Never Down a Gallon of Cold Water and Five Sandwiches at an All-Day Singing With Dinner on The Ground!
This is What Happened
on July 4, 2018, at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, an annual event held at Boardwalk, N.J.: Rising star, Carmen Cincotti looked to overthrow the 10-time champion, but Joey Chestnut was determined to add another win to his world-renowned competitive eating résumé. Not only did he win his 11th title, but he broke his own world record, eating 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes. This unbelievable performance only further solidified his place in Nathan’s Famous history.
Just where is Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest? Coney Island is a residential and commercial neighborhood and entertainment area in the southwestern part of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City.With competitive-eaters such as Chestnut and Cincotti, Nathan’s should be around for many summers to come. My personal thoughts are: Never Down a Gallon of Cold Water amd Five Sandwiches at an All-Day Singing With Dinner on The Ground!
You Got it, Bunky
Chestnut downed 74 dogs! Not at the same time, but one-after-the-other and made it look easy. Of course Chestnut has been “eating” hot dogs since the early 90s, so for him to eat 74 hot dogs down his gullet, was just “a walk in the park.”
Not to play-down Carmen Cincotti, a rising star of competitive eaters, was set to unseat Chestnut, the 10-year champion, but Chestnut broke his own record of hot dog-eating giving him his 11th Championship and it is no wonder why that big smile is upon his face.
Care For Some Real Life
which I am reaching way back to share this piece with you? I am grateful (to God) for allowing me to retain “this” awful memory. I said “awful,” because when you read the account of this event, calling it “nice,” would be one big lie and I am convinced that God does NOT appreciate telling lies.
I also want to mention George Rice Chitwood, nicknamed "Joie", an American racecar driver and businessman. He is best known as a daredevil in the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show. Born in Denison, Texas of Cherokee Indian ancestry, he was dubbed "Joie" by a track promoter and the name stuck.
What do these two guys, Chestnut and Chitwood have in common? Both are experts at “throwing caution to the wind,” and putting on exhibitions of their various talents in hot dog eating and putting cars that were designed to roll on four wheels, but with Chitwood at the wheel, they just roll—and roll like a dare-devil with nine lives.
Enough of This Glamour Stuff
time to gear-up, gird up our loins and prepare for THE Beast that looks easy enough to defeat and sweet enough to be thrown into the air like a five-pound bag of Idaho potatoes and “these” traits are what leads us to be deceived as I was on a fateful, painful, and completely-embarrassing moment that I had in 1960. I was seven at the time.
And the day was hot! Alabama summer-time’s are always hot especially in the month of June. This is when this near-fatal accident that happened with me as the “star,” and THE Beast which I will tell you about in a few minutes.
Right now, you are betting that THE Beast stands a good six-foot, six-inches tall. If a guy was THIS tall at age seven, then he needs an agent to negotiate THE highest-recorded money amount ever to be given to a Pro Basketball player and a contract to easily eclipse L.A. Laker’s legend, Wilt Chamberlain, who played as a center and is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. Chamberlain played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Associatio
Introducing The Beast
whom I still have chills when people speak his name. To this day I still find myself trembling each time that the memory goes through my mind. You would think that this “beast,” might walk on two legs like a man, but this beast sat still and even at a stationary stance, caused me so much trouble that my seven-year-old body started as a small defiance to the Beast’s obviously-arrogance to me and those who crowded around him.
Suddenly, and if the Beast had been endowed with a lot of Voo-Doo powers that could cause an entire town to surrender with just it’s power when the citizens are cut off from any drop of moisture. A sad, deplorable act, if you ask me. It almost became a reality, so when you tell your grandchildren about this awful exhibition of young boy “going to war” with (a) much-powerful creation that its nick-name, the Beast, was living up to its name, please be gentle with them, you do not want them to grow up like you had to do.
Time to do Battle With
the Beast and I can tell you that I am glad to have survived what you are about to read. This near-crucial happening was in the middle of June 1960, and like I said earlier, it was hotter than any man-made furnace made by mortal man. Sweat ran rampid down my back, neck, and frontal areas of my young body.
My parents and one of my aunts and uncle had made plans to attend an all-day singing and dinner on the ground at some place called Mars Free Will Baptist Church, somewhere in the lower area of Franklin County and I remember being crushed into the backseat sitting firmly between my parents who had their windows wide-open and I was panting like a thirsty mutt. I thought that I was in the Lake of Fire, but I was still living. I learned to love small reliefs.
If it’s any consolation, my parents were wet with sweat as were my aunt and uncle who sat in the front because it was their automobile and my uncle only went 35 miles per hour because he did not want a traffic ticket for not having auto insurance because he was so stingy about spending money that he had much rather let his car be demolished than get a new one for a replacement. And if you can see the logic in that thinking, I wish that you would tell me so I can enjoy it.
The ride to Mars Free Will Baptist Church was about an hour and when we drove up, there was a lot of cars and trucks parked in and near the church parking lot. I was counting the moments to when I could get out of my uncle’s car and get some air. But with three out of four people in the car who smoked, you can see why my wanting fresh air was not a luxury, but a NEED.
My aunt, uncle, and parents stretched as they looked over the number of vehicles and chatted about who was going to do the singing, because in the early 1950s through the early 60s, well-known Gospel-singing quartets made themselves a following by being approachable by Mars and other church congregations and with the added incentive as Dinner on The Ground, these were not just singings, but a big event. And in this case, I knew that some group was going to be singing at Mars, but you see, I never made it inside the church.
I wasn’t kidnapped.
I wasn’t threatened by a gang of thugs.
Something far worse. Oh, the Beast, as I’ve called it, was so subtle in his attack that I might as well be standing with my hands raised like an old-time burglar would do. But before I walked into the church, I was going to finish-off a delicious bologna and cheese sandwich, a southern delight to eat and a breeze to prepare. And as I saw my parents, uncle and aunt, slowly walk toward the front door of the church, the first bologna and cheese sandwich tasted so good that I just had to have a second sandwich.
I was too ignorant to know that the Beast was right at work and I never had a clue as to how he would be taking me to the ground without landing one punch, but to give credit where credit is due, the Beast did just that: take me to the ground without landing one punch on my face and body. What an expert fighter he was.
When the second bologna and cheese sandwich went down my throat, I was going to walk to the church and go inside, but next to my uncle’s car, an old man who was sitting on the gate of his pick-up truck and on the gate sat a huge wooden barrel, I made it about 55-gallons, but at seven, I was no Math expert. But what you are about to read, I warn you, is NOT suitable for children to read.
Inside the huge barrel was ice and water and a cup was hanging on the outside of the barrel and I could hear the Beast whispering, awww, come on. Take a drink of this good, cool water, and like a complete fool, I did as the Beast told me what to do.
The old man smiled and asked me if I had ever drank water so good, and I answered no, and he offered me a cup of the water and he wasn’t lying, because the water was so good that I wanted another cup and he obliged. But somehow, something was in the water (I believe) caused me to be extra hungry, again, and I just had to have another bologna and cheese sandwich and now, it was my third sandwich and I was not even full!
So now I wanted to walk to the church, but my mouth was very dry and my throat was as rough as sandpaper, so I made my way to the old man’s barrel and I drank cup after cup of sweet, cold water---one after the other that I almost fainted because I felt so good. I sat down on the pick-up bed’s gate and just rested. I thought that I had drank enough water and ate enough sandwiches for any mortal.
Wrong! To make a long story short, I put away two more sandwiches, which made me five sandwiches total, but now . . .I had to have more cold, sweet water and when I looked at the old man, he smiled at me and I walked toward him and he handed me the aluminum cup and I couldn’t drink enough water—the more I drank, the more I wanted.
Enough. I was finally finished with the sweet, cold water in the old man’s barrel and finished with the bologna and cheese sandwiches . . .or so I thought. So I slowly started walking toward the front door of the church and I heard the nice singing and the thought hit me that I was going to have a great time in this Sunday afternoon in mid-June. Did I tell you how hot it was?
Then, as if time went into slow motion, the very moment that I started up the steps to the front door, some thing or some ONE took my neck and pulled my head toward the ground—lower and lower until my face was looking squarely into the ground and before I could get up, I felt something move inside my upper body and there it was: my five bologna and cheese sandwiches along with every ounce of the old man’s sweet, cold water and FYI, when I came to, I looked for the old man and barrel and he was gone.
Five bologna and cheese sandwiches. Lots of sweet, cold water. All on the ground.
Where was Joey Chestnut when I needed him?
For more competitive-eating . . .read and enjoy
© 2019 Kenneth Avery