It’s the Fourth of July, and I stopped for a moment. Stopped catching up on news for a few minutes to watch grown men cram hot dogs into their gullets at disturbingly high rates of speed. The annual Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest may very well be my favorite sport. Joey Chestnut won again, downing an unremarkable 62 dogs in 10 minutes this year. (He set the record at 88 in 2009.)
Dammit. There I am, thinking numbers again. Wet hot dog buns still dribbling down Chestnut’s chin, and I’m thinking about the country, and our current state and the numbers… those damn numbers… Almost everything is quantifiable these days.
- $14.3 trillion, the national debt
- 29,453 people unemployed in Lee County (source: labormarketinfo.com)
- 180,993 people out of work in Miami-Dade
- 88,469 unemployed in Broward
- 14,116 out of work in Collier
- $23 billion Florida’s debt (source: PolitiFact.com)
- $104 Cost of Nathan’s hot dogs (62) that Joey Chestnut downed at the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Coney Island this year (at $2 a dog).
There are elements of the human condition that can’t be counted. The anguish of watching a relative die. The worry in a father’s heart. The anger boiling inside office workers trying to find meaning under fluorescent lights. The fear of a mother collecting unemployment. The burn in Joey Chestnut’s asshole. There is no currency, there are no numbers, for our condition.