Monday, October 13, 2008

Only in America Do We Celebrate Gluttony

This will get me comments like "lighten up" and "stop hating America," but it bothers me that America has a "sport" called "competitive eating" (and that it keeps records!)

People are dying of starvation here and in around the globe, but we'll celebrate Joey "Jaws" Chestnut and put him on CNN for eating forty-five slices of pizza in ten minutes. ESPN 2 actually broadcasts a hotdog eating contest from Coney Island now (Chestnut ate sixty-six hot dogs in twelve minutes).

Aside from pizza, Chestnut holds "the record" for eating 8.8 pounds of deep fried asparagus in ten minutes and 182 chicken wings in thirty minutes (separate competition, thank God!), and ninety-three hamburgers in eight minutes.

I saw Chestnut on TV. Despite days like yesterday when he eats 11,000 calories in a sixth of an hour, he's actually fit. But this is still a morbid pursuit, and Chestnut is not alone. According to the website, Sonya Thomas ate 8.4 pounds of baked beans in two minutes and forty-seven seconds (apparently with a shovel), Patrick Bertoletti ate 9.17 pounds of blueberry pie in eight minutes, and Bob Should ate 13.5 pounds of Skyline Chili in ten minutes.

Ugh. Where's the Pepto? No wonder America is obese. We've turned food into a money-making venture. Oh, did I mention that Chestnut got $5,000 for his victory and that the remaining competitors split another $9,000?

I can see it now...some father talking to his son about the importance of studying in college because his dream to "make it in the pros" might not pan out.

Dad: "You have to take the books seriously, son, because the odds just aren't good. For every kid who wins at La Famiglia's, there are 100 overweight kids with diabetes, permanently distended stomachs, spastic colons, and congestive heart failure."


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5 comments:

innocent bystander said...

lighten up. stop hating america.

Anonymous said...

lighten up...stop hating America

Anonymous said...

8.4 pounds of baked beans? Don't want to be downwind of her that day.

legaldiva said...

That's just gross...I think I'll gag myself now.

Tina said...

Oh, the hilarity. I don't keep up with food competitions, but looking at your stats in this post, it looks like I should. I still don't understand the 45 slices of pizza in 10 minutes--there's no way that stayed down!

Anyway, I found this other post on gluttony. I think you'll enjoy.
http://www.petermanseye.com/anthologies/what-was-learned/280-the-girth-of-a-nation
Cheers!