Mow Betta

There are times when even the most urbane among us must indulge our inner hick. For some, it's sneaking in an Alan Jackson tune with your hip-hop mp3s. For others, it's racing lawn mowers. Rednecks of every shade will gather in Channelview this weekend for the Big Dog Ice House Lawn Mower Races. Big Dog's Kenny Mungle has converted the Dog's parking spaces into a horseshoe-shaped race course, where teams will compete on "any kind of riding lawn mower" -- some of the machines will even be all souped up.

Participants will have different jobs, depending on which bathroom they use. Ladies must hold their team's number card over their heads the entire race. "If they drop the number, they're disqualified," says Mungle. Well, duh. Women also will compete in the "weenie bite," where, riding mowers in reverse, they'll take bites out of franks hanging in the air from strings. "It's like what they do at biker rallies," says Mungle. "Whoever takes the biggest bite wins." Men will handle the manly stuff -- that is, actually driving the mowers.

Racers also will strut their stuff on their John Deeres at the keg roll, where they'll push beer kegs along the racetrack. And there'll be a live band, barbecue and even a lingerie show. Mungle expects a huge crowd to show up for his event, which was inspired by a creative patron. "One of my customers pulled up on his Murray lawn mower," he says. "He said, 'My damn van is broke down, and I wanted a few beers.' " 4 p.m. Saturday, October 23. 214 Sheldon, 281-457-0334, $10. -- Steven Devadanam

Oh, the Horror!

Some folks go to those lame haunted houses to get psyched up for Halloween. But nothing beats watching a pair of slasher flicks at Alamo Drafthouse -- one an obscure B-movie, Redneck Zombies, and the other, Saw, a sneak preview of a major release -- to put us in the mood. In Redneck Zombies, the folks at the trailer park drink a barrel of toxic waste (having mistaken it for moonshine), and then go on a flesh-ripping frenzy. We suggest you chug a few $2 Alamo brews to get in the mood. And Saw, the latest in the downward career spiral of Danny Glover, features our hero as a cop who goes up against a clown-faced psychotic killer. Redneck Zombies screens at 10 p.m. Tuesday, October 26. Saw screens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 27. 1000 West Oaks Mall. For information, call 281-556-0204 or visit $7.50. -- Greg Barr

Steeling Away

Two things you normally don't think of together are metal and sensuality (unless, of course, you're a kinky S&M freak). But Houston painter Jeanette Chinelli and sculptor Michelle O'Michael are out to change that with their dual exhibit, "Ascending Sensuality." Chinelli was attracted to steel as an artistic medium because most see only its utilitarian uses. "And what makes the artwork sensual is the color," she says, "rich, vibrant color that transcends your typical response to sensuality." Hmm. Is it getting hot in here, or is that toaster looking mighty sexy? 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, October 22, and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, October 23. Houston Foundry, 1712 Burnett. For information, call 713-547-0169 or visit Free. -- Bob Ruggiero

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