February 2, 2013 |
"Be not among . . . gluttonous eaters of meat. " - Proverbs 23:20 Gluttony: In the Bible, it is condemned as one of the seven deadly sins. In Philadelphia, it is celebrated. I am speaking, of course, about the annual Wing Bowl, a contest in which contestants compete to see who can eat the most chicken wings in a given amount of time. Held today in South Philadelphia, the Wing Bowl attracts tens of thousands of spectators and is now an international event.
February 3, 2007 |
The predicted ice pellets never pelted. So the coast was clear for the early birds entering the Wachovia Center. And after Round One, the leader with a perhaps unprecedented 112 wings was a man from Clifton Heights. Suddenly, Wing Bowl 15, billed as "Philadelphia vs. the World," tantalized with a prospect as glittery as a Wingette's hair: Somebody local - "Gentleman Jerry" Coughlan - just might win. Incredibly, Philadelphia's Khalil Masso ("The Beast From the Northeast")
February 3, 2013 |
As The Stranger told The Dude in "The Big Lebowski," "Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you. " Jamie "The Bear" McDonald, of Granby, Conn., chomped his way to victory at SportsRadio 94 WIP's Wing Bowl 21 Friday at the Wells Fargo Center. McDonald, 36, devoured 287 wings, five more than the runner-up, South Jersey postman Dave "U.S. Male" Goldstein. The Bear is new to competitive eating, having just started in May. "This is the biggest contest in the world," The Bear said.
April 4, 1996 |
Soon by law all new TVs will carry the V-chip - that cunning little piece of circuitry designed to enable parents (without any attention or effort!) to stop their kids from seeing make-believe violence that an official at the Federal Communications Commission thinks might make them naughty. What a relief. Later this year, Congress will be offering families an even more valuable, worry-saving innovation: the G-chip. The G-chip will plug into the back of a TV and automatically restrict reception of all depictions of gluttony.
March 15, 2003 |
The sign at Slack's Hoagie Shack on Snyder Avenue in South Philadelphia reads: "We sell Freedom Fries!" It's become the hot jingo junk-food protest against the contrarian French and their stand on the Iraq crisis. ("They don't got your backs if we go to war," grumbles Slack's manager, Nick Bouvioukes.) But when I first saw the sign, I must admit, the idea seemed as uninspired as a greasy frite. What do the French care if we gorge ourselves with potatoes by another name? Maybe a lot. It turns out that stuffing our faces may be the best revenge.
June 27, 2012 |
In 27 years at The Inquirer, one of my favorite stories I wrote was a profile of El Wingador on the morning of Wing Bowl in 2002. I was at his home at 4 a.m. and followed him through to his crowning as Wing Bowl champion for the third time. I loved that story for two reasons. One, the level of Americana - the things El Wingador said and did that morning before and during the competition were simply priceless. But the second reason is the more important one. There was more than foolishness.
November 9, 2004
LET ME start at the end of Ronnie Polaneczky's "Bush's 'Unity' Plea: Baloney!" column, that 55.2 million voters can't all be wrong. What about the nearly 59 million voters who voted the other way, for President Bush? Can those people all be wrong? In fact, the Democrats have not had a majority of the voters since 1976. (Just so you are aware, a majority is when you have more than 50 percent.) Clinton wasn't able to do it in either of his elections. Yet George Bush I did. So did Reagan (twice)
January 3, 2004 |
The dawn of a new year inevitably comes with resolutions and self-examination, usually with existential questions such as, "Am I a jerk?" The ever-useful Philadelphia Orchestra provided a grid for that sort of thing with its first-ever local performance of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Seven Deadly Sins. Written in 1933, it's a series of songlike episodes from the odyssey of two sisters traveling the United States to earn money in many disreputable ways. Utility value aside, the piece was the dominating presence in an excellent left-of-center program with guest conductor Carlos Kalmar yesterday at Verizon Hall.
December 30, 2004 |
"Well, doctor, I'm afraid I've been bad," confided the rotund sextagenarian perched on the exam table. "My husband and I have been doing a lot of eating out since he retired, and watching a whole lot of TV. I guess I'll have to start cooking again, and get my eating under control. " This woman's attitude was a breath of fresh air. Many obese patients come to see their physician with the intention of being prescribed a pill to help them lose weight. Indeed, most of the advertisements in the media promise effortless weight loss, no will power needed.
January 21, 2003 |
Americans are far more at risk from eating too much than from eating too little. In fact, we face an epidemic of obesity. Yet the federal government each year churns out billions of dollars to feed the poor. If that sounds crazy, it is. But it is also a familiar result of a dynamic in American politics. For several centuries - OK, it only feels like several centuries - policymakers have engaged in the following ritual: Liberals identify a "need" and urge that the federal government "do something about it. " In some cases, like aid to the elderly, widows and orphans, these needs are real.