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Beer Nuts & Other Heroes

Bobby, What's your Line?


Ah, hamburgers, the higher ground of collegiate cuisine. Burgers are a learning institution nutritional mainstay only preferred by pizza and beer. How delightful that they were going to be the focus of a community eating competition. The burgers in question were the size of the original McDonald's offering. Those tasty tidbits that helped fill the void.

What kind of devouring team could our fraternity assemble? We had Dean, the eating machine, legendary for winning a hot dog eating contest as a freshman. A feat made more impressive since Dean also ate baked beans in order to get the wieners down. He was able to overcome this considerable disadvantage and reigned as king dog man. But could he do the same with hamburgers?

Or could we find an even more daunting competitor? Danny chirped in that he and Ralph worked as TV antenna installers for a hefty entrepreneur whose claim to fame was that he had stumped the TV panel on “What’s My Line”. It seems no one was able to guess that the occupation for the 300-pound contestant named Bobby was TV antenna installation. Well, life goes on and Bobby no longer installed antennas himself. That’s what Danny and Ralph were for. Bobby did however continue to expand his waistline and was known for his modest pound of bacon, dozen eggs and loaf of bread breakfasts. Danny, the dedicated fraternal soul that he was, volunteered to inquire whether we could obtain the considerable talents of Bobby for the upcoming burger contest.

The next day, Danny stopped to talk to his boss and explained to Bobby about the pending eating competition. He was pleased when Bobby’s interest began to perk up. Danny, attempting to size up Bobby’s consumption potential inquired of him: “How many of those little hamburgers do you think you can eat? A difficult question indeed. Bobby squirmed in his seat, paused, focused and carefully reflected. His eyes drifted upward as if searching for some inspirational insight from a mythical source. He cautiously and slowly raised his head and said to Danny, “I don’t know; how many can they make?”

The word optimistic seemed to too modest a reaction to Bobby’s reply. For he had just leaped the philosophical gestalt to a higher state of awareness. His focus was on the supply side of the equation. He was going where few men had gone before. As Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry character used to say “a man’s got to know his limitations”. Bobby was exploring his.

Moral: Optimists stretch limits. (Go for it!)