From the Desk of the Champion

To Associated Grocer,

I hope you are staying safe during this crazy time.

I recently placed a delivery order for two cans of Coca-Cola, one box of Frosted Flakes cereal, and 96 Teddy’s Frozen Hot Dogs. Regrettably, when the order arrived at my house, it was 92 dogs short.

Please know that the franks are a necessity not only for my health and well-being, but also for my profession. You probably would recognize me from my trips to your store before life was upended by this horrible virus. However, I suspect you do NOT know my identity as the reigning Hot Dog Eating Champion from Teddy’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Brooklyn, New York. As I’m sure you will understand, I prefer to be discreet when interacting with the public in my day-to-day life. I am “outing” myself now as the Contest is mere months away and I cannot afford to lose time training.

Know that helping me prepare for the Contest will allow your store to play a small but critical role in my ultimate victory.

Respectfully yours,

Arthur Rendaro, Hot Dog Eating Champion

To Hank’s Franks,

I hope that everybody at Hank’s Franks is okay during this terrible time.

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. You may find it hard to believe, but despite my standing as defending champion, the corporate “powers that be” behind Teddy’s Hot Dog Eating Contest have been unresponsive to my numerous queries regarding this year’s Contest. Sports leagues across the globe are canceling events and, as I’m sure you know, the comp-eating world is abuzz with rumors that Teddy’s plans to follow suit.

Enter…Hank’s Franks? If you sponsor a tournament—guaranteeing proper social distancing to ensure the safety of both eaters and civilians—I can be persuaded to participate. I am confident that my presence would lure Naoyuki Kurihara, my most fearsome rival, to emerge from his medically-imposed retirement. Other comp-eating notables—Otto the Infinity Tummy, Fritz “No Potatoes” Belson, Big Vinnie Lambardo, Little Tony Ratowski, Kenny Pickles, Salt Whitman—would surely answer the irresistible call of competition, as well. Once Hank’s Franks steps in during this time of national emergency, Teddy’s “flavorless franks” will be forgotten to time.

Stay safe and keep swirling your cherished Secret Signature 14-Spice Blend. Know that in this difficult moment, your work is giving sustenance and hope to everybody from humble frontline workers to globally recognized Hot Dog Eating Champions.

Respectfully yours,

Arthur Rendaro, Hot Dog Eating Champion

Note to Self

[Here’s the text for tomorrow’s video. Remember to wear shirt.]

Hi Guys! [Wave] It’s the Hot Dog Champ here. I hope you are all doing well in this time of crisis. I’m sure that like me, you are all stuck at home. As an entertainer, I thought I would bring a small amount of joy to everybody who might be bored under quarantine [Core-an-tiine]. For the first time ever, I am opening a window to my practice routine, and letting you [point at camera] watch as I consume 35 hot dogs in 10 minutes time.

But before I begin eating, I have some important business to address. As you probably know, the status of this summer’s Teddy’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, set to occur in the Brooklyn section of New York City, New York, is currently up in the air. I hope we all do everything in our powers to save the Contest!

[Serious face] Look, when eating franks, I try to leave my politics at the door. Whether we identify as eaters or fans, we are all people—not splotches of red or blue. Regardless of political affiliation, now is the time to contact your elected officials. While I have been unsuccessful in my quest to reach representatives at the city or state level, I am happy to report that the White House has been very engaged with the situation surrounding this summer’s Contest.

Remember to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and—if you want things to return to normal by the time of the Contest—STAY INDOORS! And now, watch as I devour these delicious Teddy’s franks. [Hold wiener vat up for camera]

Dear Naoyuki,

We have always faced one another as the fiercest of rivals; know that any verbal and physical aggression on my part was only generated in the heat of battle. I wanted to reach out to check on your well-being during this pandemic, which I know has been particularly devastating to the Oriental Region.

As you may have heard, the “Einsteins” behind the Contest have been noncommittal regarding the fate of this summer’s event. Major League Baseball has floated the prospect of moving its players to a massive quarantine in Arizona. Assuming that the chronic conditions afflicting your gallbladder, esophagus, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, and anus have subsided, might we borrow this idea from our fellow sportsmen? If the traditional venue proves inhospitable to this summer’s Contest, you and I might still face off, mano a mano—quarantined together, alone with a tub of franks.

Respectfully yours,

Arthur Rendaro, Hot Dog Eating Champion

PS: Please accept my condolences on the death of your wife to this dreaded virus.