Fat Guy Explodes at Troy Pig Out

By Dodie Fingerton

Published July 17th, 2016

Image of a fat guy exploding at the Troy Pig Out on Saturday (Photo of Riverfront by Matt Wade.)

TROY— A local BBQ-lover and two-time hotdog-eating contest winner exploded Saturday afternoon while sampling fare at the ninth annual Troy Pig Out.

Frank Mussels, 42, of Mechanicville, was eating a pork rib basket in Riverfront Park when he spontaneously burst, police said.

The cacophonous boom was felt as far away as West Sand Lake and led to several 911 calls.

“I thought we were under attack,” said Jory Middleston of Wynantskill.

Before exploding into a shower of blubber and bone, the 296-pound machinist was a well-known figure at the Pig Out. He won the event's hotdog-eating contest in 2008 and 2011, but decided to sit out this year's race in order to focus on the barbeque.

“Frank was really looking forward to being a taster and voting this year,” said Kyle Doorstep, an executive with Dinosaur BBQ, which sponsored the event. “We're going to miss him. He had the biggest heart. Like literally. I saw the ultrasound. You wouldn't believe this thing.”

Billed as the seventh largest mid-summer BBQ-themed event in the Capital Region, the Troy Pig Out is a full-day affair where restaurants from across the area compete for best BBQ. The family-friendly festival also includes craft vendors, mechanical bull rides, a horseshoe-throwing competition, live music and fireworks.

“Up until the moment that fat guy exploded all over my children, it was a great day,” said Mitchell Frenzy of Watervliet. “My youngest son's never going to be the same, but I guess that's the price you pay for good barbeque.”

Organizers initially expressed regret over the incident, but were later seen high-fiving each other near the main stage.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mussels' family, of course,” said organizer Gip Leadbetter. “But at the same time, guys don't explode at barbeque festivals everyday, you know. I'm not going to lie: This is going to be very good for business.”

Mussels' sister Mindy, meanwhile, took solace in knowing that her brother spent the last few moments of his life doing things he loved.

“He took a ride on a mechanical bull, threw a couple of horseshoes and then went back to work on that rib basket of his,” said the 46-year-old party planner. “Then he exploded.

“I'm not sure anyone could have written him a better ending. I'm going to miss that fat bastard.”


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