Friday, July 4, 2014

Let Me Be 'Frank' With You...


Speaking of "chew chew", today was July 4th, which means... hot dogs!

The annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating event took place at Coney Island, as per usual... and as per usual, Joey Chestnut walked (shambled?) away with the title -- his 8th in a row. He ate 61 dogs in 10 minutes, beating Matt Stonie by a handful of dogs (Stonie ate 56 for 2nd place). While that was interesting, the real sea change took place in the women's event, as a woman named Miki Sudo beat 11-time woman's champion Sonya Thomas to become the new hot dog queen.

All well and good, for fans of people who can wolf down copious amounts of grub. I happen to be a casual fan, so there.

Coincidentally, today was also the day when I was finally able to watch the Competitive Eating Documentary "Hungry" (dir. Barry Rothbart and Jeff Cerulli), which some of you blog old timers may recall I was interviewed for a few years back. Turns out, my part was cut from the film. I didn't know that until today! But you know, as I watched the film, and waited to see how they'd work my bit into the film, it became increasingly clear that it made no sense to include it. The film had a certain flow to it - and shoe-horning my bit about the Conti/Escondido footage in there would have interrupted the flow. Didn't make sense. So yeah, I'm cool with it. If I was editing the film, I would have given it the chop as well. Who knows, maybe there will be extras on the DVD, and it could make it there.

Didn't really know what to expect from the film, going in. But actually, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was interesting getting a look at Kobayashi's rise and... well, not so much "fall", as a major shift sideways. He's reinventing himself outside MLE, and I think it's working out well for him. Of the other featured eaters, I enjoyed the parts with US Male (sorry Brian, lol), but I thought more was going to be done with Pat Bertoletti (he's the one with the mohawk who's coated in a layer of red koolaid after most events, lol). And I could have done with much less of Brad Sciullo, who came off (to me, anyway) as quite a douchebag. His moments of training-related vomiting were the low points of the film - and his "rivalry" with Furious Pete was laughable. Sorry, Brad... Pete is The Man.

Bottom line, I enjoyed the movie. It was well-made, had a solid through-line, and held my interest (vomiting notwithstanding) throughout. Had a couple awkward moments, but I'd say it's a solid effort. I'd give it 4 out of 5 hot dogs....

I blurred out the F-Word for those with sensitive constitutions towards such things... but, actually, I think in this case it makes the statement twenty times funnier... well, 18 to 20 times... give or take..

Being the 4th of July, I took the family into Escondido to see fireworks (as is our custom), and had an ok time (as is my custom). It was a weird evening... we parked near the Arts Center, where they launch the things off at. Went 90 minutes early, and the place was swarming already. Having time to kill, we wandered over to the Starbucks - mistake, lol. I'm not much for crowds to begin with, and it seemed half the crowd was in line at Starbucks. So we wandered back (without coffee), stopping to buy some snacks on the way.

They fired off some of the fireworks 45 minutes early, for some reason, prompting a weird sort of panic among the gathered people, lol. People are so strange. Yes, I mean you! Anyways, we set chairs up by our car to wait it out, and suddenly, roaches! WTF? Once the sun went down, they came swarming out of somewhere nearby, making the Wagner Women freak out. Which was humorous, in a way. So we put the chairs away, and stood. Tedium ensued. Thankfully, the fireworks were good, the kids enjoyed themselves (even though Middle Child has mono, it turns out.). Then Wifey drove us out of there, since navigating a packed parking lot is my idea of hell on earth. I have not the constitution to deal with such madness. Wifey does. She thrives on it.

One thing that bugged me (other than the bugs) were the endless car alarms that went off every time a "boom" was sufficiently loud enough. Drove me nuts. Along with the screaming kids. Oh, and something odd people were doing this year... they would call out names as a firework would go up - just a single name... "Frank!" then the firework would go off. Then "Bill!" and another would go off. It's like they were dedicating the fireworks to people or something! I didn't get it. And many people were doing it all around us. They weren't calling out to friends... they were specifically waiting until a firework launched and crested up, trying to call out a name right before the firework detonated. I wanted to slap six shades of crap out of people!


That's from the awesome web comic XKCD.

Beyond that, not much to tell. Major revisions to the BTI script underway. Wish I could tell you about it, but I can't! You're not cool enough! You'll just have to wait until the time is right, ok? Sheesh, you're so demanding!

OK, enough nonsense for now.


Dave the Mildly Ocholophobic


Anonymous said...

Ahh, fond memories of the town fireworks (left out the city's name, now that you're a big movie star). Like your wife, I was the strategic-get-out-of-the-aftermath-madness driver. One year I scored a fabulous spot, and my oldest was ill. She ended up opening the car door and throwing up in front of a bunch of people - I was forced to give up my spot to save the family's face :)

I miss those days.


David Wagner said...

Man... yeah, vomit would have made my evening complete as well. Not sure how you (or anyone) can enjoy the after-the-event-madness that is navigating the chaotic lot. Gives me the blind shivers just thinking about it!