Each week, we introduce you to an adorable dog who's up for adoption. This week's musings: rib-eating contests, and dieting contest fails.
Pethouse Pet of the Week
Birthdate: May 23, 2017 (I'm still in my awkward teen dog years)
Ethnicity: I'm a Terrier mix of some sort. Now I know it's evil to judge somebody — even a dog — on looks. But seriously, am I the sweetest, cutest, most lovable little guy you've ever seen? I'm fixed and good to go home. I'm 18 pounds, so I'm light on your lap, where I'll be a lot of the time. I love to run and fetch things, go for walks and play with toys. I'm good with children and other animals.
Come and get me: I'm available for adoption at 11 am, Friday, January 5, at Citizens for Animal Protection (17555 Katy Freeway; 281-497-0591). Tell them, "Ken sent me."
Bear's blathering: Each year since 2008, my friends Reg "Third Degree" Burns and George "Biddy" Boehme shake hands on a bet: who can lose the most weight in January?
From the looks of them, the winner gets an XL cheesecake from Kenny & Ziggy's deli and one fork.
Third Degree and Biddy are big fellas — "good eaters," as their mothers probably bragged when they were kids.
After a decade of this bet, the record stands at five wins each. One of Third Degree's victories has an asterisk, though. After 31 days of furious and disciplined dieting...he actually gained two pounds. But Biddy packed on six pounds, so Third Degree got the nod.
They're still "good eaters." Neither has ever met my other friend...a guy named Will Power.
Third Degree and Biddy weighed in last week for the 2018 challenge. Third Degree tipped (over) the scales at 257.5 pounds, while Biddy set a new personal high with 245.5 pounds. Third Degree was fearing a bigger number, while Biddy was 10 pounds heavier than he expected.
My New Year's resolution? Lose two friends.
Third Degree was tight-lipped about his strategy. "I'm going full Bill O'Brien. This one is one me."
All you can eat — but should you?
Third Degree is used to winning food-related contests. Several years ago, he entered the "World Championship Rib Eating Contest" in downtown Houston. Contestants were given 10 minutes to eat pork ribs like a pig.
Go! It was a feeding frenzy. Sauce was flying. Napkins were a waste of precious time. The barbecue joint looked like the front row at a Gallagher concert.
Third Degree didn't make a move. Instead he put his feet up, opened a newspaper and began reading. When the judge announced, "10 seconds left," Third Degree nonchalantly picked up the smallest rib on his plate, the one at the end of the rack that nobody eats. And he ate it. Bone and all. C-r-r-r--unch!
When the judge announced the winner, a heavyset gentleman who consumed eight pounds of meat, Third Degree hollered, "No way! I'm the winner. Where's my trophy?"
The judge looked at the results and said, "Sir, you came in last place. You ate only one rib."
Third Degree: "Exactly. I ate one rib. Everybody else ate the meat surrounding ribs. What kind of contest is this?"
Uh, a rib eating contest.
"Where's my trophy?"
After ruining the barbecue restaurant's biggest event of the year, Third Degree accepted a duplicate trophy. It's in his living room. It's got the Greek goddess of victory surrounded by two pigs.
Biddy said he will go on two diets, the Whole 30 craze and something else. He probably figures he won't get enough food on one diet. That's the way he thinks.
About five years ago, he discovered the "Split Decision" breakfast at IHOP. It's got a little of everything - pancakes, eggs, bacon, hash browns, etc. Biddy proceeded to eat a "Split Decision" every day for the next 30 days. And not one time since. I once saw him run three miles with a lit cigar in his mouth to win a bet.
Now you understand my New Year's resolution?
So the diet bet is on. Who will win the tiebreaker? My money is on Third Degree.
He has more to lose.