Meat!

Eat It!

Do you have a big belly and want to put it to good use? Have no gag reflex and are looking to acquire a new skill? Can you put away more food than all of your friends combined and still have room for a few desserts?

Then do we have an event for you: The 3rd Annual Houston Hot Dog Eating Championship, taking place on July 10 at the Hot Dog Shop.

Rarely do competitive eating events feature anything other than hot dogs -- is it because the cylindrical dog slides so easily down one's throat? these are questions we honestly want to know the answers to -- and this one is no different. The day's activities kick off at 1 p.m. with a hula hoop contest at 2 p.m. (work up an appetite!) and the big bang coming at 3 p.m. with the hot dog eating contest. A watermelon eating contest is being held for the kids afterward, if you want to start training them early for a lifetime of overindulgence.

First place snags a cool $250, which should cover the cost of all the antacids you'll need afterwards, while second place wins $50. Entry in the contest is $25 and all proceeds from entry fees, the bake sale and the silent auction will go to benefit the North West Lions Club.

To enter the contest (and the glamorous world of competitive eating), sign up at the Hot Dog Shop at 6405 Brittmoore or call 713-937-8039. Entries will be accepted up to the day of the contest.

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Katharine Shilcutt