Independence Day: Hot dogs and melons

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

First, I have some, uh, breaking news: Today, at the Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Nathan’s Famous at New York’s Coney Island, the meatstick consumption title was brought back to America. Joey Chestnut (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) That’s right, the mustard yellow belt of champions has returned to the land of obesity where it belongs. A skinny white guy from San Jose named Joey Chestnut beat six-time winner Takeru Kobayashi by consuming 66 dogs in 12 minutes. The slim Japanese titleholder Kobayashi ate a mere 63 hot dogs and buns. Both smashed the previous world record and their personal bests. You can read the story at ESPN. Oh, America, your pastimes are so awesome and healthy.

I’m thinking about heading up to Portland to check out OMSI’s latest exhibit, Body Worlds 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies. We have Dr. Gunther von Hagens, the inventor of plastination, to thank for this creepy melding of art and science.

Your Studio and You What web-based entertainment have I been consuming lately? I have some Parker/Stone and some Conan to share:

A few weeks ago, the short Universal Studios/Seagram internal film, called Your Studio and You (1996), directed by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, showed up on YouTube. It parodies the style of 1950s educational films such as Duck and Cover, while poking fun at Universal and its talent. Watch Your Studio and You at YouTube: Part I and Part II.

A friend sent me a few funny Conan O’Brien clips, hosted at YouTube: Walker, Texas Ranger Lever, Muppets Faces of Death, and Triumph at the Tonys (yes, that’s Triumph the Insult Comic Dog).

And here is an exemplary example of a classic video game as reenacted by human beings (a growing YouTube genre): Space Invaders in Real Life.

Now, let’s tie up some loose ends from previous posts:

All about kittens…

  • The tabby kitten, who we’d been referring to as Repete, is doing fine out on his country property and is now known as George (AKA Fizzle).
  • Our kitten Eli is doing well, if naughty and annoying. He is getting his booster shots on July 12 and will be neutered on July 17.

All about exotic melons…

  • Last week I bought a pepino melon to try. Upon eating the expensive little thing, I wasn’t particularly impressed. The yellow-orange flesh had the consistency of a ripe pear, but the flavor was quite bland, like a poor-quality honeydew melon. Maybe I didn’t eat it at its ideal stage of ripeness, but I doubt I will buy it again, especially when other melon varieties are available.
  • This week my exotic fruit purchase was a kiwano (or horned melon). I actually liked it better than the pepino. Its taste reminded me of a cucumber and kiwifruit combination (perhaps with a hint of lemon), but, again, a bit more bland. Mostly I was fascinated by the green gelatinous vesicles, which would readily shoot out if you squeezed a melon slice. The green juice inside the vesicles was very aloe-like or even Jell-O-like. Very interesting. I might actually buy one again sometime. They are certainly cool looking and also reasonable tasting. And the vesicles are way easier to eat (and less messy) than those of a pomegranate. The seeds are semi-edible.

Right now I am eating Rainier cherries, which are the sweetest and best-tasting cherries in the world. Because they are grown in the Pacific Northwest, they are relatively easy to find at a reasonable price. But only in late June and July. I don’t think I even knew about these cherries until I moved to Oregon in 2001 and discovered them the next summer.

Have a Happy Fourth of July!

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