This is a few weeks late but here are the results anyway.I won by consuming 41 hot dogs and buns.Hopefully I can improve at the 4th which is likely since a massive surge of pure electricity and adrenaline can usually be channeled from the crowd at Coney. Out of all the contests this is the grand pappy of them all and is my least favorite. They are no krystal burger, that’s for sure. Numerous reasons account for this; the combo of carbs and proteins can be nauseating when eating just 1; it takes pure determination and focus to break the flavor barrier as well as the tapping into the necessary capacity and speed. The circus surrounding the eating makes for a memorable event that is branded into my frontal lobe. Before, and after are the fun times, until I figure out the means for a breakthrough I will be going in knowing there is no chance of toping Joey or Kobe. The light has not illuminated in my brain as I have not figured out the how to maximize my capacity of those garlicky and greasy tube steaks. Past performances haven’t exhibited my best. On every other annual contest the feel of a good and bad contest is know, never has the delight of exceeded expectations occurred but only of a failure to top 50 frankfurters. The dogs in Apple Valley were room temperature and which is consistent with a majority of circuit food. The ideal or elusive perfect food temperature for a contest is likely 95 degrees, and is nearly impossible to achieve. Some sponsors manage and it’s always a treat to eat those foods. Normally on that subject an outdoor festival in California will sport food around blood temperature. This was not the case on that chilly Minnesotan spring day as the temperature broke around 50 degrees with a slight breeze and drizzle. It slowed the dogs speed down to a crawl as top pace never exceeded 6 hdb’s in any given minute, a bit slower than my best of 10-12 with fast or mediocre dogs.The result was a struggle where my brain was quite vocal in forcing every ounce of strength I had into the usually normal and easy reflex of swallowing. Summer wisdom will dictate a speedier perra at the finals. But I am pleased with the performance based on the minimal level of preparation as well as the circumstances. Under these pretences, it compares to eating a casing filled with left over gristle from ye old 96er but not having the luxury of knowing John Candys’ sweat seasoned it.

I was surprised to find a vast following of supporters, kickball all star, groupies, and creepy stalker types. It’s expected in big cities and contests but is surprising considering the location, a cub foods parking lot. The mayor turned up as well as the twins closer (at an autograph table). To have him ask me questions about my sport made me realize that this could actually be considered one, (of course I have to say that because I compete in it)…

The post contest festivities included a trip into cub foods for baking soda(on the mayors suggestion)/ hand stain remover, and a chat with an asst. manager where much haggling took place in the hopes of parting with the giant nathans 07 poster (where a young man can be seen exhibiting a spacedocking sign).

After devoting 10 minutes to scrubbing the Wyler’s light from my face and extremities the Schlitz was a calling and I’m not one to turn down a 75 year old recipe.

My brother and I caught the tail end of a pre twins bar crawl and were led to the triple rock social club (the owner is in Dillinger four, one of my favorite bands).  The night was spent talking about education, politics, career paths, and pollution.  We were lucky enough to be in the company of a very talented and famous all-star of a schoolyard favorite.  I would have been more impressed had it been four square but it turned out to be kickball.  The smell of fruity drinks, nitrates, and Schlitz filled the air.  Unfortunately the Malibu and pineapple couldn’t disguise the noxious odor of garlic and spice, but the loud music and buzz aided this losing battle.  Good company and laughs will work wonders.

It was thoughts of the fun that made the excruciating hangover and 6 hour drive bearable.  But work was another story, it must be suicide or stupidity that forces someone to think that partying all night, getting up and driving 6 hours right into a 13 hour shift is a good idea.  The pepperoni pizza combos, cellophaned Italian sub and Gatorade did nothing to dull the edge. Trouble was evident when the McDonald’s hash browns and southern chicken biscuit did nothing to ease the distress from the ever churning and curdled cement mixer deep within my abdomen.  It showed no signs of breaking until the slow ominous, post shift walk for the 3 am bus. The day was defined by slower than normal reflexes and efficiency. Your body holds off on complete recovery in hopes of reprimanding you for those 15- 20 drinks. It was an ideal day to nurse the Irish flu with a large pizza, bloody Mary, and or gallon of Gatorade or this:

The media response was great following the contest. To know it was picked up nationally was a good feeling. The best feeling of all was discovering it was played on the national Mexican networks. My Latino friends remarked that I looked like I was struggling through the clip. I can only imagine how terrible I must have looked trying to eat those chilly dogs. Hopefully there was bilingual banter about the gringo loco, el diablo or pollo loco. All names I was called in Cancun while sporting the Mohawk.

I will be posting a video from the contest at the site

– chow,Eat up eat well

Patrick Deep Dish Bertoletti

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