In this battle of man vs. meat, neither side wins.
Joel Lewis of Shirt.Woot and myself recently took a business trip to the Dallas area and availed ourselves of the local base-ball park. We ostensibly came to watch the Rangers play the Angels, but it soon become clear that Joel had ulterior motives.
It seemed that Joel had heard tell of a novelty oversized sausage for sale at the Ballpark at Arlington. And, like a Tuscan sow sniffing out truffles, Joel wasted no time in rooting out this whoppin' wiener's place of sale.
Joel's variation of "The Boomstick" was a 3-foot polish sausage covered in nacho cheese, onions, and beef brisket. Its garnish: Doritos. Its cost: $38. "I'll have one" Joel said.
His quarry swinging by its handle on his side, Joel sought a table sturdy enough for the task. It was then that Joel encountered the "unexpected side" of Boomstick consumption: The social cost.
"Mom, look at that man." Is a real-life quote from a real-life little girl as Joel and his wurst rumbled by. Japanese tourists snapped photos. Able-bodied men gaped in horror. And this was TEXAS.
He set Leviathan on a creaking table, cut a 6" serving, and wolfed it down. What would constitute a healthy ballpark meal for a normal patron was but a whet for Joel. He continued in a workmanlike fashion for several minutes, engaging the enemy with every appearance of appetite, and bit by bit the Boomstick receded.
Some game-day notes: It was 100 degrees that evening, and the consumption of piping-hot brisket was not helping. Joel complained little, being a man of character, but did have to take a "quick breather" near the halfway point, walking to a relatively breezy side of the mezzanine. There were also flies everywhere -- bold, enterprising flies not easily dissuaded by Joel's repeated shoos. In short: It was pretty gross.
"It's dumb that I'm doing this," Joel admitted, slicing another portion. "I'm like Jim Belushi. I'm going to die trying to get a laugh." But he soldiered on like a hero in a Greek tragedy, aware of his fate but unable to stop it.
It was the bottom of the 7th when Joel Lewis finished the Boomstick in Arlington. We had shown up late, found our seats, and walked around a bit, but still: We spent most of the ballgame in the hunt, purchase, and consumption of a sausage.
Turns out it was a great game. The returning traitor Josh Hamilton ripped a homer through the boos in his first at-bat, Nelson Cruz hit one of his own (and possibly one of his last), and Adrian Beltre won it with a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth, the 38,000 in attendance going absolutely bonkers as the ball cleared the left-field wall.
Joel remained seated.