Vol. 3, No. 1: Rainbow Curve photo

To Another Athlete Dying YoungFlavian Mark Lupinetti

All sports exact their toll.

Basketball destroys the joints.

Football changes the mind.

In Custer, South Dakota,

on the fourth day of July,

Blaine Sturgeon paid the price.


Hot dog eating not a sport,

you say?  A discipline

demanding physical and mental

capacities beyond those of

mere mortals?  And one

fraught with mortal danger?


"We just figured Blaine reached his limit,”

said third-place finisher Jacky Dunnald

who sat next to Blaine and who,

like the other contestants,

continued to eat while

a fireman started CPR.


The county coroner confirmed:

A rogue weenie eluded

Blaine's esophagus, electing

Instead to occupy his trachea.  

A little lubrication of mustard

might have saved the day.


Winner Frankie McIntyre--37 dogs--

extended his condolences.

"Blaine was a valiant

eater, a worthy opponent, and

a good friend."  Frankie

asked contest officials to donate


his first-place prize to Mrs.

Sturgeon.  Nancy Sturgeon

gratefully accepted Frankie's offer.

A year's supply of hot dogs

would provide the family

a small measure of solace.


The Custer, South Dakota,

Chamber of Commerce

thought it wiser not to conduct

the blueberry pie-eating contest

planned for that evening,

rescheduling it for next Sunday instead.