Competitive Eating

As the fourth of July fast approaches, what better way to celebrate being at the top of the food chain than having a good ol' fashioned competitive eating contest? IFOCE (International Federation of Competitive Eating) proudly recognizes my main man, Don "Moses" Lerman, who wolfed down an impressive 11 burgers in 10 minutes last year. "I'll stretch my stomach until it causes internal bleeding," he says. "I do it for the thrill of competition. Some people are good at golf. I'm good at eating."

Mr. Lerman was flanked by the finest assemblage of eaters ever to compete in this annual monument to decadence, making his win all the more impressive. Though his work will be cut out for him in the coming days if he hopes to break the current record of 49 hot dogs in under 12 minutes when he competes at "The Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest" in which the finest gurgitators in the world will fight for one of 20 spots in the most celebrated sporting event of the year. Each contestant hopes to bring home the coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt; competitive eating's greatest prize. (Akin to The Master's green jacket of golf, or the Vince Lombardi trophy to football) Like 2006's contest, the event will be televised as a live, one-hour broadcast on ESPN. "We are thrilled to offer this spirited event on America's most patriotic day," said Wayne Norbitz, president and CEO of Nathan's Famous.

There's little question these fine athletes possess a unique talent separating them from the unwashed mass of normal people. But would it be fair to say competitive eating holds the renown of professional football, or the lore of Major League Baseball? What about other unsung athletic heroes across the globe? 14 year old Mustafat Osmana holds Western Sudan's competitive Not-Eating-A-Thing-a-Thon record, by going 39 straight days without food. Barely edging out defending champion, Ahmed Rashid who went a whopping 38 days before accidentally eating one of the flies living on his eyelid. (Ouch! Better luck next year, Ahmed.)

Young Mustafat, who maintains a strict diet of inner turmoil and bleached hope, looks forward to watching the ESPN-televised event to better understand what gigantically wasteful, fucking super-retards we all are.

Mustafat, a long time enthusiast of western culture, even took time out from his busy starvation to write a letter to MTV in the hopes they'd come to Darfur and "pimp his ride." Which really means giving him shoes. Unfortunately, an outbreak of highly contagious death in the region forced producers to postpone the trip.

While it may be impossible to understand the mental temerity and physical excellence it takes to master these dazzling sports, we can expect great things in the future from exciting athletes like Don Lerman and Mustafat Osmana. And although oceans and even the most basic human rights may separate these two great peoples, we are ALL bound together by the vibrant spirit of competition and grotesque displays of boundless, unapologetic shitheadery.