Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hot dogs and hot tempers

What would sportscasters have shown on the 11 o'clock news last night, if not for hot dog eating machine Takeru Kobayashi? I'm not ready to call it a tradition yet, but for three years in a row, I've turned on the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest, only to be disgusted within five minutes and turn the channel. I can't watch these people gorge themselves with sausages, while water and bits of hot dog bun dribble down their chins and chests, yet I'm strangely intrigued by this "competitive eating" thing.

Do I want to do it? No. Anyone who knows me knows I love to eat, but see, I like how food tastes. I don't think I could eat 49 almonds in one sitting, let alone 49 hot dogs, like Kobayashi. Though anyone watching me eat popcorn at the movies on Sunday might think I'm pretty good at shoveling a bunch of food in my face.

And I was shoveling popcorn down my throat because I was roped into seeing Bewitched and needed to do something to make that hour-and-a-half enjoyable. This is how I was rewarded for being a team player, for not rocking the boat, for going along with the crowd, for being nice. I wasted 90 minutes of my life watching what had to be one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Have you ever seen a movie so bad that it actually made you angry as you were watching it? Angry at the waste of your time and money, angry at the waste of talent on the screen, angry at the squandering of a possibly clever premise, and angry at yourself for not trusting your judgment and going to a better movie?

Nicole Kidman should've already fired her agent. But maybe she got a sweet paycheck out of the good thing. I hope so. There were good actors in that movie - funny actors - and virtually all of them were wasted. Something must have attracted them to the project in the first place. Where the hell was it? I didn't see it on the screen. (Mis Hooz attributes it to the power of Nora Ephron. I think we all owe it ourselves to stop encouraging the contrived, sugary, toothache-inducing crap Ephron creates. I've now contributed to this encouragement, which is yet another reason for my anger.)

I will have to watch a film with subtitles tonight, just to scrub the dross from my brain. Do you understand? Subtitles! To everyone involved in Sunday's ordeal: You have to take me to see Batman Begins in IMAX. You so owe me. And even then, I should be allowed to $#!+ in your popcorn.