Hot Dog Champ / Durham Beer Co.

On Thursday June 8, 2017 greatness was on display at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The feat did not take place on the field, but in the stands, in section 204, row R, seat 8. It was an unseasonably cool evening, with clear skies, and a light breeze. Under these most accommodating circumstances, a man pushed himself through physical pain, mental anguish, and against all odds turned back the clocks some fifteen years to compete with a record he set as a much younger man. This is the story of when Mike V. ate fifteen hot dogs on dollar dog night.

The hero we need.

For those unaware, Mike V. is the 2016 Biscuits, Whiskey, and Beer Triathlon-A-Thon bowling champ, but let’s rewind even further to the early 2000’s when the Philadelphia Phillies had a dollar dog promotional night. Young Mike V. proceeded to consume 17 hot dogs, and in turn create a milestone achievement. During the 2016 Bull’s season, we discussed the possibility of his attempting to beat this record, but alas did not find the time to make it happen. With Triathlon-A-Thon 2: The Fundraisening just announced, we thought what better time to reignite the flames of competition, and have Mike make a new record attempt. I would wear a hot dog suit to act as a mascot of sorts, cheering him on, livestreaming our antics, and generally talking to anyone that would listen about the Triathlon-A-Thon, while Mike would slam dog after dog and chasing down fortune and glory in the process.

Gearing up for excellence. Thumbsup nation.

I got to Mike’s house around 5:30pm where he informed me that he had just had a slice of pizza and a garlic knot, in an effort to “get a good base”. I didn’t quite understand, but I do love pizza, so I had no judgement and took note. Before we got on the road, his loving wife looked at him and gave strong sincere encouragement, it was like something straight out of an inspirational film, it was wonderful. On the ride to the stadium we established his self-imposed ground rules:

-No beer as it would be too filling

-Must consume a minimum of 12 to maintain any semblance of self-respect

-12-15 would be deemed “a solid effort”

-18 would be the gold medal goal

So we got to the park, I put on the suit, and Mike went to work. Before the first pitch was thrown he had eaten 6 dogs, and put down a Dr. Pepper. At this point, I’m amping up the hype telling people higher and higher numbers when they ask how many he’ll eat. I figured this was acceptable as we were forging a new baseball legend, like Wade Boggs beer count on the cross country flight. In the second inning Mike’s “feeling good” and in the top of the third he goes for six more and a soda water.

What time is it?
Time for more!
Me and Wool E. Bull giving Mike good vibes.

Getting to an even dozen takes a toll, and the champ is hurting. He’s shaking hands, smiling, and giving kids thumbs-ups all over the place. The legend is starting take shape, but there’s a sadness in the champ’s eyes, a sadness that comes from knowing that the pain is not set to end any time soon. I’m trying to be encouraging, and eat two veggie dogs out of solidarity (it would be cannibalism for the dog to eat a regular dog). The livestreams are getting really dumb/dull, the Instagram posts are offering diminishing returns, and the time from 6th to the top of the 8th is basically the dark night of the soul for this adventure. Things aren’t looking good on any front.

Things got a little dark.

Then that baseball magic happens, and our hero says “let’s go get three more, and see where that takes us.” We go, he inhales the first, starts in on the second and throws up in mouth. This is where the boys are separated from the men…Mike keeps it down, AND FINISHES THE DOG LIKE THE HERO WE NEED IN THIS MOMENT. He takes a drink, sets dog fifteen in the cup holder in front of him and says “I might be done.”

BUT HE WASN’T DONE! Despite sweating nitrates, feeling like total garbage, and almost losing dog 14, he ate number 15 on the way out of the stadium at the end of the game cold, and mushy. He didn’t have to, but he did it anyway because that’s what commitment looks like. For competing with a younger version of himself, throwing pizza and soda in the mix, I’m going to go ahead and say that Mike crushed it. Good job man.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk a little about the Bull Durham Beer Co. at this point. As reviewed last season, I really like their Lollygagger Kolsch (which is now available in cans!), but during this adventure I was drinking their amber. It’s a reddish looking medium bodied ale, pleasantly bitter with 5.5% ABV, and I could drink them all day. Love those guys!

Delicious and refreshing, pairs well with a dozen hot dogs.

So here’s my proposition to you biscuiteers, who wants to come at the champ and try to beat his record?

I’ve got a sponsor lined up for donations to Triathlon-A-Thon 2: The Fundraisening that will make donations per dog consumed…it’s a real easy way to punch your ticket to a glorious place in history, come out and give it a shot! Drop me a line if your game!

Til next time biscuiteers,

Charlie

Links:

Follow our reigning hot dog champ’s writings on Medium HERE or check out his podcast “The People on my Floor”

Drink beer from Bull Durham Beer Co.

Read more about Triathlon-A-Thon 2: The Fundraisening

After Thoughts:

Does anyone out there remember Hot Dog magazine from Scholastic? I seem to remember them being a part of the annual elementary school book fair or something. I had the Mario one, and it ruled.

I used to love these, and would try to trace the covers over and over.

 

 

The 2nd Annual Triathlon-A-Thon

That’s right biscuiteers, the Triathlon-a-Thon is returning! Mark your calendars for Saturday Sept. 9 2017!

Sign up / donate here:

https://www.crowdrise.com/triathlon-a-thon-2-the-fundraisening/fundraiser/charliemewshaw

Triathlon-a-Thon 2: The Fundraisening will be coming to Chapel Hill at the end of the summer. Last year we bounced around Raleigh, had a great time, a great turnout, a great pizza sponsorship from realty expert Matt Szalecki (for all your triangle related real estate needs, check out the links below), and most importantly made a tangible contribution to supporting independent lifestyles of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For those just tuning check out the full breakdown on the page link to the left, same great cause, awesome new events. More details on specifics to be posted here soon.

So what are we gonna do?! In response to suggestions from last year, this year’s event will be fully walkable and will include: FOOSBALL, SKEEBALL, and PINBALL. Like last year, there will be fabulous prizes in each category, and participants will receive tremendous gifts for their donations in the amount of $20 or more! Details to follow soon, but mark your calendars now for Saturday, September 9 2017! If you want to donate, but can’t make the event, that’s cool too! We will be using Crowdrise again to ensure RSI receives all donations directly, and sending out the thank you gifts to all donors of $20 or more, not just attendees.

Thanks for reading, let’s do some good and have some fun!

-Charlie

LEARN MORE ABOUT RSI:

http://www.rsi-nc.org

LINKS TO PIZZA SPONSOR / REAL ESTATE EXPERT MATT SZALECKI:

View homes here: http://www.moveraleigh.com

View Reviews here: http://www.zillow.com/profile/MatthewSzalecki

The Lost General Store, and Old Crow

This is part 2 in an ongoing series of oddities from the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Pt 1 can be found here: http://biscuitswhiskeyandbeer.com/category/weird-finds/

A month or so ago I was off on a walk down a rural route, and noticed an overgrown but accessible gravel driveway into what was once obviously a bustling center of country commerce. The driveway was overgrown enough that there was no way anyone driving by would notice, and it was far enough from any houses/neighborhoods, that no one really would have any business stumbling upon it. If it had been a week or two later when the trees were in full bloom, I might not even have noticed it. I love old country stores, gas stations, and eateries, so this well preserved discovery felt like I had uncovered Atlantis.

There was a general store, a service garage, a house where I assume the proprietors once lived, and a barn. The buildings were arranged in such a way that if you were pulling in off of the road the service buildings were all on the left, and the house was on the right. After listening for signs of life, I took to kicking some rocks around loudly to announce my presence to any creatures that might lurking inside before beginning my entry into the compound. I’ve played enough Resident Evil, read enough horror stories, and seen probably too many slasher films to be comfortable walking in alone to not pause for a couple minutes. The house was NOT getting explored alone, and the barn and garage were mostly empty, but the general store had an open, almost welcoming doorway.

The store.
The house – no thanks, I’m good.
Garage – surprisingly empty except for some chairs.
Empty barn.

Inside I found a dusty, dirty, but surprisingly preserved store, and the first thing I noticed was that there was no vandalism. There were odds and ends, an old homework assignment, some Halloween masks…wait what?!

Do your homework!
Creepy and amazing.

That’s right, those old costumes with the detailed masks, and what were basically trash bags with a logo printed on them were here! I remember wearing one of these in the late 80’s before I was told Halloween was evil, and I was no longer allowed to participate. I was a “karate-man” that year, and it was siiiiick. That is until I hyper-ventilated in my mask while waiting in line for a haunted house in our neighborhood. An older kid in front of us in line had a REALLY good zombie getup, complete with blood capsules in his mouth. My dad was chatting with him, and as he showed the fake blood off, I freaked out. I was 6 or 7, and that was the last time I went trick or treating. Dammit young Charlie, why couldn’t you hang?! It was basically Stan from South Park throwing up when nervous – but real life! Maybe that’s the REAL reason I wasn’t allowed to go again…but I digress, trash-bag costumes were a part of the American Halloween experience for decades, and right here in front of me was a tiger, and a princess! So cool. I respectfully returned them to their boxes and left them to rest (rot) where I had found them.

Old, Old Crow…see what I did there?

Whilst poking about, I also found some old liquor and beer cases (empty), including some Old Crow Bourbon boxes! What a perfect segue way into talking about whiskey! Old Crow (or Dr. James Crow’s Old Crow if you want to get proper about it) is a storied, and significant member of the bourbon family tree. Billed as “the original sour mash”, it is recognized as one of Kentucky’s earliest bourbons, developed by Scottish immigrant James C. Crow. These days it is owned by Beam-Suntory, and shares the same mash bill and yeast as Jim Beam white label. The difference between the two comes from the aging and blending processes. It was favored by Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, WWII flying ace Bud Anderson, Mark Twain, Hunter S. Thompson (he loved WT, but wrote a lot about Old Crow too), Fat Mike of NOFX, the Beastie Boys, and the band Old Crow Medicine Show obviously owes their name to this venerable liquid. So knowing now that this budget bourbon is so obviously storied and revered, how is it?

New, Old Crow
Neat.

Well, it’s got the color of a Werther’s Original (sp?), and it’s got a really sweet but alchololic, strong nose (seriously, this stuff smells quite loud). It’s loud and brash corn and sweetness up front, with an an afterburn worthy of its spot on the shelf. It comes in a little plastic bottle labeled as “lightweight traveler” which is a bit of a bummer, I do think it deserves the full glass bottle treatment on its history alone, but I guess that helps keep the cost down. There is also a “reserve” variety that I’d like to try at some point to see how it tastes when aged a bit longer.

So back to the store. I saw a little coffee tin, and immediately recognized the brand as something my grandparents kept around. Between the masks, and the coffee tin, I’d be willing to wager this place had sat since the late 80s. It was like a strange wormhole in time, like a museum of things you’d forgotten about from 1988. So, I’m looking around the floor, not wanting to accidentally step on anything, and spot a weird little metal bowl that’s discolored and forlorn, and decide its coming home as a souvenir. I get it home, and with a little Bar Keepers Friend and some elbow grease, it comes back to life! It now takes up a place on a bookshelf to hold knick-knacks.

This was like an instant coffee, instant flashback. I remember the commercials and everything.
Thar’ be treasure!
Just like that, good as new-ish.

So there you have it, another adventure, and another whiskey.

Til next time biscuiteers!

-Charlie

PS – Plans are beginning to take shape for this year’s Triathlon-A-Thon, Triathlon-A-Thon 2: The Fundraisening. In light of that, expect more content than usual to distract you at work through the summer.

Links

Here are examples of those costumes:

http://www.plaidstallions.com/collegeville/1983.html

Georgia on My Mind – An Epic Quest Through the American South

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Biscuits and More in Marietta, Georgia. It’s an unassuming place, located in a strip mall, with friendly staff, and you get the sense that there is a real community of regulars. Additionally, beyond the regulars exchanging knowing glances at each other and the staff, there are newspaper articles and local sports memorabilia on the walls (including local high schools), that also give the sense that Biscuits and More is a part of the larger surrounding community as well.

It reminded me of a deli I went to a couple times as a teenager, and I immediately loved the place.

I was accompanied by my grandfather for this visit, it’s his preferred spot, and we were in his neck of the woods. Having heard about it from him for some time, I was really excited, and was not let down. I stuck with what he said was a solid choice: I had a standard bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit with a small black coffee. There of course was more on the menu (it is Biscuits and More – no just capital ‘B’ Biscuits), but I kept it simple.

There really were biscuits, and more!

The biscuit itself was comparable in size to McDonalds, softer in texture, which was a surprise, but I have to say, it had a great buttery flavor, and the bacon was GREAT. Holy crap, that was a long sentence. Back to the bacon – it was crisp, but chewy, which is my preferred form of bacon. The eggs were folded over VERY neatly, and the American cheese was your standard slice. It was a solid, no frills, low-price flavor bomb, and I could’ve destroyed about half a dozen of these things.

I inhaled half this thing before taking pics…whoops.

There’s something magical about road-trip biscuits that can cause rose-tinted biscuit vision, but this wasn’t a travel-weary overhype, Biscuits and More is a legitimately great locally owned biscuit spot that means a lot to its clientele. The staff knows this, and the clientele in turn mean a lot to them.

Thanks for the tip Pop, let’s go again sometime!

See you next time biscuiteers!

-Charlie Mewshaw