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“I have not been afraid of excess:  Excess on occasion is exhilarating.  It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.”

 –  William Somerset Maugham, 1874-1965


Day 24: Morgan Spurlock is a wimp, this little guy once devoured 50 hotdogs at one sitting!  It is just the nature of the beast that causes us to enjoy eating food, especially that which arouses our primal senses.  When you think of what some of our ancestors used to have to survive on, it’s no wonder that we’ve decided things like Hostess Cupcakes and barbecued ribs are far tastier than more primitive snacks such as bugs.  I say, enjoy yourself, but, and we all know the rest of that thought, do it in moderation.


Thanks to the November 2003 issue of Popular Science Magazine, I had the opportunity to read about Takeru Kobayashi, this champion competitive eater hails from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Japan and weighs only 145 pounds.  He won the Fourth of July hot-dog-eating contest in Coney Island, New York by pounding down 44 hot dogs, with the buns mind you, in 12 minutes, which averages out to one every 16.4 seconds (according to Popular Science).  Oh, by the way, William “the Refrigerator” Perry, who used to play for the Chicago Bears, was only able to scarf down 5 hot dogs.  So how does this little guy do it?  Why does he do it?  How?  He has an incredible regimen to condition his stomach to expand.  Why?  I have no idea but it does make for an incredible look at the ability of the human body to withstand all sorts of indignities perpetrated upon it.


Morgan should have taken a lesson or two from Takeru in order to make for more gluttony and gross fun.  I understand that Takeru first shrinks his gut by jogging for hours and then chugs gallons of water in order to distend his stomach to an enormous size.  This feisty little man also eats huge amounts of cabbage and similar low fat, high fiber foods that stay in the stomach longer and he works on keeping trim so the food doesn’t have to meet resistance against fat.  As far as I can tell, this young man looks healthy and seems to enjoy his competitive eating career.  Frankly, I think a documentary about Mr. Kobayashi would be far preferable to viewing Super Size Me, with its junk science manipulations and anti-corporate/capitalist/meat message.


I must turn to one of my favorite characters from the theatre, Auntie Mame, for a response to Mr. Spurlock’s film:  “Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.”  I agree.