Monday, July 21, 2008

The Race is On!!!

The race is on!

Yes, the long awaited race is on.

Well… if you can call 15 fat guys waddling along a RACE. (Or to be exact, 14 fat guys, and our lovely and charming mascot, Shirley.)

As you may have read earlier in one of these recent columns, the time has come for our Next Great Almost Annual Weight Loss Challenge Invitational Competition.

In all, fifteen brave souls answered the call for competition, collectively representing the approximate gross tonnage of a nuclear submarine. (With luck, after the contest, it will be closer to a HumVee tank.)

We kicked off our little informal contest last Tuesday, June 15th with an official weigh-in at Gatsbees World’s Fair Soda Fountain. As a side note, I offered each participate in an on-the-house free treat before the weight-in – choice of ice cream, sundae, hot dog, hamburger, soda, popcorn, cotton candy, their choice – as sort of a last meal before the diets began. (It also broke us: biggest single day loss in the history of Gatsbees!)

Everybody kicked in 100 American Buckos into the pot, with the winners taking all: half to the total weight loser, and half to the biggest percentage loser. (We had the lawyer in the group hold onto half of the money we paid in advance… probably demonstrating the incredibly bad judgment, which got us into our poundage and plumpness predicaments in the first place.)

The initial weigh-ins ranged from John Wentzell’s measly 209.4 – we all think he’s just in the contest to see how the over-half lives – to the whopping 381.2 reported by Northeast Columbia resident Don Gawrys, better known as the Store Manager of Michaels Arts and Crafts.

Scattered in between those weigh-in numbers -- along with my editorial comments -- were:

Jim Miles – Former S.C. Secretary of State, weighing in at 234.2, who I know has no will-power. Good luck.

Barry Walker – Irmo Councilman, better known as proprietor of Mac’s on Main, who has cleverly offered free Peach Cobbler to any of his co-contestants during the contest. I suspect strategery at work. Fat Back registered a 327.2.

Bruce Holland – the only lawyer in the group, and therefore the one holding the cash. He weighed in at 238.2, so he’s not really likely to win. (Please keep you eyes on this guy for us.)

Joe Kennedy – came to us directly from working out at his gym. He was already down 20 pounds from an earlier weight loss effort. His guy doesn’t have a clue about the “eat first, diet later” startegy of how to will a weigh loss contest. Weight: 217.8

Rod Shealy, Jr. – Junior has joined his dad – me -- in this contest for the third year in row. Like Joe, he seems to have a little dexterity when it comes to calcuting the math part for winning a weight-loss contest. Weigh in: 217.6

Robert Wessinger -- Robert’s a Real Estate guy, but he seemed to have a little bit of DoNut belly left over from his career as a Lexington County Deputy. At 251.0, he could be a contender.

Rod Lorick – Of the Cayce-West Columbia News, a well known golfer who asserts himself to be the Greatest Living Athlete in Cayce-West Columbia. But he also asserts himself to be the winner of this conntest. Ha! There’s a reason you weigh 312.2.

Shirley Towne – Our Mascot, who the guys all fell in love with. As the only female in the contest, we’re withholding the information we share on the others. Let’s just call her healthy… and BY FAR the prettiest person in this contest.

Lewis Gossett – Former director of SC LLR, now director of some sort of big deal business group. His weigh of 247.6 is deceptive, because it would be a lot more if he had any hair at all.

Kirk Luther -- Weighing in at 236.2, Business Manager and partner in this very newspaper, the reigning champ, but Not Necessarily Expected to Win Again.

Terry Campbell -- An Insurance Executive Extraordinaire who should have been able to calculate his 0% odds of winning. He weighed in at 241.6. To increase his odds, he wanted the contest date to contain his lucky number 7. Hence, the contest period is exactly 7 weeks, ending on Sept. 2. (Hate to tell you, buddy, but lucky numbers don’t help much in a weight loss contest: but pushing away from the Mexican buffet last Saturday would have!)

Mike Andrews: He’s the Tune-Up King from Bob Andrews Motors, and is tipping the scales at 282.4, making him one of the statistical favorites for this competition. Unfortunately, he suffers many of the aforementioned afflictions: a) counting on lucky numbers b) the will-power of at gnat; and c) suffering the delusion that he still looks like he looked 20 years ago, which face it, wasn’t that great even then, unless there was lots of alcohol involved.

And then there’s me: Your Publisher, and the actual eventual winner of this contest. I’d truly like to share more details about my weight, condition, and strategy… but would you look at this, we’re all out of time for this week.

But we’ll keep you posted.

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