June 6, 2007

Things, Things, Random Things

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Hey loyal readers! I’m back again to be shallow, silly, and juvenile, because I know that’s what you want. Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I was just on a trip to Greece. Let me tell you, the flight back was awful, because the guy next to me didn’t know how to handle flying. I mean he was coughing up pints of blood into barf bags. He said that he just got married. I sure hope he’s okay. He’s a great kisser though.

Anyway, I couldn’t think of anything to do a long blog entry on, so instead, here’s a bunch of little blurbs about things in recent news.

— This past weekend, competitive eater Joey Chestnut set a new world record by eating 59 ½ hot dogs in 12 minutes. This shattered the previous world record of 53 ¾ dogs, held by six-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest champion and ladies’ man Takeru Kobayashi. Now, news outlets and late-night talk show hosts have been quick to crown the 23 year-old Chestnut as the new world champion, but that is definitely not the case. Chestnut broke the record at the Southwest Regional Hot Dog Eating Championship at the frozen tundra of the Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe. This was one of fourteen preliminary competitions to qualify for the main event (the Nathan’s Contest) at Coney Island. As the long-standing defending champion, Kobayashi doesn’t have to qualify, and thus wasn’t there. As a result, Chestnut can’t yet claim the title of world champion until he beats Kobayashi head-to-head. Chestnut came very close last year to dethroning the champ, but finished a dog and 3/4 short. This situation is almost identical to one that appeared in track and field a couple of years ago between sprinters Asafa Powell of Jamaica and Justin Gatlin of the U.S. team. At the 2004 Olympic Games, Gatlin won the gold medal in the 100 meters while Powell finished fifth. In 2005, however, Powell broke Tim Montgomery’s 2002 record in the 100 meters with a time of 9.77 seconds. As a result, this set up one of the most exciting match-ups in sports: the world champion vs. the record holder, which was to take place at the 2005 Athletics World Championships. Of course, Powell got injured a month before and couldn’t compete. Then in 2006, Gatlin tested positive for performance enhancing drugs and was banned from competition for eight years, so it will be unlikely that we will ever get to see the two faceoff again. Lucky for us, that won’t happen this time, unless Chestnut gets his tonsils out and Kobayashi tests positive for vanilla extract.

(By the way, I have a scary knowledge of competitive eating. I was going to throw in a Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas or Tim “Eater X” Janus reference, but I couldn’t find a way to fit it in. Also, did you know that one of the families on this week’s episode of “Wife Swap” was that of popular competitive eater Eric “Badlands” Booker? I’m just sayin’.)

— One of my guilty pleasures, “Hell’s Kitchen,” is back on the air this summer. Actually, I like all the cooking reality shows, which will make this summer interesting, as all three (with “Top Chef” and “The Next Food Network Star” as the other two) are all currently airing their third seasons. But back to “Hell’s Kitchen.” While I enjoy all the Gordon Ramsay tirades and inter-chef drama, I cannot stand the customers. Here’s the deal, these diners apparently come to the restaurant for a meal, yet become angry when the meal isn’t on time or isn’t good or doesn’t come at all. Well, what the hell did you expect?!? You’ve obviously seen other episodes of this show, and when, in either of the seasons, did the contestants complete a successful service before the sixth elimination? That’s right, NEVER! That’s what you get when the contestants include bar chefs, retirement home chefs, fishmongers, caterers, and stock brokers. So don’t complain, because if you want a meal on time, there’s a Carl’s Jr. across the street. Of course, they’re probably just there to get on TV, rather than to have dinner, which is one of the shallowest things imaginable. But since this is filmed in L.A., it’s probably only a 4 or 5 on the 10-point MTV’s “NEXT” shallowness scale.