Googly Cousin

In 1969, there was a boy child born unto my aunt who had a full head of Kramer-esque hair and one sock. Nine days later, out I popped after an excruciating 3.5 hours of labor that felt something like cramps (according to my mother). I had a bald head, frilly pink dress and a matching pair of ruffled socks. I spoke in discernible words and sentences as soon as my mouth opened. My cousin chose to get his needs met through pointing and grunting. It's still unclear which method of communication was more successful.

My cousin went on to graduate from UCLA and work for a major automotive manufacturer. He also has the ability to operate bidets in two countries, play acoustic guitar and point while grunting. My skills are related to the never-ending quest for things un-found, like his missing sock.

He recently sent me a request that is best expressed through our email exchange:

Whenever there's stuff that I think should be on the web, but I can't find it, I turn to you.

So here goes.

I have a friend who's going to the Big Texan, a restaurant in Amarillo, for his 40th birthday. They have a challenge steak there. It's a 72oz steak. OK, really it's a roast. You get 1 hour to eat it, along with a salad, a potato, and a dinner roll. If you complete it, you get it free, and you get some minor reward (name on the wall, T-Shirt, whatever). If you fail, you pay full price.

I wonder if there are training regimens, or advice about how to beat the challenge, etc. It's not really speed eating, like the Nathan's Hot Dog contest, but maybe some of the same anatomical limits apply.

Let me know if you can find anything.

Hope you and yours are doing well.

First, I commend your friend. It's good to have goals.

Second, I've never been called googly. I think I like it. Something for the vanity plates on the minivan, perhaps.

Now, for the "meat" of the email:

From a cursory glance at the Internets, seems the Big Texan feat would, in fact, fall into the same training regimen as "speed eating" given that it is only 1 hour and 72 oz. o' beast are involved.

From the ever-reliable wikipedia, we have these fine words:


Being overweight is not necessarily an advantage. In fact, the "fat belt" theory holds that any excess body fat is a disadvantage in that it prevents the stomach from expanding as much as it otherwise could.[1] [2] Stomach elasticity is usually considered the key to eating success, and competitors commonly train by drinking large amounts of water over a short time to stretch out the stomach. The IFOCE actively discourages training of any sort.

A more reliable news source (if there is such a thing), Reuters UK offers this article chock full o' tidbits.

And then, there's the article about the Nashville-based orthopedic surgeon who's a competitive eater. He's also a proponent of the stomach-stretching approach, downing a single gallon of water as quickly as he can (then hitting the all-you-can-eat buffet).

I'm guessing that hyponatremia would result if excessive quantities of water were ingested for training. Looks like most folks go for the speed of drinking 1 gallon of water, followed by eating as much as possible. As alway, vomiting is a no-no.

It also looks like those who report about or are reported about w/regards to Big Texan success are fairly fit folk. I came across marathon runners, skinny college girls (bulimic?), and the like who were all successful at pounding the meat.

Seems there's also a paparazzi element. Tell your friend to be prepared for the fish-bowl effect, and possible gout. Otherwise, happy training to him and best wishes on his gurgitation goal.

-your googly cuz
p.s. With your permission, I'd like to publish this on my blog. Y'all can't be the first to raise the Big Texan training question. A photo of the 40th-Birthday Eater (as opposed to the 40th birthday-eater?) would be a nice accompaniment.

Awesome as always.

I'll be there at the Texan to cheer him on. Of course you have my permission to blog it.

My friend Skippy's sister will also be there, and will also give it a go. I think she's doing it just for the bloggability of it.

There's a webcam at the Texan, so you'll be able to watch the whole thing.

That right there is what family is all about, folks. BTW, where's your sock, cuz? Readers, stay tuned for some meat eatin' in the state o' Texas.