According to the American Heart Association, healthy American adults should eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. This is about 1 teaspoon of sodium chloride (salt). Keep this in mind and read on.
On Sunday, the Fourth of July, Milton and I were in our respective hovels situated on the East and West sides of Manhattan watching Rafael Nadal put a definitive stop to the Tomas Berdych Express at Wimbledon, so all was right in the tennis world once again. Elaine, my company’s Marketing Director, is telecommuting and Skyping from the UK, so she was able to attend Wimbledon last week where she saw Roger Federer advance to the Quarterfinals when he soundly defeated Jürgen Melzer of Austria.
Two days later living tennis legend Federer was soundly defeated by Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
In response to Federer’s early exit from her homeland, Elaine emailed me, “I am TOTALLY GUTTED–I can hardly speak.” Milton, who shares as deep a love of Federer as Elaine (they have similar taste in men) was more sanguine about the loss that sent shock waves throughout the tennis world, but possibly this was due to the fact that he was on vacation all of last week and was self medicating with Sangria. It was not until Berdych blew a hole through Novak Djokovic, another player Milton adores for both his athletic prowess and his looks, or as Milton recently said of Djokovic’s face, “He’s part athlete, part Margaret Hamilton and I find that so sexy,” that Berdych finally succeeded to get on Milton’s nerves.
Milton declared that he hated “Berdick” (actually pronounced “Ber-ditch”) so much he was not going to watch the men’s’ final. Rafa’s my guy so I was going to watch no matter what. I was hoping for a massacre since I was being denied the match I most wanted to see – Federer vs. Nadal. Yet, Milton did tune in, and although he was pleased that Rafa won, he pronounced the trouncing “boring.”
Possibly, Milton would have been more entertained had he switched the channel to that American tradition being broadcast live on ESPN, Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, sponsored by Pepto Bismol. Viewers tune in hoping to see a competitor vomit, the exact reason why I tune out. Odds are good that Milton would have found this monument to competitive eating boring as well since the reigning champion Joey “Jaws” Chestnut could not compete against his archrival, Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi, of Japan. These two are the titans of the competitive eating world, the overeating equivalent of Federer and Nadal.
This year, Kobayashi refused to sign an exclusivity contract with Major League Eating, the body that sanctions competitive eating events, so he was barred against competing on Sunday. He tossed a fit after the competition and got arrested. Although he was starving to compete, in jail he was served a single sandwich and glass of milk. Kobayashi was released on Monday. He is now claiming free agency, but it baffles me who is going to sign him if he does not re-sign with MLE. Possibly the hapless Knicks will go after him when they fail to sign LeBron James?
Without having a fellow elite eater in his midst, Chestnut, who devoured 68 hot dogs and buns (or HDBs in competitive eating jargon), in ten minutes last year against Kobayashi’s 64 ½, gave a performance screaming, “diet!” on Sunday. He ate a mere 54 HDBs. Chestnut’s goal is to eventually eat 70 HDBs, but that might be hard for him to reach without a competitor of Kabayashi’s caliber and twenty pound stomach capacity to spur him on.
Since my gastroenterologist has tube steak at the top of the list of the 7,416 foods I am supposed to avoid, I researched the amount of sodium in a single Nathan’s hot dog with the bun – 684 milligrams. After devouring 54 HDBs, Chestnut ate the equivalent of 16.05913 teaspoons of salt or one-third a cup of salt. Writing that sentence alone was enough to make my heart race. It’s doubtful that the American Heart Association will ever sanction this event, but maybe Ex-lax will come calling in 2011, and Kobayashi will get his crap together by then as well. Whatever the future holds for the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, I am steering clear of the vomitorium. My TV is going to remain tuned to Wimbledon.