Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Went in for a rare six hour evening shift in the city. I was with another medic, and he said they wanted us to sign on as soon as we could because we were going to be posted down at the city park to do some kind of a standby at a hot dog eating contest. As soon as we signed on, they sent us instead on a transfer, but then a couple minutes later they took us off the transfer and assigned us to the park for hot dog eating contest. The larger event was a Battle of the Bands contest, but before that got underway there was the hot dog eating contest, and when we got there, they explained they couldn't start until we showed up. They needed us standing by in case someone choked. They wanted us on stage with our gear at the ready. I made certain we had our crick kit with us. My partner and I joked about marking everyone's crickothyroid membrane in advance and measuring them all for tube sizes.

It turned out they only had four contestants, and the contest was only going to be for 12 minutes. The champion ate all 16 on his tray and stopped with minutes to spare, although he did get a brief scare when someone told him the old guy on the end was on his second tray of hot dogs. The old guy on the end I think was in fact a homeless man who had either volunteered or been recruited to fill out the table. He only ate three hot dogs and ate them rather leisurely. We were supposed to stay around for a half hour afterwards in case any of them got sick, but all of the entrants left. We ended up staying until the end of our shift just doing a routine standbye for the concert. We sat in the air conditioned ambulance behind the stage -- the AC up so loud you couldn't even tell there was a concert going on -- reading magazines, talking about how screwed up EMS was and how we should distribute money in our 401Ks, and then at the end of the night this incredibly beautiful girl comes up and knocks on the window and asks for some band-aids. I point to my partner ans say, "Here's the band-aid man, right here. He'll take care of you," and then she asks me if we caught her set. And I said,"Yeah, you guys were smoking!" She seemed pleased with that, and my partner got her some band-aids, and I went back to reading my magazine.