By Walden Brooks -
The United States, arguably the world’s last super-power, is engaged across the world in a number of fronts. There is Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea and Pakistan. In Afghanistan, where U.S. forces have stepped up their war as Washington touts a new strategy to root out terrorism, we’re just now seeing some preliminary signs of success.
But it’s in another area, a domestic front that the United States has been woefully beaten for over nearly a decade. A front that threatens the very fabric of our national security by attacking our national pride on the very day of our independence: Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest.
The event is held every July 4, and is regarded as the world’s most famous hot dog eating contest and a colorful tradition of Independence Day in the United States. In 2006, over 30,000 spectators attended the event, and an additional 1.5 million households watched it live on ESPN.
In 2001, Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi born in Nagano, Japan set the record during his rookie appearance, when he consumed 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes doubling the previous record of 25! No American could reclaim the title for nearly 6 years as this barely 5’8″, 170 lb man destroyed the field of competition again and again.
Now we all have sinned but I ask you, what says America or American if not gluttony? You mean to look me in the face and say that there was not one American, not one lonely, TV addicted, sci-fi, anime geek sloth that could rise from the couch and challenge this foreigner (on American soil no less!!).
Quiet frankly, if this pattern of losing continued, I was prepared to call for selective breading. Childhood obesity is already at an all time high and nearly 10 percent of healthcare spending is for obesity. Over the past 30 years, the percentage of children age 6 to 11 in this country that are considered obese has more than doubled. It was time to select a candidate from that generous pool to wage war against this oppressor!
Thankfully a savior emerged. At the 93rd annual contest that was held on July 4, 2008, Kobayashi was handed a resounding defeat at the hands of Joey Chestnut. Then in 2009 Chestnut prevailed again by setting a new record of 68 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Kobayashi was second with a mere 64½. National Pride Restored!
These days in the U.S.A. may seem a little darker with Healthcare, Unemployment, Recessions, Adultery and split of Jon and Kate plus 8 but it’s in times like these we should look to real heroes like Chestnut. I end with the words from a cinematic masterpiece “Demolition Man” where Dennis Leary says, “I’m the type of guy that says, ‘Gee. Should I have the T-Bone steak or the jumbo rack of ribs with a side order of gravy fries?’”
True dat Dennis, Tru Dat… and add bacon please. God Bless America.