Everybody is about a week removed from answering one of life's most dumbfounding questions: How can I possibly fit this incredible mountain of a Thanksgiving plate into my belly? Answer? Miracles happen every day. Everybody is about a week removed from answering one of life's most dumbfounding questions: How can I possibly fit this incredible mountain of a Thanksgiving plate into my belly? Answer? Miracles happen every day.
The plates I assemble for Thanksgiving and Christmas are legendary, but I am not breaking any Guinness Book records . . . I think. I am a big fan of competition, and recognize that it is a driving force in human existence. That being said, I ain't dippin' hot dogs in water so they can slide down my throat easier and fit into the nooks and crannies around my spleen and kidneys.
Now I know that eating contests are nothing new, but there are now people traveling to the far ends of the earth to get their competitive grub on. We all know that if people are traveling that far it can only mean one thing . . . dollar-dollar bill ya'll.
The International Federation of Competitive Eating (yes, I'm serious) is kicking out about a million bucks in prize money on an annual basis nowadays. They have actually now created Major League Eating, an organization to serve as an umbrella for competitive eating groups worldwide. Please read this paragraph again for dramatic effect. Lord help us.
Okay, so if this kind of money is available for these competitions, it can only mean one thing: you must be tuning in. Okay, not you, but somebody that looks like you. If you look like me, then we gotta have a talk.
The whole concept of glorified competitive eating is wrong. We will take the "deadly sin" angle to break it down, since I went to church this week.
Gluttony: this one is pretty obvious. I have nightmares about my dad swellin' up and bustin' out with one of those, "BOY! STOP PLAYING WITH YOUR FOOD!" If I don't know anything, I know that he meant it when he said that. My youthful analysis came to the conclusion that there must be something valuable to this food thing. Thus, I ate and appreciated what was in front of me. Even the chitlins. Even the chicken feet. Even the pig ear sandwiches (actually the last two were pretty good with some hot sauce).
We live in a shameful society of shameful excess. Competitive eating is glorified gluttony. What is the value of the food if you have people lined up on a stage with bibs on shoving wet mini-burgers down their throat, while someone with a microphone plays the hype-man like Flavor Flav?
Hungry ain't funny, and neither is the opposite.
Greed: I am not eating six pounds of baked beans in one minute and forty-eight seconds (someone did that) for any sum of money that won't deliver a small nation from poverty. If my son were to grow up and be a professional competitive eater, I would travel to all of his competitions, wait until he finished eating, then go backstage and kick him in the stomach repeatedly, while yelling, "Greedy fool!"
Wrath: I suppose I wouldn't have to kick my son in the stomach, because the baked beans would say, "Don't worry Pops. I got this. BOY! FEEL MY WRATH!" I love the holidays, but that mushroom cloud over the bathroom at the crib ain't nothing nice when it's all said and done. I can't imagine the damage those baked beans would do.
Thinking about the subject of competitive eating makes me wonder; why don't they use broke, hungry people for these competitions? That would be killing two birds with one stone. Get them something to eat and kick them down a little pocket change for the road. Of course I'm sure the hungry person would have the common sense to say, "Uh, I'm full. You got a to-go box? Keep the money."
Anyway, the morals to the story are: a. "All money ain't good money," and b. "Greedy got shot."
Competitive eating is not a spor