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Can O' Hot Dogs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Northe   
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

First time? Start here. Read "The Primer" and follow the link at the end. Chronological order makes more sense for the stories. While you're at it, go ahead and Register, approval grants access to exclusive content.

This is a slight deviation from our regularly scheduled Angry Time post.  Its an ode to a good friend of mine.  A recording of an event that is worth its re-telling through the generations.  Its something that Angry Time will eventually switch over to if I ever leave this job and run out of the typical Male and Female Boss stories.  This is one of the happenings in my life that I am most proud of and its definitely an homage to one of my best friends who happened to get married this last weekend here.  With all the nudging and urging I received for me to roast this guy during a speech at his wedding, I decided it better not to do during the dinner and all due to the length of the story when told properly and well.. you'll see why.  His brothers and friends wanted to hear it bad but hey, why not make an indelible mark here on the ol' internet.  So, for all the people at the wedding that wanted the story.. you can now read it here.  Enjoy!

Let's take shit back a good 15 years to high school.  The year is irrelevant and the grade escapes me.. but what doesn't is the scene.  Here my friend and I stand in his kitchen, we'll call him Meilla (pronounced May-Uh).  Two young lads that take down a good 5,000 calories a day are scrounging through the kitchen pilfering whatever goods we stumble upon and turning his parents' hard earned cash into energy to fuel our minds and bodies to come up with ridiculous situations like this.

The typical meal for Meilla and I was an entire loaf of Roman Meal bread and a fist size helping from a canister of Country Crock.  Sure, why not.  It was cheap and did the job.  Not that day, tho.  That day was something special.  There was a wind of promise in the air and it swept fortune down upon us.  Indeed, it was the culmination of Grocery Shopping Day.  With cabinets freshly stocked Meilla and I had our choice of what to take down before the armada of his 3 brothers and 1 other sister got home to steal what was rightfully ours.  So plunder we did.

We ate like Spaniards.  Goodies and taste treats abound.  Before long, Meilla stumbled upon processed gold.  A can of hot dogs.  A 12 count can of hot dogs, "in water."  I think the liquid soak resembled something more of a brine or a pint of hog squeezin' than it did water, but what a find nonetheless!

As Meilla opened up the can of hot dogs the stink breached the kitchen air.  The all too familiar smell of over-processed hog anus sprung from the freshly opened can.  The room seemed to become more humid as the bouquet soaked into our pores.  Mind you, we had taken down about half of the food supply his mom, aka Mommers, had brought home for the entire week, but despite the odds being firmly stacked up against any chicanery, my natural ability to instigate didn't let me down.. and genius struck.

"Before you choke down one of those hot dogs like a stork would a mackerel, let me present to you a gentlemanly challenge.  I propose to you, dear friend, for the rewarded sum of $20.. well let me be frank, I think you haven't the moxie, gumption or tenacity to take down all those hot dogs in a timed trial."

Perhaps I didn't speak half as eloquent and maybe I wasn't wearing a pair of suspenders to push forward with one thumb nor had I a long enough mustache to twist between the thumb and index finger of my other hand when I was fifteen but I think its pretty damn close to what really happened...

Meilla squinted his eyes at me after challenging his manhood and spat, "Name your terms."

My response was simple, "Five minutes, the entire can."

Meilla leaned back against the formica counter top staring down the can of plump pre-cooked wieners soaking in man-sweat and pig urine.  His stomach was already distended from the 30 minutes of gorging prior to the challenge.  His eyes took a pass at me, I stood stoic, staring him right back down taking the $20 out of my wallet and putting it down on the table.  His eyes went back to the wieners, back to me and back to that god damn can that seemed to mock his every breath.

Meilla took a deep breath and said, "I'll do it."

In my heart of hearts I knew he was finished.  I handed him a shovel from the word go and he had already dug half of his grave with the myriad of chips and dips and crackers that pushed and stretched his stomach walls to the breaking point.  He slammed both of his hands down on to the table, one on each side of his opponent.  The can did not waiver, it just stood there churning the cesspool of multiple layers of fluid around like a bilge on some long abandoned houseboat.

"Well then, how are you going to take on the challenge, standing or sitting?" I asked him.

"I'm gonna stand."

"You tell me when you're ready."

Meilla took a few deep breaths.  His lanky frame hovering over the can, readying himself for the battle.  Seconds turned into minutes and all of a sudden the call was out.

"Okay," he said.

"Go!" I command.

Before competitive eating was a thought in the mind of some all-too-bored and future millionaire, I became witness to dining etiquette completely foreign to me.  Meilla reached in with each hand plucking out one wiener per and then switched his grip on them to how one would hold haunch of mutton.  They were plumper than he had anticipated but took the first two out quickly.  Two more were pulled from the depths of the commode, the hot dog bouillabaisse dripped down his arms, off his elbows and on to the vinyl floors forming a slick stain challenging his footing.  Two more!  He forced them into his maw and with great discipline continued to chew.  

With his chin slathered in drippings he had at it again, two more!  This time the chewing had slowed.  It was a battle of wills, I could see it in his eyes.  Oh and the smell.. good lord that smell.. it started to get to him.  Nuts to the olfactory center, must stay focused.  His esophagus dissented next, pleading with him to cease and desist making it harder and harder for him to take down the hot dogs little by little.  He had about 2 minutes and change left with 4 dogs to go.  With his mouth not completely emptied he took a breath and had back at it.

The call came out, "Two minutes!"

Meilla steeled his will.  Taking down the first dog and with it still not completely chewed in his mouth, Meilla broke the next dog in half and shoved them into the corners of his mouth.  His gumption waned.  His chewing had all but stopped.

"Do it!" I shouted at him, "Take them down!  You have a minute and a half!"

He leaned over his foe trying to breathe and chew and swallow all at the same time.

"Come on!" I yelled, "Finish them!  You gotta have em all down!"

Another 30 seconds fell off the clock, "One minute!"

Meilla stood there with dog giblets resting on the corners of his stuffed mouth.  His saliva had broken them down to thick paste and they started to fuse with his skin.  Meilla did his best to try and remain focused, he desperately tried to chew and chew.  There were still two left in there.  What was he to do?  With no room left in his mouth, he reached back in with one hand.

"That's it!" I responded with gusto.

He broke it in two and they disappeared into the half eaten flesh within his mouth forming a soggy meatloaf that you might be served whilst dining in the 4th ring of Hell.

"Thirty seconds!"

Meilla lurched back exhausted.  He reeled and reeled but my heckling.. I mean encouragement would not fail him, I was determined to get him through this!

"Sack it up you have twenty seconds!  Chew damn you, chew!!!"

His slumped posture and defeated eyes stared back at me.  His mouth was unable to even move.  I had to do something...

"Additional minute for half the pot!  Ten bucks, You have another minute.  Finish the job!"

Meilla's eyes lit up and his mouth started to work again.  Chomp, chew, grind.  His saliva had broken down the fatty walls of the dogs but even still he could not swallow the meat pudding filling his gullet.  The gag reflex was in effect.. he kept it down even though it wanted so badly to escape.  Still poised, Meilla gathered himself and took down a bit more.  A little more still.  Despite his best efforts, his mouth was still stuffed.

"Thirty seconds, come on!"

He cocked his head back and took a deep breath.  I could see the spittle mixed with  hot dog juice spurt out like a broken water gun against the sunlight that shone through the kitchen window.  His cheeks were stretched like a water balloon, the pain was immense.  He was all but done for.

"Another minute awarded, $5, finish that last dog!"

Meilla struggled to clasp the can of dogs and out came the last wiener.  His hand shook as violently as a crack addict reaching for his foil pipe anticipating the morning's first hit.  He took a bite out of the dog, though I do not know how.  His mouth was so full that he couldn't actually close it but somehow used the pressure of his jaw lined with hot dog porridge to break away a small chunk.

"Breathe, damn it breathe!" I instructed him.

Meilla could take no more, he rested his lazy bones on one hand that leaned against the table.

"Finish the job, damn you!"

The saliva building up in his mouth began to spew forth like clear gullet milk, thick and putrid.  I winced at the sight of it spilling down on to the tabletop.  He kept trying to chew but he couldn't make a dent.  He started to wave his hand at me as if to say I am done.  No, Meilla!  Failure was not an option.

"Meilla, you listen to me!  Sack up and finish that shit off!  You're right there! Fuckin finish it!"

I turned from heckler to motivational speaker.  Meilla didn't respond to my provocation the way I would have wanted.  He was losing grip of reality and the last hot dog.  It started to slip with from his grip and his face was losing its color.  I couldn't have that.

"Fuckin chew that shit!  Chew it and take it down!  Put the god damn hot dog in your mouth and be done with it.  Its the last one!"

His entire body quaked with an emphatic no but Meilla raised the hot dog to his parched and cracking lips.  In it went, he coughed and gagged, spittle flung from his mouth and he still couldn't chew.

"We're going on ten minutes here, man.  Let's go!"

Meilla placed his hands on his hips straightening out his posture and began a slow, steady and methodical mincing of the mouthful.  He halved the load to the point where his cheeks weren't puffed out like a trumpeter.  Meilla saw the light at the end of the tunnel, the trial was nearing its end, he wanted to finish strong and save any last shred of dignity he had left and like any good friend I snatched victory from his grasp and told him, "Two bucks man, two bucks to finish this off, drink the damn juice!"

Meilla scorned me with his eyes and grabbed the can.  He nodded at me angrily.  Still unable to speak, Meilla lifted the can to his lips.  The lukewarm slurry hit the back of his throat and Meilla leaped for the sink.  He spit out the last of the dogs in his mouth and poured the juice from the can down the drain.  The towel was thrown in.. Meilla was humbly defeated.

In his defeat, Meilla was met with uncontrollable and mocking laughter for much longer than he should have.. not to mention during the ENTIRE challenge.  My stomach was as tight as a drum and cramped from the heckling.  And there Meilla stood, slumped over, sick of the sound of my laugh, sicker even still of the taste in his mouth, yet he did not reach for anything to wash the flavor out cuz he was completely up to his eyeballs in pre-digestive food.

Meilla just stood there for a good ten minutes in a daze.. the look that he gave me forever seared into my brain.  Completely disgusted, with his loss and with himself in general, Meilla gathered his wits and shook his head at me.  Poor, poor guy..

However, this was not the end of Meilla and his competitive eating career.  He went on to out-eat just about everyone I know very handily that stepped up to the plate. From backyard hamburger barbecues to In N Out competitions Meilla has proven to be a formidable giant in the eating department and why not, he is about 6'6" now and having gone thru the rigorous training of growing up with the likes of me, he is prepared for any challenge that may come his way in the future.

To Meilla and his wife, I wish them the best, they had a beautiful wedding and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy to find a hell of a gal.  Meilla, this one's for you.  Cheers, man!  May you have many happy decades together and I'll see you when you get back to the States.