Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's only the Duece

Molly Pitcher
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

Many of you are familiar with my quest to break the twenty hot dog barrier in the Nathans Competition last year. Twenty Hotdogs and Buns in 12 Minutes is the arbitrary line that divides the best Eaters from the rest of us. It is the Four Minute Mile. It is your first Academy Award. There are other milestones, but this one is the most talked about.

I consider Hotdogs the most difficult food to speedeat. They scare the shit out of me, but this is an opportunity that I've waited a year to prove myself against. I have found the greatest obstacles involved to be mental. It hurts to eat that much that fast, and you must be willing to push past all of the satiation points. Too much Salt, Too much fat, Too much Food. Your brain will let you know that it's time to stop early in the contest. Watch the Eaters between minute 5 and 6, they are suffering with the meatsweats and it's pretty ugly.

Tomorrow there is a 50/50 shot that I will be competing in the Molly Pitcher Qualifier for Nathans Hotdogs. The contest is at noon in Cranbury, New Jersey and the winner gets a seat at the finals at Coney Island on July 4th. It will be on ESPN again this year.

The problem is that I have a HUGE meeting at work that people are flying in for in Philadelphia. It's super unfortunate that these are overlapping, but I am going to bend reality to try to make this happen. I may be the first Eater to compete in a suit. Can they let me eat by Conference Call? If it all goes to shit, I have one more opportunity to pull it off before the 4th.

I havent talked about my training this year, but it is progressing along. I've had ALOT of advice from the top 10, and most of it is effective knowledge that I am only just begining to understand. Everyone has been supportive and kind.

Being fat makes eating harder, so I've lost 10lbs in the last 3 weeks. I lost the weight through Diet & Excercise, and when I say Diet & Excercise I really mean SlimFast & Masturbation.

My pain tolerance and concentration has improved as well. Last night I ate 19 Hotdogs and Buns in 12 minutes and then ran 3 miles. I didnt shit myself so I must be ready. It's only one more hotdog and it wont require any running afterwards....just a fast drive back to more meetings in Philly.

The great Competitive Eater Crazy Legs Conti has posted an interesting Blog Entry on the Major League Eating Website. I will reprint it without permission here, because I'm in that kind of mood. The title of the post is NOON. Noon is when the Finals start every year on July 4th. Crazy Legs won a seat at the finals soon after writing this.

There is a handwritten sign above my desk at work. Granted, its not much of the desk, just a large folding table in a giant liquor room in the basement of a swanky strip club. The sign itself, isn't much; all it says in red sharpie is "NOON". Just like that, in caps on a random piece of loose leaf paper. It's taped to the back-side of the beer cooler, not even the meat aging vault, where the best cuts from the best cows, mature and marble according to the physics of dry humidity. One cooler over from the meat vault is where they keep the seven pound lobsters, but the sign, the sign that says, "NOON" is simply affixed to the back-side of the no frills beer cooler. I see it every moment of every day that I sit in this chair in front of the computer (the only computer with Internet that I access; I prefer my typewriter at home).

The sign was originally a reminder to sign up for the Strawberry Shortcake World Championships. The sign-up procedure, the emails and confirmations have all passed, yet the sign is still there. Slowly, like the way Colonel Hall Hunt use to eat before he became the Baddest Ass eater on the circuit, something about the sign dawned on me. The noon in question wasn't the noon of the strawberry shortcake sign-up after all. The noon on the sign, was the noon. The exact moment in time that every Major League Eater strives to arrive at. I think you know the one. It is a noon like no other, and until you have arrived at the noon, its very hard to describe to others.

Perhaps reading the last line of "Vision Quest" (the book, not the movie) can give you and idea. I think I might go back and read it tonight. Motivation comes from many sources, but it all originates in the mind. See, ones stomach can get full, but ones mind cannot. So this week, with the passing of many noons (but not the noon) my body will take in soft malleable foods, but my mind will digest the denser, chewier, tougher thoughts. A singular focus will result. A focus that is like strapping on a helmet and hurling oneself into an Impressionist painting, but instead of a horse rearing back or a woman's elbow resting on a table, this painting simply has a man staring at a sign that says noon.


Mega Munch said...

You have to make it to that qualifier. And I dare you to do it in a suit (of course you will, I've seen your driver's license picture). Good luck.

By the way, I exercise all the time and I'm not losing any weight.

Liz said...

Maybe the suit is what you need to remind you that it's all business there at the table.

CL is a great inspiration. Remember last year he won his qualifier with 21.5 and then ran the Boston Marathon. You are almost there!

Anonymous said...

You know, sometimes Deuce is slang for poop.

steakbellie said...

Yeah, we call it that in my house too. In many ways the two things are related.

Wing Kong said...

Good Luck and Drop a sweet deuce after....

Wendy said...

The diet regimen cracked me up. Diet and exercise. Ha!

Good luck. I hope you make it in time & I think it'd be great gimmick to compete in a suit! Hey, you could wear the suit jacket with the kilt!

Keep us posted :)

SkippyMom said...

"Diet and Exercise, by that I mean Slimfast and Masturbation."

Thank you. I didn't think my kids could laugh any harder but seeing Iced Tea shoot out my nose....well all bets are off.

Nice. Wanna pay for a new flat screen there slick?...giggle.....

too damn funny.