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08:55:24 - 2000-10-10

IT PAYS TO BRING A FAT GUY TO A HOT DOG EATING CONTEST

Yesterday I think I saw the funniest thing I've ever seen.

It took place out at the Alabama National Fair during the annual Media Challenge. Myself and Mattie Gee were representing the newspaper in four separate contests ... hat decorating, cake decorating, hot dog decorating and hot dog eating.

Neither Mattie or I could give Martha Stewart a run for her money.

But both of us can chow down like award-winning pigs.

In college I picked up two talents. I can stuff an entire regular McDonald's hamburger in my mouth in one bite, or two Krystals at the same time in my mouth.

Yes. My parents are more proud than you can imagine.

Mattie Gee and I figured we were a shoo-in for the Hot Dog Eating contest and decided to blow off the rest of the competition.

For our hat-decorating contest, I wrote "Sho'" on my hat and "Nuff" on his hat, since the theme is "Sho' Nuff Fun!" this year.

No...we didn't have a third person available for "Fun". That's how lame our idea was. We did two-thirds of the Fair's logo.

To add to the effect, we slapped on an "Independent" sticker on the back to just totally confuse everyone.

The winner? A radio deejay (John Garrett from Y102 for you locals) who had a child's ferris wheel on his hat and a buncha fair stuff that his wife must have done for him.

We didn't win jack.

For the cake-decorating contest, we decided to slap the front cover of the newspaper from a few weeks ago when we ran a big picture of the Fair on the cover and the Fair's logo on a cake, frame it with frosting, and keep our fingers crossed that we weren't laughed at and thrown out of the contest for being idiots.

We won sixth place for that idea. The Number One team was the local NBC affiliate WSFA's morning show hosts who did the NBC peacock on their cake using M&Ms. So we slapped on a picture from the newspaper and they did a peacock out of candy.

Who did it in less time??

The hot dog eating contest ... we had no plan. We stood there like Tweedledum and Tweedlestupid up until 10 seconds before the actual contest began.

"Let's write Sho' Nuff Fun on the hot dog," Mattie whispered frantically.

"Okay," I agreed because it sure beat no plan at all.

In those ten seconds, we laid out the blueprint for the decoration of the foot-long hot dog. I knew I wanted to keep it simple ... I'd be eating this dog in about ten minutes and didn't want to load it with chili and onions.

We gave the top half of the bun a ketchup background with mustard letters and did the opposite on the lower half of the bun. The effect was gorgeous and the mustard made great letters.

I can't say the same for ketchup bottles. The nozzle that the ketchup travels through is not nearly as precise as the mustard nozzle.

So instead of the hot dog reading "Sho' Nuff Fun" it read something like "Shotgun Fun."

One of the judges came up and stared at the hot dog.

"Shotgun Fun?" she asked.

"No ma'am...Sho' Nuff Fun," I offered. "Just like our hats and the name of the Fair this year...Sho' Nuff Fun."

...Then ... I lapsed into some serious butt-smooching ...

"We really love the fair over at the newspaper," I said as I put my arms around the shoulders. "Yep. That fair is one of the greatest events to take place in the city each year."

"Don't you say that for every single event that takes place in your stories for that newspaper," she asked.

"Ahhhh," I chuckled nervously. "I think you have us mixed up with someone else."

We didn't win anything with our Shotgun Fun Dog.

Now ... it was time to eat it.

And this, my friend, is what you've been waiting for...

...The Funniest Thing I Think I've Ever Seen ...

It was decided that we would split the dog and both choke it down as quick as possible.

I beamed as I finally got to put something that I actually learned in college to work for me. My talent of consuming large quantities of food in mere seconds was finally paying off after all these years.

The judge counted "1...2...3!!!"

With a plastic spoon, we divided the hot dog in one fell swoop. We knew (as professional fat guys) that the hot dog was now too rubbery to just "tear" apart, and would have to be sliced.

It was sliced. We were one up on the competition.

We tore the hot dog apart and began jamming it in our mouths.

I had told Mattie Gee beforehand to get a mouthful of dog, get as much water as you can in there which will turn it into mush, and swallow the ball.

This comes easy to me.

...But Mattie Gee had a little problem with the exercise.

He stuffed the entire hot dog in his mouth, that was a valiant effort. He took a large swig of water, just like I asked him to do.

And then he backed up.

And ... well...you can't really consider what he did "projectile vomiting". But it was the closest thing to it that I've ever seen in a Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Mattie spewed like a geyser on its side.

At this time, I'd sincerely like to apologize to the two guys from 97 Jamz. I apologize that my partner spewed all over your hot dog to the point that you basically had to drop out of the race. You guys may have deserved to win had my partner not shot chunks of mushed-up hotdogs your way.

Each team was assigned a judge and our judge was legitimately horrified when Mattie did his Linda Blair impression.

Mattie then turns to me with his cheeks puffed out beyond belief, giving me a look like "Did I just spew all over the Creative Living Center?"

I gave him a look like "Dear God ... please don't let Mattie spew all over me."

Mattie swallowed his hot dog ... and me...the guaranteed ringer for the team ... followed closely behind.

We shot out our tongues to show off our clear palates and shot our hands up in the air.

Our judge shot her hand up in the air.

WE HADN'T BEEN DISQUALIFIED!!

WE WON!! TEAM USA WINS!!! TEAM USA WINS!!!

Our national anthem played while a large flag unfurled behind us. Our competition lifted us on their shoulders and carried us around the entire fair, leading cheers for the "Hot Dog Kings".

Okay. Not really.

Yes, we were stared at like we were freaks. Yes, we ate a footlong hot dog in 12 seconds, 20 seconds before number two finished theirs.

And yes, we had just made $100 in 12 seconds.

The other media people were astonished. Their heads whipped around as they had barely started on their huge chili dogs while we had engulfed our almost bare dog.

...Mortal fools...

We stood there for several minutes after the contest, giggling hysterically at his public spewing when I noticed Mattie had a huge wad of chili up by his nose.

The scary thing was ... we hadn't put any chili on our hot dog.

As we were leaving, one of the deejays from the station that Mattie hurled all over said there were no hard feelings.

I think that took a lot of strength to say. Because if someone had gagged all over my hot dog, we would have had to take it outside, my friend.

As we walked away, we overheard two television people as one described Mattie as a "Wiener Cannon".

So folks ... take it from me. You haven't lived until you see a good friend cough up a hot dog in front of his peers and all over a deejay and his food.

I mean ... come on ... I get to call this guy "Wiener Cannon" for the rest of our friendship. And that's worth something in my book.

QUESTION OF THE DAY

Have you ever thrown up in public and where?

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