An Erasure Fable About Eating 75
and Surpassing 1000 Career Hot Dogs and Bun

(from the 2020 Nathan’s July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest introduction for Joey Chestnut, by George Shea, MC and Co-Founder of Major League Eating

MORAL: “whoever can eat the most of my hot dogs is the most American” – Nathan Handwerker, contest founder

Source & Method

Derived from transcriptions of sports announcers I typed up while watching events. For the hot dog poem, the Moral is a quote attributed to the founder of Nathans by a number of sources, including Smithsonian magazine and George Shea himself. The fable format is one I’ve been playing with as a way to tease out the moralistic implications made by sports culture.

Alex Wells Shapiro (he/him) is a poet and artist from the Hudson Valley, living in Chicago. He reads submissions for Another Chicago Magazine and Frontier Poetry, and is a co-founder of Exhibit B: A Reading Series presented by The Guild Literary Complex. His work is recently published or forthcoming in Blood Tree Literature, Boudin, Pangyrus, and Digging Through the Fat. More of his work may be found at

Issue 24