bit competitive. Back in his youthful days, my neighbour Big Al would recall the good times he and his bowling buddies had every Tuesday night. The “Alley Cats” would compete to see who would end up with the most strikes that night and then celebrated by attempting to outdrink Sweeney Muldoon with pitchers of beer. Sweeney was built like a beer barrel and had the ability to hold his beers. It was a weekly challenge when Sweeney happily guzzled all the free beer he could while each of his competitors fell like 10 pins
We probably all grew up being competitive in various degrees. My hairdresser’s twins, Charlie and Arlie were born competitive. I remember when a very pregnant Liz would suddenly wince when she was clipping my hair.
“Oh no, you didn’t clip a finger did you?
“No, one of the twins just kicked me and the other one kicked back even harder!” See, it starts in the womb.
But back to Joey Chestnut. Who is he and why does he do what he does? Good ol’ Google blabbed everything—at least the juicy bits. . . .
Joey Chestnut is 38 years old, 6 feet tall and when competing, his weight hovers between 225 to 240 pounds. He started competing in 2005 when he gulped down 12 pounds of deep-fried asparagus spears in 10 minutes, beating out his competitors. Major League Eating, an organization that arranges eating competitions ranked Joey as the world’s best eater.
Joey’s diet is not a healthy one but it certainly is a diverse one. A few of his world championships includes devouring 7.61 pounds of buffalo chicken wings in 12 minutes; swallowing 141 hard-boiled eggs in 8 minutes; bolting down 55 glazed donuts in 8 minutes; gulping 390 shrimp wontons in 8 minutes; consuming 121 Twinkies in 6 minutes; shoving down 47 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes and chomping 32 Big Mac sandwiches in 38 minutes.
I didn’t want to know how he trained for each event and I definitely didn’t want to view any YouTube videos of what he looked like galloping through the competitions. I just know it wasn’t a pretty sight.
“The Sun” reported that , as a professional speed eater, Joey supposedly makes $500,000 annually—a very small portion from the eating contests with most from endorsing various products and brands. One of his past endorsements was for Pepto Bismol. Joey also has his own brand of condiments.
I salute this 38 year old for staying off the bread-lines and finding his own niche in this amazing world we live in. But looking over Joey’s list of unhealthy successes, I hope he switches to another vocation in the near future. It would be nice to think of Joey enjoying his success while he is still young and relatively healthy.
As for me, sharing my bag of hot mini-donuts dipped in cinnamon sugar was a lot more fun to savour and took much longer than 8 minutes to eat a baker’s dozen.