Sunday, November 11, 2007

MIA: Fourteen Fat Guys

Missing in Action: Fourteen Fat Guys!

As regular readers of this column know, I have been engaged in a fierce weight-loss battle with sixteen friends for the last twelve weeks. Starting back in August – the 14th to be exact – the seventeen of us have been competing to determine who could lose the most weight in three months. To make it interesting, we each chipped 100 American smackers into a pot (or in my case, an IOU for $100, since I was a little short that day) with the winner(s) taking it all at the end of the contest. That’s $1,700 worth of weight-loss incentive, plus the promise that I would provide regular public pressure in this column.

The whole lot of us started off strong. At the initial weigh-in we tipped the scales at an enormous 4,528 pounds. That’s more than two tons. During the first few days of dieting, we were all on a roll. (As a matter of fact, it was reported that, during that week in August, the rotation of the Earth varied ever so slightly, due to the shift in the gravitational pull.) Weight was dropping like footballs thrown by USC quarterbacks during the Vandy game.

Twelve of the thirteen weeks have now elapsed. The final weigh-in is this Tuesday, November 13th.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the finish-line. We lost 14 of our contestants.

Or, at least, we haven’t heard from them for a while.

At the beginning, there was trash-talk spewing on a daily, even hourly basis. Emails back and forth every day. Boasts. Bragging. Dares. Side-bets. Even some hyperbole thrown in.

But, then came the first weekend.

Weekends have a way of doing things to a dieter. We lost about a quarter of our contestants on the first weekend.

As the weeks dragged by, the trash-talking disappeared, and the emails rarely got returned.

I hate to say it, but I think we lost about fourteen of our fat guys. I think they’re even going to skip the final weigh-in.

So, one more time, I’m going to apply a little pressure by publishing the whole list – along with their starting weights. And if you happen to bump into one of these guys, ask them how the weight-loss contest is going. (You’ll know it’s them because they’ll probably be casting a shadow bigger than a water tower.)

Here they are. The contestants, as we enter our final week of dieting and humility – with their starting weight along with MY personal guess at their current weights:

Irmo Town Councilman Barry "Fatback" Walker -- starting weight 331; estimated current weight 311;

Hizzoner Brian Jeffcoat -- starting weight 316; estimated current weight 316;

Lexington Town Councilman Danny Frazier -- starting weight 312; estimated current weight 312;

Senator Jake Knotts -- starting weight 302; estimated current weight 302;

Stan "The Man" Bowen -- starting weight 292; estimated current weight 292;

Transportation Pro Gerald Head -- starting weight 285; estimated current weight 285;

ETV’s Andy Gobeil -- starting weight 279; estimated current weight 279; GOP

Heavyweight Scott Malyerck -- starting weight 273; estimated current weight 274;

Design Guru Douglas Adam -- starting weight 264; estimated current weight 264;

Econobug’s Ricky “Rubi” Wingard -- starting weight 263; estimated current weight 263;

Yours Truly, The Publisher -- starting weight 245; estimated current weight 198;

Insurance Veteran Terry Campbell -- starting weight 237; estimated current weight 238;

Former Secretary of State Jim Miles -- starting weight 235; estimated current weight 234;

Reigning Champ and Okra Strut Chm. Kirk Luther -- starting weight 234; estimated current weight 254;

Anonymous A. L. Wingard -- starting weight 225; estimated current weight 215;

Retired Humor Writer Tim Kelly -- starting weight 225; estimated current weight 224.9;

R.J. Shealy (that’s Rod, Jr.) -- starting weight 210; estimated current weight 210.

That’s it for my weight-loss update... with a little trash-talking on the side. We’ll give you a report on the winners and soon as the polls are closed.

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