The Almost-Hot Dog Eating Champion

by Albert Van Hoogmoed

HE finished off sixty
like that's all she wrote,
when dog sixty one
got stuck in his throat.

His eyes started bulging,
his face became blue.
He’s lucky that someone
knew just what to do.

The head referee,
in a terrified voice,
said, ''Quick, do the Heimlich!
It's our only choice!''

Someone jumped up,
did the Heimlich real quick,
not thinking that it was
like popping a tick.

He burped up the menu
in front of them all,
nothing but hot dogs,
in chunks big and small.

He mulched half the stage
with a hot-dog parfait,
a great big street pizza
with signs of decay,

He yelled at the ground
and he barked at his shoes,
ignoring the bucket
they gave him to use.

For his sick display
and this cardinal sin,
the judges said, ''Leave
and don't come back again!''

Nathan's has no plans
for calling him back,
and sponsors who backed out
are not calling back.

But he's done OK
in his own little world.
He's living in Hurley,
and found him a girl,

and they've got two children
named Ralph and Louise,
and they drive their Buick
wherever they please.

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