Sunday, July 4, 2010

One Too Many Hot Dogs? Grab for Pepto-Bismol

I've lived in Brooklyn for a long time.  But today I felt like a true Brooklynite as I witnessed one of the most captivating and disturbing things I've seen in a long time -- the July 4th Nathan's Hot Dog Eating competition up close and a little too personal.

Dynamic duo: Joey and Pepto /John Carluccio
Shaking. Nearly choking. And doing a twitchy dance. Four-time champ Joey "Jaws" Chestnut chomped down 54 red-food-colored Nathan's dogs in ten-minutes, a far cry from the record-setting 68 dogs he devoured in 2009.

Nevertheless, the revved up Coney Island crowd cheered him and his distant competitors (record-holder Sonja "Black Widow" Thomas and beauty salon owner Juliet Lee represented for female competitive eaters) on with our Pepto-Bismol thunder sticks.

What better place to get reacquainted with the pink bismuth staple in your medicine cabinet?

"When you have one too many, reach for Pepto," says Procter and Gamble external relations manager Carlos Taveras. "[The Nathan's contest] is a combination of celebration and over-indulgence."

Taveras adds: "Forty-percent of consumers have Pepto, but less than a quarter use it.  [So this] is a reminder."

I'm sure Chesnut and the other gorged contestants will be crying for Pepto for days to come.  From experience, I can attest the Instacool chewable tablets come in handy.

Photo credit John Carluccio
The champ later told press the 94-degree-heat and lack of any real competition affected his performance.

His nemesis, hot dog eating pro Takeru Kobayashi, was in the Coney crowd but a contract dispute prevented him from competing.  A black-clad Kobayashi was arrested after he tried to get on stage as the contest ended.

Oh well, there's always next year for a U.S.A. vs. Japan rematch.  Against my better judgement, I may be there to watch.

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