This year at the Highlands Ranch Community Association's 2nd Annual July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest it was pretty much like last year.
The hot dogs for the contest, sponsored by Bernie’s Hot Dogs, were all-beef Vienna Beef dogs. Very delicious, and same as last year. The buns were pillowy soft, and same as last year. The contest was 5 minutes, the same as last year. Last year, judges would take deductions for chipmunking at the end. This year, no deductions (thankfully!) would be taken. Last year, I downed 9. This year, I downed 9 also. Last year there was an eat-off to determine 3rd place. This year I was in an eat-off to determine the 2nd and 3rd places. Last year, I pulled 2nd place. And this year, same as last year, I pulled 2nd place.
I went in totally confident about the technique I was going to use – “The Seiken”. Dunk about ¼ of the HDB, get that down, and do it again and again. But at the contest, right away on dunk #1 of dog #1, two things popped up. First, the cups provided were much narrower than the cups with which I prepared so dunking the pillowy bun proved an issue as the bun sides hit the cup each time and tore off. Second, the pillowy buns really took on the water, even though the dunks were quick, and the buns more or less disintegrated. Instead of calmly switching technique from “Seiken” to “Steve’s” my eat devolved from a panicky Seiken to a just-as-panicky dunk-the-whole-thing-and-wad-it-into-a-ball. I would stuff that in the mouth and then move on. If I had switched techniques, no problem. But I didn’t, so the first stop on the Redemption Tour ended without the redemption I oh-so wanted.
So I somehow survived the eating. Toward the end of the 5 minutes, I did a quick check of the other trays to see where I stood. One tray clearly ahead of me. One very close. The judges counted, and the one guy did 12. I managed 9. Last year I tied for 1st but was deducted – clearly the deduction was the correct thing to do – for chipmunking. So to end 3 off the lead certainly sat better. But another guy had 9 also, so we went to a 3-dog eat-off.
The judges announced the eat-off winner would be the first to put the 3 HDBs in their mouth and remove their hands from their mouth (so not holding the dogs in). Well that’s chipmunking – and I can do that better than just about anybody! So that’s what I did.
Stop #2 of the 2010 Redemption Tour coming up!
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