Remember the Alamo(d)

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barbeque

Believe it or not, I’m 30 lbs lighter than I was at the end of 1994. It’s not because Lacombe lacks fast and junk food options. It’s because I lived in Texas in 93-94 and I ate Texas-American style. There is a reason why Americans are the fattest people on earth.

It starts with a base of really cheap food. Texas is the largest producer of rice in the States, and I could buy bags for next to nothing. Adding to this were chicken legs. There’s huge production of chicken in Arkansas, with markets for breasts and wings, but legs got flogged to local states for only $0.38 a pound in 5 lbs bags. My local Albertson’s also had fresh bread at the till every day, hitting the racks to catch people coming home from work. For desert….watermelon. I lived 30 miles from Huntsville, the watermelon capital of the world, which also featured 6 prisons including “The Walls”, a super-max with towering walls of red brick.

When people came to visit from Canada, I’d start their weight gain with dinner at a local hotel featuring prime rib. You could get small, medium or large, and I’d goad them into larges, which covered a dinner plate Fred Flintstone style – 2 inches thick. Key to the process was keeping everything moving, so after breakfasts at IHOP I’d dose people with Extra-Fiber All Bran, which is basically weapons-grade cereal never licensed in Canada. Next came the unlimiteds. Buffet at the China Garden, buffet pizza at Mr. Gatti’s and a couple blocks from my house…Big Daddies all you can eat Catfish.

For alcoholization there was a drive through liquor store and Walmart where you could get kegs of beer (slightly stronger than tap water). To fill in gaps were 2.5 lb super-monsters from Freebird’s World of Burrito, the Colossus burger from Jack in the Box, which included two ¼ lb patties, three kinds of cheese and six slices of bacon. Next would-be Wing’s and More for great wings and better ribs, and Double Daves Pizza for their world-famous pepperoni pizza rolls, which came with meat sauce for dipping. A few days in, once guests were on full feed, I’d hit them with a visit to Uncle Tom’s Barbeque where we’d get 8 oz of slow roasted/smoked sliced BBQ brisket, which came on a sheet of butcher paper along with a butcher knife, fresh white bread, half an onion, a large dill pickle, a block of cheddar. You’d pack all the deliciousness into sandwiches topped with hot barbeque sauce dropped off at tables in syrup dispensers. If conscious, nights frequently ended a la mode, with servings of velvety smooth super-premium Blue Bell ice cream.

I’ve often thought of going back for a few days of gluttony, but I’m sure I still have drifts of cholesterol in my arteries, which would break loose after a buffet storm. As it sits, I’m likely only alive because no one around here seems to know how to properly BBQ a brisket.

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