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It’s the finals! The Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest vs. Riad Sattouf

I chose yesterday‘s winner based on this comment from Re’el:

Hey, totally not related to this, but could offer any insight into this study: It seems like something we go back and forth on and this study didn’t offer any insight. Thanks.

Egg = oeuf, so we should choose the man whose name ends in f.

Also, from Dzhaughn:

Our GOAT scored with butt and with hoof
But committed a political goof:
He saw nothing the matter
with electing Sepp Blatter
So lets go for top drawer Sattouf.

And from Thomas:

Sattouf (in Arab of the future): “A man has no roots. He has feet.” He has the footballer figured out.

Whereas Pelé says things like “Success is not accident. It’s hard work…” Sounds like quite a seminar.

And now, this is it: an unseeded creative eater who, along the way, defeated Carol Burnett, Oscar Wilde, Albert Brooks, and Jim Thorpe—how he ever won against Carol Burnett, I have no idea, she’d be a great seminar speaker!—against a middle-aged dessinateur who triumphed over Leonhard Euler, Lance Armstrong, Mel Brooks, Veronica Geng, and Pele. Both these guys have gone far.

Last time we had this contest was 4 years ago, and the winner was Thomas Hobbes. Who’s it gonna be this time? (I’m still bummed that Veronica Geng’s no longer in the running.)

Again, we’re trying to pick the best seminar speaker. Here are the rules and here’s the bracket:


  1. Jonathan (another one) says:

    You need not be bummed. She can rise yet again from the unfairly discarded. If she doesn’t give the seminar, I predict not only vin incendiare, but an unfortunate recapitulation of the time Lyndon Johnson hosted George Bernard Shaw when he gave a seminar in Texas. As she recounts (6/17/85):

    ‘Johnson pretended not to be able to hear anything Shaw said, so Shaw had to repeat himself in a louder voice and came off as strident. The whole time, Johnson sat with his body angled subtly away from him, as if they weren’t really together. During the lecture, he had a phone brought to the table and called his answering service. Then there was a question period, so Johnson asked Shaw his opinion of a book “Pratfall into the Abyss” which didn’t exist. When Shaw said he’s never heard of it, Johnson said, “What’s the matter–You too dumb to recognize a joke when you hear one?” but he said it in a funny way that would have made Shaw look oversensitive if he got mad…. The final blow came when Johnson made Shaw dress up in an oversize cowboy suit with wooly chaps and showed him off like a performing monkey to a crowd of oil barons. The most galling part of it for Shaw was that by this time he had forfeited his right to protest. If he said anything now, Johnson could come back with “Well, why the hell didn’t you speak up sooner?” or accuse him of being passive-aggressive. Anyway, so much of it was the kind of stuff Shaw couldn’t exactly put his finger on.’

    Kobayashi *is* a performing monkey (in the sense above) and Riad is no slouch, but if Shaw could be bamboozled, Sattouf is toast. Geng, on the other hand, is clearly ready.

  2. Jan says:

    I would like to see that would The Dude have to say on the subject of Minkowski covers and Hausdorff dimension. On the other hand, the Arab of the Future could have some interesting insight into the Minkowski space.

  3. I think with either one the question will be, “why didn’t they bring fattoush” so it’s a tie and that goes to the joker, Sattouf.

  4. Lex says:

    My problem with “the dude…” this whole contest has been that as much as I would relish the opportunity to get taken to school on how to crush dogs, I would feel really burned if I showed up to the seminar and it was billed as something outrageous like “Dunk Your Buns In Water and INNOVATE!”. The potential for needless injection of richness is too high. But on the other hand, I will say I’ve been following this whole contest and I have to google Sattouf every time he comes up.

  5. There comes a point when a person has a vision.

    Mine is this: The (temporarily) nameless hot dog dude gives a seminar on the scientific perils of trying to prop up one’s own name through mashed pork or what have you.

    His seminar is accompanied by the following acts:

    The Dude, who gives a mini-demo on why it’s better to be The Dude than a Lebowski;
    Noname (the rapper), who performs a “Room 25” medley at the start of the event;
    Geng, who makes a surprise pyrotechnic entrance to remind us to “guess who”;
    The Guess Who, who close out the evening with “No Sugar Tonight”;
    A delectable dessert, prepared by an anonymous Columbia chef.

  6. Ethan Bolker says:

    If we can’t have Geng let’s have Sattouf. I too had to google him often – and each time found out I’d like to hear what he has to say.

    It seems to me that whenever the hot dog guy is in play Andrew says something like “I was going with the competition until …” and the hot dog guy advances. Now that’s just how it seems to me — I haven’t gone back to check the data (at least it’s available). So is the fix in? If the hot dog guy wins I update my prior accordingly. And skip the seminar.

  7. Dalton says:

    If we can’t have Philip K. Dick (whose feelings on statistics were unfairly maligned in the last contest, dude once wrote an entire book by random sampling), let’s have Sattouf.

    The following two facts are sufficient to eliminate TJDWWTHDEC: 1) he only has 10 minutes worth of material, which probably won’t play as well in seminar format; 2) Kobayashi lost the hot dog eating contest in 2007 to Joey Chestnut who ate 66 hot dogs to Kobayashi’s 63. Joey Chestnut has held the title ever since, beating Kobayashi at least three more times.

    “Can anyone alter fate? All of us combined… or one great figure… or someone strategically placed, who happens to be in the right spot. Chance. Accident. And our lives, our world, hanging on it.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle (written with the aid of the I Ching to make plot decisions).

  8. Dzhaughn says:

    Sadly, Andrew reveals the answer above. Someone get Christian Marclay on the phone.

    Kobayashi eats more than anyone, so more than Cool Hand Luke.

    And that’s “egg” which stands for “oeuf” wihch rhymes with Sattouf. Right here in river city.

    It’s too late for Riad, but what about the rest of us? We have loosed this Japanes monster on NYC! At this point they only thing to do is run!

    At last, the key!

    Another close call for civilization. Reminds me of the Triffids.

    • Dzhaughn says:

      Uff da! They’re here to take away my poetic license! I better hoof it up to the roof. (Good thing I left out the “W. B. Yeats / all time greats / Socrates” verse.)

      Fine, it’s a near rhyme, it ends in f, whatever worked for Andrew, mutatis mutandis. When Broadway is a river of ketchup, I won’t be there with the french fries. Make sure the cats up on the roof.

      Anyway, if you can bring Bob Carpenter around on this subject, I’ll be more stricter.

      • Sattouf
        Goes poof
        While the Dude
        Downs more food.
        Sattouf: pure belouf!
        Dude, bring on your thude!

        (However, in trufth
        I switch to Sattoufth;
        The comments for him
        Have tilted my vim.)

        • Dzhaughn says:

          Here we have a tiny illustration of the key role of criticism in the discovery process. I had the sense of cinematic apocolypse, but only after Martha had egged me on, plus this–which reminded me of Sagoff’s ShrinkLits–could I make The French Connection. So I doubled down on the power of the flaw and used it ten times as much as before.

          Allez allez allez!

  9. What does the Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest’s career tell us about the role of serving sizes on food consumption (as in Brian Wansink’s discredited work)? Or about the confusing and statistically convoluted world of nutrition guidelines? Is anonymity imposed by the powers-that-be (Andrew) the solution to the problems posed by celebrity scientists and their associated entourages? These are all questions that the Japanese dude who won the hot dog eating contest will get at his seminar, given an audience of this blog’s readers, and we can’t subject him to this. Overwhelmed and depressed, he might overeat even more, and we’d be responsible. The whole thing would end up a comic but chilling example of human cruelty, the sort of thing Riad Sattouf would write about. So instead, we could just get Sattouf himself; we could listen to such stories without contributing to their proliferation.

  10. J Storrs Hall says:

    Speaking of googling Sattouf, google translate tells us that it comes from the Arabic word for catfish. Catfish have a slight edge over hotdogs, as they are accompanied by hush puppies.
    And perhaps his hovercraft is full of eels.

  11. Jan says:

    Let’s have Kobayashi, Fermat, Cookie Monster and Bananas Gorilla all cogive a seminar, and serve caraway seed banana cookies with hot dog chips. And then run.

  12. Thomas says:

    Sattouf gave up an award at Angoulême (the Pulitzer of bande dessinée) in protest over the lack of women among the prize recipients, so maybe he’ll invite Geng to lead the seminar. Or, he can do the seminar in the arab banlieue accent, like he did in the post-shooting issue of Charlie.

    But the japanese dude, he only soaks up stuff, a black hole, a non-informative entity. The thrill of not knowing what the seminar is about. I might go.

  13. Dzhaughn says:

    Please don’t ignore
    this dour crie de couer
    at your door.
    That Dude is no good!
    Am I just sowing some FUD
    about some so-and-so’s food?
    No: This is far too awful
    Let’s not all fall
    For this eater of all 
    that it literally offal.

    Chopped in a tub
    stuffed in a tube
    Is any food ruder?
    Any more rued?

    Its farewell, bon chance,
    mobs haling from France
    will be making us dance
    in hats labeled “dunce.”

    There will be huffs among puffs
    And gnashing of toofs
    As we hoof it past toughs
    Hailing potatoes, tomahtoes, and oeufs 
    from the roofs, 
    demanding the troof:
    “Which goofs with what guff
    Did slough off Sattouf?
    Quelque Tartuffe?
    It’s the stuff of a spoof!”

    Severed coifs in
    Several coffins 
    disciples of the Dude de Gras
    disciplined with coups de grace
    No mercy for sinners
    (and nada for dinner)
    if the eater of wieners
    should end up the winner.

    Good God, 
    The Dude is a dud, 
    I cannot abide it,
    But Andrew, 
    we’ve wooed you;
    how would you 
    decide it?

  14. Manuel says:

    This seems a hard contest. Let’s apply the wikipedia test. First name of Satouff is Riad. According to wikipedia, “a type of traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard”. Second name of the Kobayashi dude is Maru. According to wikipedia, “a male Scottish Fold cat in Japan who has become popular on YouTube”. And it comes with a cute picture. You know who wins.

  15. Bobbie says:

    Nope, not going to a symposium by someone who talks with his mouth full.
    Not going to a talk by someone who brings food only for himself and doesn’t share.
    Not going to a talk who brings food to share but the food is hot dogs.*

    Umm, however, Andrew, it does not escape me that my NOT showing up could be incentive to want to chose the hot dog guy.

    (Although I have been known to eat Nathan’s hot dogs in a crunch. Like during Bar Review. Or at Coney Island.)

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