By Daniel Segraves
By Daniel Segraves
The last time I was in an eating contest, it ended with me doubled over in a ditch off Interstate 24 in Tennessee swearing never to eat again.
With that experience, I was horrified when I heard about Riverside City College’s Weenie Day. The Ralph H. Bradshaw cafeteria was the scene of the event, which was centered on a hot dog eating contest.
Inner Club Council Director Ian Clemente invited all willing participants to sign up. All they needed was an ASRCC Fall semester sticker and a strong stomach. While Clemente hoped for at least five students to shed their pride and take the stage, only three people had the guts. One of the main problems was that a handful of willing participants did not have their fall stickers. Some had different issues.
“I don’t want to get messy.” Lucio Luis said as he walked away from the sign-up booth.
“Yeah, or humiliated,” Joshua Landa added.
While Coordinator of Student Activities Doug Graham set up the tables with a tablecloth and white tarp, the contestants prepared themselves for the contest. Adam Green, one of the competitors, was very confident; he ate a free hot dog beforehand with his girlfriend.
Adrian Jaquez, a member of the RCC cross country team, had prepared ahead of time for the day. Andrea Tjelmeland, the third contestant, was reluctant but determined as she took the stage with her opponents. Clemente explained the rules: each contestant would have five bunless hot dogs in front of them. The first one to finish all five without using their hands would be the winner. The contestants stood restlessly as the rules were read. The time had come to claim their glory.
“I haven’t eaten for over a day. I’m ready,” Jaquez said, continuing by saying that he just wants to entertain himself and eat some hotdogs.
On the judge’s signal, Green and Jaquez tore into the hot dogs while Tjelmeland meekly bit into her first slowly. While Green devoured his hot dogs with reckless speed, Jaquez had developed a system of quickly trimming the hot dog down to a small strip he could easily maneuver. The two men remained neck and neck as Tjelmeland trailed behind. By his third hot dog, Jaquez began to hold a lead over Green, who consumed his meal while eyeing his opponents.
Jaquez took his last bite, swallowed, and threw his hands in the air as the champion. Being a true sportsman, the athlete shook the hands of his opponents, thanking them for the challenge. When asked to say a few words, Jaquez patted his stomach. “I feel really good. I finally got my lunch today.” When asked to offer words of inspiration to men annd women who wish to join the ranks of hot dog eating champions, Jaquez said that thay should try not to eat for a day or two and believe.