Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nothing left but to show up

I'm done training. I was going to do another run tonight, but I've decided against it as I dont think I have much room for improvement as far as technique is concerned. I have TONS of room for improvement as far as stomach Volume. I'm working on it.

This particular contest is being held at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis Tennesse. I spent the first four years of my life in Tenn, and actually learned to eat there. It's the great wheel of life that brings me back there to show them how much better I got at it.

There's a considerable amount of behind the scenes banter that goes on between the Eaters concerning who is showing up at what contest. Some eaters announce it openly, while others try to be be more sneaky. Here's what I've been able to gather about the some of the guys I'll need to beat:

Wing Kong: Very close friend. We go to many contests together, competing against each other. We tease each other some but are genuinly happy for each others accomplishments. Wing Kong has been a wonderful coach helping me through my training. His wife desperatley wants to get in my pants. I'm gonna kick his ass no problem.

Seaver the Achiever: A great eater out of Virginia. He's the eater that beat me at the Nathans QVC contest. Seaver has competed in a Krystal Qualifier already this year and finished with 35 in 8 minutes. There is a "Wildcard" opportunity to go to the Krystal finals for the 4 best non-winning performances. Currently Seaver makes the cuts with 35 but he hopes to improve on that this Sunday. My plan is to set his tray of burgers on fire (he's a fire-fighter and will no doubt be distracted trying to save those little burgers)

Sam Vise: A local Tennesse eater who has won the Memphis Qualifier for two years runnning. His best performance was 35 Burgers. His best Nathans performance was 20 Hotdogs...I'm guessing/hoping he's within my reach. I dont have a plan to foil him yet. We may have to resort to the old Itching Powder in the Pants.

Russman88: I think this is a guy from QVC and Shoofly Pie. There's many PA Eaters who I know by sight and not name yet. I'll make him buy me a beer after this contest. If he beats me, he owes me a case.

Eater X: Unfortunatley, this is one of the best Eaters in the world. Ironically he's already qualified for the Finals by eating 52 Freaking Burgers last week in Atlanta. Believe it or not he came in second. There was some controversy with the judging at the end, and I think he wants to prove something, or maybe just win a trophy. This completely fucks with my chances of winning the contest outright, but the reality is that Shit Flows Downhill and I just have to deal with who shows up. Some of the ways I will stop him, will be: Three-Stooges Eye-Poke, Steel Folding Chair accross the back, secretly placing 20 of my burgers in his mouth, Disrupting the Space/Time Continum, and Anonnymously sending him a 20lbs box of fudge the night before (who can resist fudge?) or just simple eat like a Brazillion Burgers.

If you would like to watch the contest live, it will be on, and start around 3pm, I'm assuming that's EST. The webcam they use is alittle choppy, and the sound is completely f'd...but it's the best thing going, and they are always cool enough to post a good version on YouTube within a few days. Krystal will also text the results to your phone if you like...I'm going to have mine sent to me at the table so I know how I did.

It would be a good performance for me if I can eat 30 burgers. To make the wildcard I'm probably going to have to eat 36 or more. I've been training to eat 40 although I've never even gotten close to that number. For me, this contest is about intensity, and I am going to push myself right up to the brink of puking and hold it there for 8 minutes. Look for me to eat 18 - 20 in the first 2 minutes. Thats the intensity that I intend to harness and if I do barf, we can all have a good laugh later on. Well you can have a laugh at least.....

UPDATED 9/29 The Webcast should begin 3pm CENTRAL (thanks OJ)
UPDATED 9/29 IFOCE.COM says that The Locust is coming now too. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY HIS PHOTO, HE'S GOT THE BODY OF A RUNNER AND THE STOMACH OF A PHILISTINE!!! This guy is 8th in the World and I believe that to be understated. LOOKOUT TENNESSEE!!!!!!!!

Blonde Lightning

This is my youngest son. He is the least like me of the three boys. Until this summer, he was also the most distant as far as my relationship with the children. I dont know how it happened, but we really got close this summer and I'm grateful.

Actually some of our bond may have to do with Competitive Eating. He's a HUGE fan of Professional Wrestling and somehow he equates Wrestling with Eating. I think alot of it has to do with the nicknames, the personnas, and the intense competition. The both have manic announcers, some sweating and folding tables. Our dinertime conversations consist of how various Eaters and Wrestlers match up. He likes to compare and contrast them

M@x: "Who could eat more, The Locust(Eater) or Triple H(Wrestler)?"
SB: "The Locust"
M@x: "Can you beat up the Locust"
SB: "If he stole my Chicken Wings, I might"
M@x: "Can you eat more than the Locust?"
SB: "Only if I beat him up first"
(The Locust is one of our favorite Eaters, and I'd NEVER dream of beating him up...unless he stole my chicken wings that is)

The kids actually get alittle street cred with their friends, and thats helped fend of the natural embarrassment that they feel about their parents. The oldest has turned the corner since he started having girlfriends though....

As tough as he looks here, the little bastard stills crawls into bed with us every night though...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

...two bits

The first time I ever shaved was in 6th grade. I had just watched the Musical 'Sweeney Todd' and decided it was time to shave off the peach fuzz that I considered to be a moustache. I was incredible scared that somehow that my Dad's soap encrusted twin blade schick would accidentially kill me. That fear actually came from the play Sweeney Todd itself, which is about a Barber who slits the throats of his customers when they come in for an old fashioned shave. He then grinds up their bodies and makes meat pies.

I know what you're thinking: 'mmmmmm......meat pies!!!!'

Since that day I've been plauged by this Man-Ritual. I produce 13 gallons of Testosterone a Day, which by some joke of God, hasnt made me as strong as a Yeti, but I still get to look like one. If I wanted to hang out with the Queen of England or Angelina Jolie, I'd have to shave 2x a day....still it's better than having a Menstrual Cramps

The other day my middle son calls me at work. A package has arrived from our friends at the Gillette company. I have been given a free razor. My son is more thrilled than I would expect, and I wonder about the Lore of Shaving as it applies to little boys. He wants me to shave with the new razor. It has FIVE blades on it and he is excited I got it for free.

I explain to him that the promotion is a Marketing Scheme. They give me a new Razor Handle for free, and I buy blade replacements for the next 10 years. I tell him I like my old Two Bladed Sensor. I'm confortable with it. It works.
"But THIS one is free, Dad"

I try the five-bladed razor. It works too. I think about the revolution in cutlery we are having. Ten Thousand years to invent Carbon Steel, then In five years we've gone from two-bladed razor to four-bladed ones. Can you see the R&D money that is poured into the shaving community? Long hours spent mixing chemicals and shooting Neutrons into plastic polymers, and some product engineer adds a goddamn blade to the razor. Do you dare even guess what they have planned for next year?!?!?

There Are Only Stupid People

I like to think of myself as a student of life. I contemplate things like the birth of the Universe, String Theroy, and that refridgerator light puzzle. None of these things actually effect my life in an everyday sort of way, but I think the excercise of being curious is imperitive to longevity.

So here's today's question....If I take a pee and it smells like Paint Thinner, should I be concerned?

Monday, September 25, 2006

and then a sensible dinner...

six days left until the Krystals hamburger contest.

Most of my training has been with a half-quantity of my goal total. All of these training runs have gone better than expected. I typically finish with my heart racing and my hands shaking and a feeling that is not quite full. I also finish ahead of the time I'll need on game day. I'm ahead of pace.

Twice, I've done runs with seventy-five percent of my goal total. Both of these runs have ended in complete failure. The latest failure was yesterday. I have an eating technique for burgers that I mentally refer to as 'Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel'. Yesterday the shovel never even got hot...I ate 8 Burgers in the first minute, and then just fell apart and only limped to my halfway quantity mark before stopping.

I may do two more runs this week, maybe only one. I need to finish training with a bang, not a poof. I'm ok with a bad run or two, as long as I get them out of my system before gameday.

Nickel 56

at the core is a furnace of misery and narcisssim that fuse together to make a brilliant show of self-loathing. in the end it doesnt really matter how it's made.

I mean light is light after all and it's kind of pretty to watch all that destruction.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Friends of Carlotta

Originally uploaded by -Birdy-.
When I was a kid there was a show called "Quincy Jones" in which a guy who was an extremely messy patholigist, lived with a neat-freak and they had all sorts of funny situations and solved murders and whatnot by noticing some funny brusies on a dead body. That show is the great grand-daddy of all the millions of Medical Investigative shows that are on now like ISI:SUV. I dont watch ANY of those shows, but I wish I did right now.

This morning, out of the blue, there was a break in a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD cold case. What is the newfound evidence you say? It's the image you see right here in this article. That image was produced by a Man named Birdy.


In college I had a full and perfect Cow Skull that sat on my desk. You could touch it and it was wonderfully dry and white. It still had it's teeth but no horns and it was one of the many hundreds of things that kept hot young horny college girls out of my pants...(the first thing on the list was the brain within my own skull).

People would ask about the Cow skull, and I would reply simply:

"His name is Ramone"

This line is from an old Steve Martin Movie called "Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid". No One ever saw the movie and if they did, they probably wouldnt connect the two because he was holding a Puppy at the time, not a Cow Skull. So, anyway I'd say the line with a gravely Spanish accent just like Steve did. The blankley staring piece of ass would soon walk out the dormroom in search of someone far less complicated.

There were two other important things in that room. One was a poster of Georgia O'Keefe's painting:"Cowskull: Red, White and Blue", and the other was a roommate named.....Birdy.


Ramone lived with us for several years and was quite happy and content on my Drafting Table. He was thrilled when we moved off campus to a much larger apartment and took on two new roommates named JuneBug and LumpLump.

JuneBug and LumpLump were wonderful roommates to have because they were outgoing and fun and not social mistfits me and Birdy were (Birdy was Brooding and Menacing in a small kind of way, and I was shy, narcistic and unaware in a big kind of way) Large, LARGE parties of people would appear in our apartment(Birdy was once invited by a stranger on Campus to his own party.) and we would desperately try to kill ourselves with copiuos quantities of beer.

I had longish hair and bikini underwear.
It was fun.


So one weekend or summer or whatever I was back at my Ancestial Home...away from the party for only three days. When I came back, imagine my shock at seeing Ramone moved from his perch, and broken in several places. This Cow Skull who had become one of my closest friends was forever broken...unable to heal because he was, well, dead.

When I asked my roommates what had happened, I wasnt comforted for my loss or told that they dont know...just silence...noone said anything. I was hurt and suspicious as I buried my friend in cardboard box and placed him in my parents attic.


I believe that Birdy knows something, and this image is just a shout-out from his subconcious to be free of the guilt. It's been a long time my friend, it's time to let Ramone rest....

Junebug, you're not off the hook either. I'm going to go to my parents house this weekend so my kids can scan it with their electron microscope for clues. You should tell what you know now, before my sons coming knocking at your door looking for answers.


Incidently, it may have been the destruction of Ramone and not my reallization that God wants us to bang hot chix, that lead to me meeting a blonde haired girl from South Jersey.....

Thursday, September 21, 2006


An hour or two ago somebody ran into my office and said there was an explosion acouple of buildings down. Alot of the electric in Center City is down, and the biggest buildings all had to be evacuated. Some kind of problem when the utility was working on the electrical system when it blew up underneath one of the skyscrapers. Apparently blew off some manhole covers too.

I walked ouside for a look, all the streets we're closed down and traffic at a gridlock, sirens everywhere, and thousands of people out on the sidewalk for blocks and blocks. Black Smoke.

Even knowing ahead of time what the problem was my brain still chimed in when I saw the sea of people walking away...
"huh...911 again..."

Beware the Burger of Damocles

I am always suspicious of success. Not other peoples success, just my own.

Training for the Krystals Burger competition is going better than I expected. Alot better. Could I REALLY be doing that well, or have I completely screwed up assuming that the White Castles I'm using are somewhat compatible in size and speed.

With the Nathans competition, I was able to assemble everything I needed for 'Game-Day' style training. I'm 1,000 miles from the nearest Krystal Burger joint, and I wont have my first one until I am called up to take my place at the table end. (they place the best eaters in the center, and the best looking on the ends) What if they're completely different, and I totally blow it after talking so goddamned hopefully? Am I too brazen to ponder if the trophy is a 'carry-on item' or do I have to check it at the flight counter?

There will be other eaters there that have eaten Krystals before, and even onces that have competed in them. I'm jealous that they have the knowledge I want. The assurance of knowing their surroundings.

I also dont know everyone who will be competing. The top five eaters in the world have already qualified, but that leaves plenty of room for lots of good eaters to show up.

Cant I just be cautiously optimistic for once?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Eventually, I'm going to need better lies

How about a God that can make me a sandwhich and look under my bed for monsters. One that can tell me a bedtime story about a bunch of pigeons on a fence, and will ramble on and on with the details until I am deep asleep.

I need a Savior that will tell me when I've got something on my pants, or when I should change the oil in the Jeep. An extra quarter in the parking meter.

A funtional Messiah.

Somebody who really cares.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Telegram for Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (haiku)

there has been a coup
the office is surrounded
sorry you're not here

I would gladly pay for Thursday (haiku)

30 White Castles
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
burgers and iced tea
timers, paper and pencils
whats your hurry, boy?

Monday, September 18, 2006

about me (eight words)

My Demons
are more reliable
then I am

almost serious

Birdy made a comment in the earlier post:

So when are you going to stop treating each event like a unique little thing and just admit you're a pro and train all the time? Stop fucking around. Pro football players don't just sit on thier ass and wait until each single game to start thinking about what to do, right? Play to win!

My reply is long enough to be a post on it's own. I actually do train all the time. I dont post about it, because it would turn this into a 100% Competitive Eating website. Now I dont train nearly as hard as I do when I have a contest in mind, but I try to keep from losing any ground in jaw-strength and stomach capacity.

My bigger issue is that I cant afford to compete more than once a month. My time as a father and husband is extrememly limited, as many of you know first hand. Many of the better eaters toady are young 20-something men who arent tied down to a family or career, and can jet accross county for one or two contests a weekend. These guys are at an advantage that they can keep their bodies in a high consumption phase without needing much training during the week.

As far as being 'Pro' I'll reserve that distinction for when I finally win money for plaing in a contest. It may be a large carboard check for $25, but I will post it here so very proudly when that day comes.

There are some contests that I take more seriouly than others...and this one I'm pretty serious about and willing to make myself very uncomfortable during training for. I am expecting alot from myself on October 1.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I have the head the size of a watermellon. Sometimes I wonder what the hell is going on in there.

test (haiku)

southern white castle
only one way to find out
we'll know soon enough

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Big Secret

I'm in a hamburger eating contest (There, I've said it)

I'm going to try to win (I've said that too)

I'm going to fly on a plane to this contest (Oi! You BETTER win then Mr Moneybags!)

I'm going to train by eating hamburgers...(crazy huh?)

I'm going to keep losing weight despite all the hamburgers I'm training with (NOW we know you're f'ing crazy)

It's a big one like the Nathans contest in that you have to win a Qualifier and then go to the finals on another date. The finals will be on ESPN just like the Nathans. People other than the top 3 can actually win money in the finals on this one.

I will be rooming with two of the other Eaters that I am going to beat. I have a win and a loss against each of them, so they are going to be pretty upset at me when I eat the whole goddamned table out from under them. It should be an excellent contest, and I will buy them a beer to drown their sorrows in.

I'm so passionate about this one...look out...more to come!!!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Enough of that crap.....

I'm giving up being angry/depressed for abit...I just dont have time right now. My garden is still full of a wonderful crop of Genovese Basil that needs to be harvested and stored for winter before it dies.

I also have several large Black Beauty Eggplants that are out there, but can survive on the vine for another month. My tomatoes met an early demise from all that rain. The fruits soaked up so much water they split...even the green ones. I moarn for you sweet tomatoes.......

Back to school night for the middle son. So much to do in REAL life, no time for other peoples 'ideological struggles of a generation'

There's training to do! Oh boy is there ever!!!!
My own ideological struggle happens to be a pile of mini-burgers over 30 tall. See what a simple man I am? Fight on Steakbellie, Fight-ON!!!!!

A great post concerning the Iraq Civil War and 9/11

RocketRadio: The Mess We're In


Some days it might be nice to be somebody else
like Willie Stargell
or Captain Picard
or Homer Simpson
or Encyclopedia Brown
or Fannie May
or Mrs. O'Leary
or Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
just to get out of my head for abit
I'm so godamned bored with myself

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sept 11, 2006

might be a good day to:
try again

My Pet Goat (haiku)

you were at the wheel
could have made a difference
you made divisions

laundy's done

I spent yesterday doing alot of thinking. I have a very very noisy mind that spins quite quickly. Thoughts tumble around inside like those old pair of shoes in the dryer. I'm not smart or brilliant, but like those shoes, I can think around a thought for hours and hours until it's pretty much dried out.

I'm not going to put this altogether into a good post. I'm too tired today to try to make it beautiful, I just want to lay some thoughts out there that have been bothering me.

* All of the great stories that came out of 9-11 are about individuals. People who dropped everything and ran to help. Our Government was paralyzed, we all kind of gave them a partial pass because it was a sucker punch.

* This year's 9-11 Anniversary is extra sad because of Hurricane Katrina. Four years of telling us how prepared we are for a disaster, and we get bowled over by an event we had several days worth of warning to prepare for. Somehow rescue teams from Canada were able to get to those in need before the US could.

* All of the great stories that came out of Katrina were about individuals.

* Everyone buys bottled water/filters because they assume that the water utilities are incompetant or corrupt. They also assume that the Gov agencies that watch over them are incompetant or corrupt. Tell me all day that the water is clean, I just cant believe you, you might as well just lie anyway.

Friday, September 08, 2006

WTC Skin

The first three 9/11 anniversaries were very emotional for me. Typically I get really really drunk on 9/10 and cry alittle, and then I'm so hungover on 9/11 that I dont feel a goddamned thing but headache. Last year was ok though, I remember looking at my phone and going..."Hey Wow, it's 9/11"

I got the idea for the above illustration this afternoon, and I had to search abunch of photos of 9/11 to see exactly what the outside of the building looked like. I feel kinda sick now from seeing the wreckage again and I'm dreading Monday. Not so much for the day itself but for the Polical crap that's going to be staged all weekend. These guys have the November Elections in mind, and are going to really try to stir the pot for their personal benefit. It's fucking gross.

(eight words)

how do we make these lives matter?

Thirty Is My New Twenty

Make sure you set your sights low enough so that you can always hit the target! It sucks when you disappoint yourself and everybody is not like TV or George W Bush...repeating something over and over does not make it true.

An Inspirational Story, by Artie Lang (Age 39)


on todays plate (haiku)

some lame ass haikus
pages of HTML
bad graphic design

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Paris Hilton

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
This morning we woke to breaking news of Paris Hiltons arrest for DUI. Those that know me, know the pure joy I glean from news like this. I hate these people and I spend all of my free time hating them. I close my eyes and concentrate on blowing up their heads, like that 'Scanners' Movie. When Britney Spears stole that dancer from his pregnant wife I giggled with anticipation of the trainwreck. When Angelina Jolie stole Brad away from Jen, I walked on clouds.

This is how I fight The Man. I can cry for a stranger, these are NOT real people.

However, this news didnt excite me and thats toubling. Paris Hilton has 'Bizarro Fame'. Her 'Career' is built on bad publicity, and this is just another log to her infamy. She NEEDS bad press to continue staying in the spotlight...she is Anti-Famous.

I wonder if she did a selfless act for someone, something truly kind....would the public finally be repulsed from that Horse-Faced idiot? Would we finally be free of her?

News a la Mode (eight words)

Everyone should have a Secret Prison....
Got Yours?

i can still be hurt (haiku)

you are so high school
please go out and get a job
build up, dont tear down

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


A six year old neighbor said "I'm glad he's dead, he used to stick his head in Aligator Mouths...what did you think would happen???" And my first thought was 'The Emperor Has No Clothes!!!'

but the reality is I'm really sad this guy died. surprisingly sad. I remember sitting on the coach in college watching him late at night when I was trying to outlast the spins. He was freaking crazy, but entertaining and very educational...most of all the guy was ALIVE in all senses of the word. I always felt like he honestly cared about all the creatures he showed us, and that he knew that by being a showman, he could teach us all a thing or two before we even realized it.

Maybe it was a good way for him to go though.
Sucks getting old....

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

License to Ill

My License
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Almost a year ago I made a list of things I wanted to do before I die. Right after 'try out for wing bowl' I wrote 'wear tux for license photo' I knew my license was soon due for renewal, and I had been wanting to do this for at least 10 years.

So, early in the summer I took a day off of work and dug my tuxedo out of the closet. I polished my shoes and cuff links. I bought a replacement bowtie. I wore colonge and new socks. I wore a cumberbund.

Despite how simple it would seem to do, it's actually quite unnerving to walk into a DMV in a tuxedo. The office was full of people, mostly dealing with paperwork for work trucks and young teenage hopefuls. I was the sole representative of high-brow living on this day.

As you can imagine, there was a considerable amount of unpleasant silence with my entrance. For me the secret was to pretend I wasnt in a tuxedo, kind of how you might pretend you didnt just fart really loudly. I stand in an unmarked line and wait my turn, thinking about what I'll say if someone actually asks me about the tux.

"I need to have my license renewed"
She's staring at my bowtie and then at my face with a loaded smile. She wants to ask me why I'm dressed as I am, and is hoping I offer the reason.
"Do you have your paperwork?"
"I have my expired license"
"You cant use that here"
"Isnt this the DMV?"
"Dont you renew licenses?"
"I thought you said this was the DMV?"
"It is, but we dont renew licenses anymore, we just take your picture"
"Will you take my picture?"
"Because you dont have your paperwork"

Part of my severance package from leaving New Jersey was that I would never again have to deal with my arch enemy the NJDMV. I have a been forever tormented by that hateful group for decades, and I mildly feeling deja-vu talking to this girl in the PADMV.

The girl explains that to make things easier, you now have to drive accross town to the Auto-Tags place, pay the fee and get the paperwork, and then drive back to the DMV for your Photo. I point out that it's actually making it more complicated, to drive 10 miles and wait in a separate line to pay and then drive back, when I could just pay her, and then she could take my photo. She says if I dont like it, I can do my paperwork on the Internet. This sounds appealing and effiecient to me until she says it takes 6 weeks to recieve the Internet paperwork.

One and a half hours later I return to the same woman in line and have my picture taken.

Later that night I show my wife my new license. She thought I was crazy to want the picture in the first place, but now I'm guessing she wants one in a tiarra.

I havent been pulled over yet. They will either laugh and let me go, or arrest me on the it goes....

Monday, September 04, 2006

Steakbellie Brought the Sexy Back....


I want my wife to know how goddamn proud i am of her. She chose to do the 'right' thing in a tough public situation. She was all alone in a fight that will haunt us for years and stood her ground when people attacked her and a friend of ours.....If all of you only knew......She's the kind of friend you wish you had.....

fuck them all
we know what matters

Friday, September 01, 2006

"eight, eight, I forget what eight was for...."

The hallway is dark.

I'm sitting on the carpet leaning against the wall. To my left is a white wooden door with a brass plack the says "The Demon" on it. It's an old door, the kind they actually made out of heavy wood. It's chained shut with a cheap metal twin brother waits paitently inside.

I finish my beer and crumple the can, "Do you want a beer?"
"Nah" from inside the room. "You know I dont Drink"
He's clearly not agitated at all about being locked in all this time.
" you want to come out?"

I hear him pace in the room and I wonder what he's been doing all this time.
"eventually I will, when you need me, I'll be there....just dont bite me again"

I laugh and I know he's laughing too
"agreed, I'm gonna get another beer....."