Friday, July 4, 2008

Ben Franklin Commemorative Hot Dog Eating Contest

You might think it patriotic to scarf down hot dogs on Independence Day - it would seem Founding Father Ben Franklin partook of several hot dog eating competitions in his day but that is not a fair assumption. For many years of his life he avoided eating meat and is credited in introducing Tofu to the New World. He was quoted as saying "simply mix it with cranberries and cabbage and it takes the taste of it - delightful!" I made the quote up, but presumably William Whipple and Nathan Gorham, both fellow founding fathers rebuked many an invitation to dine with Treehugger Ben.

This all comes up because of the "Latest Headlines" I read in today which are apparently listed in order from highest to lowest priority. #3 and #4 are listed below.

American keeps hot dog eating crown
Founders wouldn't be impressed, poll shows

It would seem that one headline has little to do with the other but their juxtaposition had me thinking that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson would be peeved that Hot Dog eating competitions rank as news.

The poll regarding the founding fathers gives no insight as to why contemporary Americans feel the founding fathers would have been disappointed. But the sentiment is there.

232 years and look how far we have come....

Thomas Jefferson - "I hope we shall crush ... in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

Sorry Tom - We have become the United Corporations of America.

Benjamin Franklin - "Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety."

Sorry Ben - But at least they call it the Patriot Act.

Benjamin Franklin - "We must all hang together, or, assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

I don't get this one - I think he was referring to chilling with some homies and kicking back some Ale?

James Madison - "Americans [have] the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust their people with arms."

Um...could you have been a little more specific? Are we talking assault rifles, tank busters and armor piercing bullets?

Thomas Paine - "A generous parent would have said, 'if there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."

1775-1783 American Revolutionary War
1812-1815 War of 1812
1816-1818 First Seminole War
1835-1842 Second Seminole War
1846-1848 Mexican American War
1855-1858 Third Seminole War
1857-1858 Utah War
1861-1865 American Civil War
1898 Spanish American War
1899-1913 Philippine American War
1917-1918 World War I
1941-1945 World War II
1950-1953 Korean Conflict
1959-1975 Vietnam War
1991 Persian Gulf War
2001-Present War in Afghanistan
2003-Present War in Iraq

I could go on but I dare not invoke charges that I am not a Patriot. I love this country. I have a great deal more freedoms than found in just about any other country in the world.

I just think we should always strive to be better.

Happy Birthday U.S.A. Time to go eat my tofu hot dog.


  1. So now you see the humor in now check out the BBC for the real news!

  2. Ben Franklin also submitted a treatise of Farhting (sic) to the world convention of scientists in Paris. He suggested a food additive that would render gas pleasant smelling.

  3. I hear his farts smelled minty.

  4. Pete, the wife and I went to Thomas Jefferson's home on the 4th just to find that George Bush ruined our morning by being there also. We stayed in the hotel to avoid the pat down at the gate. We went to Monticello later that day. We arrived to find that they had just cut down the big tree the Jefferson planted in 1807. Nothing but a stump and dust left. They were going to remove all that later. So, we decide to collect some of the wood chips. That is all we'll have left of that tree soon. We celebrated the 4th fireworks at Charlotesville which were spectacular!!!


  5. Well the tree made it to the Bicentennial. What more can you ask for? :(

    200 year old woodchips!