Steven Devadanam for HouStoned Images Ltd., Ulmtd.
Team Corkscrew member Andy Adams and a Beaujolais Nouveau mascot re-enact the crash. (No mascots were harmed in this photo.)

Butterball Run

Four teams, four turkeys, two baby strollers, a grocery cart and a wheelbarrow: It sounds like a list for one of our Cannonball Run-themed stories, but it was actually the roster of a wacky lunch time race for charity.

At the Heights area wine bar Corkscrew, teams from Corkscrew, Kroger, Cafe Express and Bistro Provence gathered for a race benefiting the Houston Food Bank, and celebrating the uncorking of the first bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau. (Oenophiles and whinos winos know that Beaujolais Nouveau is a red that's released the third Thursday of November each year. The wine was grapes just three months ago — this ain't your sit-and-collect-dust variety.)

The rules: Each team had to place a turkey in their its respective "vehicle" and race 40 yards, the winner receiving bragging rights and a three-litre bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau. Team Kroger's turkey was placed squarely in a Kroger shopping cart. Teams Corkscrew and Cafe Express used baby strollers, and team Bistro Provence used a wheelbarrow. Team Cafe Express, with a souped-up stroller, was clearly the favorite.

Steven Devadanam for HouStoned Images Ltd., Ulmtd.
Afterwards, lines of Beaujolais-filled glasses comforted the racers.

It was over as quickly as it started. There were collisions, and halfway in, Team Bistro Provence took a huge spill, wiping out. "They took a dive," said Andy Adams of Team Corkscrew. Seconds later, Team Kroger soared past the parking lot finish line. "Kroger obviously sent out their best shopping cart guys," says Max Gonzalez, another Team Corkscrew member. "I mean, we got beat by a shopping cart."

True to the feel-good theme, the real winner was the Houston Food Bank, who scored 30 turkeys and $7,000 from the Beaujolais Nouveau folks.

But charity, shmarity said Team Corkscrew , whose members were still pissed about the outcome as they sipped wine afterwards. Member Doyle Adams said the only reason his team lost was that "we got sabotaged by the Cafe Express guys."

Max, however, was a little more honest. "Um, we had the brake on the entire time." — Steven Devadanam

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