Here’s an early contender for the biggest story of 2008: “‘Hearty eater’ says buffet banned him, relative.” That’s—honest—the headline of an Associated Press story about a man who tested the truth in advertising of a Louisiana all-you-can-eat buffet. According to the Manchuria Restaurant, Ricky Labit and Michael Borrelli had made a habit of chowing down on the expensive crab and frog legs and were charged accordingly. But Labit says the restaurant gut-profiled him. The key quote, as noted by Dave Barry, is from the men’s waitress: “Y’all fat, and y’all eat too much.” Borrelli disputed that, although his argument is somewhat underwhelming: “I ain’t that fat, I only weigh 277,” Borrelli reputedly said, “adding that a waitress told him he looked like he had a ‘baby in the belly,’” according to the AP story.
A word of public-relations advice: These men need to drop their modesty and take pride in outeating the Manchuria Restaurant’s buffet—after all, this may be their only opportunity to nationally humiliate themselves on Letterman. If it helps, I can pass on the number of a friend who, way back in high school, claimed that his prodigious late-night soft drink consumption at Perkins single-handedly changed the chain’s national free-refills policy.