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A Doggone Good Time
A DOGGONE GOOD TIME INSIDE NATHAN’S NATIONAL HOT DOG EATING CONTEST
This Fourth of July, no hot dog is safe. In fact, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will consume as many as 155 million frankfurters on the holiday alone! But hey, you’re eating one, two, maybe three hot dogs tops, right? That’s small- time, kid. If you’re looking to tangle with the big dogs, take a trip to Coney Island and check out the world-famous Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Each year, on the anniversary of America’s fateful inception, the world’s greatest eaters warm up their chompers on the biggest stage in competitive consumption. Then, in front of a cheering horde of Major League Eating fans, they feast. But as I’m sure you’re aware, this ain’t your dad’s barbecue. The clock runs for 10 minutes, and whoever devours the greatest number of doggies — buns and all — is crowned top dog. These competitors chow down at a pace unfathomable to us mere mortals. Chew on this for a second: Last year’s champion, Joey Chestnut, dispatched a whopping 70 dogs — that’s seven a minute, folks, more than one every 10 seconds. To some, the competition is a marvelous munching media blowout. To others, it’s a truly grotesque display of American avarice. But regardless of which side of the bun you land on, you have to agree: Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is a marvel of contemporary marketing.
This Independence Day, whether you’re in the crowd at Coney Island, watching in awe as 20 adults inhale absurd quantities of film-wrapped mystery meats, or at the park, quizzically guessing at the chemical makeup of a half-eaten frankfurter on a picnic table, take a moment to thank the humble hot dog. It may be the most American meal you eat all year.
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