Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nasty, Yet Strangely Enjoyable

There are few things in our modern society that are so disgusting, so abominable, so utterly foul than a competitive eating contest. Yet a collection of people in Philadelphia have shown us that few things are more entertaining either. Name me another way you can get a national headline that reads: "Gluttony and Strippers Reign at Philly Wing Bowl".

Take out the "Philly Wing Bowl" part and you can't really use that headline in a way that fits so wonderfully except maybe "Gluttony and Strippers Reign at Nate Newton's House".

The thing that makes the Wing Bowl so special to watch or even read about is that it has the perfect mix of characters, flair, and just plain nastiness. The only thing that comes close is the pie eating contest that Lard Ass wins in Stand By Me, but that was a movie so it gets disqualified due to the whole fiction part.

I've seen the hot dog eating contests in New York. They are fun, but they are too technical. Any time you get a skinny Japanese kid who has gained a competitive edge by dipping the buns into water, you have a sport that has lost its freak appeal. You can bet that Kobayashi isn't going to go all Money Ball scientific on the wing eating contest.

First, you can't get around those bones. Even if there were a way to get the meat off faster, chicken wings have that little space between the bones where you have to gnaw like a canine to get all the meat off. Kobayashi can just try and swallow one of those things whole.

Secondly, though hot dogs are pretty nasty, they don't back quite the stomach punch that fried chicken wings do. More than five of those things and they become the gift that keeps on giving (burp). Never have I had such little food feel like a brick in my belly.

Finally, it's the mess factor. You eat a dozen wings in sauce and you look like you just bathed in a Sloppy Joe. It has that awful orange tinge to it as well. A person almost looks nuclear. A walking three mile island of nastiness.

Throw in the ability to raise the spiciness of chicken wings to epic proportions, and you've got yourself a winner for an eating contest: a horribly, messy, greasy food that you can't swallow whole and that could be prepared in a way that melts your tongue off.

The Philadelphia Wing contest has all of those basics, and then adds the crazy costumes and strippers on top of it. Nothing like the juxtaposition of hot strippers in lingerie and atrocious eaters firing through wing after wing. It's all so....dirty. In a good way. Like mud wrestling is supposed to be.

So I must give a hearty congratulations to Jonathan Squibb (aka Super Squibb), who won the 2009 Wing Bowl by tearing through 203 wings. His efforts got him a new car and for some reason a new diamond ring. But more importantly, Mr. Squibb knows that he has tackled the ultimate food challenge and earned himself a title that will remain with him as he spends the next three weeks crying next to his toilet.

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