Saturday, July 4, 2009

An All-American Rant

There are plenty of wonderful things about America and I've extolled this country's positives on many occasions. Today though, I feel the need to rant on something so typically disgusting and American.

The Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is held annually on the 4th of July in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York.

It's about as American an event as you can imagine, and I don't mean that as a compliment.

Contestants spend 10 minutes soaking buns and shoving them and hot dogs down their gullets at a dizzying rate.

This year's champion and two-time defender of the crown, American Joey Chestnut sent 68 1/2 hot dogs and buns down his attention-craving gluttonous throat. For this feat, he wins $10,000 and presumably a day's worth of the most frightful indigestion on record.

The fine irony here is that for some reason these people feel that continuing this warped tradition is a good way to celebrate the 4th of July. The tradition started with four immigrants in 1916 who wanted to settle a bet as to who among them was the most patriotic.

Apparently, intestinal fortitude is an intelligent and accurate way to determine one's allegiance.

In a world where people are starving and struggling to get by everyday, we in the U.S. watch and applaud a group of "competitive eaters" as part of our celebration of freedom. It's entirely fitting that the nation with the most obesity and the least motivation for being healthy acts in such a way.

But no no don't stop your festivities on my account. I just wanted to rant until I was red, white and blue in the face. Now I'm ready to get out there and eat excessively, light things on fire and blow things up because I'm an American and damn it, that's what we do when we really screw it on.

What a country. Go U.S.A.!!!

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