Yet another record is etched in stone

Published 6:34 am Monday, February 2, 2004

By Staff
One of the most enjoyable things about our culture is our fascination with records. Just about everyone can tell you that Henry Aaron hit 755 home runs, or that Wilt Chamberlain once scored 100 points in a pro basketball game. We all love records, but sometimes the fascination with them can be carried to extremes.
This is where I need to fess up. I love following record setting performances, and because of that I've developed a few personal records of my own. Most of them are pretty tame. As an example, when I'm working on a book, I try to write at least one page per day. If I do that, I can knock out a book, first draft and initial edits, in less than a year.
Another record I work at is how much I bench press. Currently, I'm at 260 pounds, but my goal is 300. I don't know why that's important to me, but it is.
Now remember when I said that most of my personal records are nothing out of the ordinary? Well, that's true, but I do have one slightly crazy one to confess to y'all. One that I've never admitted to anyone, not even to Ray, Hugh, or Ed Jr.
And what I'm talking about here is that I enjoy keeping track of the number of hot dogs I've eaten at any one sitting.
That's right, the number of hot dogs I've eaten at any one sitting. I love hot dogs, and we're blessed in Georgia to have two of the finest hot dog establishments in the world -- Nu-Way Weiners, my all-time favorite, and The Varsity. My record up til recently was seven, which I achieved a couple of years ago at the Northside Drive Nu-Way. That's history now, though. Folks, I'm proud to announce that I've just set a new hot dog eating record -- I consumed eight over at The Varsity in Atlanta. Eight!
I know that's an awesome achievement, and some of you may be wondering just how I did it. Well, I was in Atlanta recently for some book related stuff, and decided to stop by The Varsity for lunch. I ordered a large frosty orange and four chili dogs. After I received my order, I went over, sat down, and proceeded to wolf down those four hot dogs.
I noticed I was still hungry afterwards. Hungry enough, in fact, to do some serious thinking about eating more. I figured two would do it, so I got up and ordered them. Well, I wolfed those two down, and was still slightly hungry. I sensed at that point that I might have a shot at the record, so, I got up, strolled back over to the counter, and ordered two more chili dogs.
The Varsity employee taking my order said, "Man, are you eatin' all those hot dogs by yourself?" I replied that I was, and he laughed and called the manager over. When she arrived and found out what was going on she smiled and gave me those two hot dogs for free. I thanked her, went back over, and sat down.
I'm not gonna tell y'all it was easy -- the seventh dog went down smooth, but I was pretty full afterwards. However, some of the great performances of our time have occurred when someone was under the gun and had to perform. I thought about how seldom it was that I would ever get so hungry. And I thought about Ed Jr., who's told me all my life that a man has to be able to do four things well in order to survive (and eating happens to be one of them). Armed with that kind of inspiration, I stuffed down the eighth dog, and achieved personal immortality.
I'm guessing a few of you out there are chuckling and thinking, "I'll bet he was sicker than a dog (pun intended) after eating those eight hot dogs." Well, y'all would be dead wrong. I felt like a million bucks the rest of the day, and slept like a dead man that night. The next day I was at my personal best, and I believe it was on account of those hot dogs. Spinach works for Popeye, hot dogs work for me. Just da facts.
Sorry to be so abrupt, but I've gotta run. It's just Will and I here, and I promised him I'd take him out to lunch. And guess where we're headed?

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