We were nearly 10 when we saw Stand By Me the first time, and it scarred us for life. It wasn't the body in the woods, or the leeches, or the scramble across the train trestle. Oh, no, it was the story about the pie-eating contest. Competitive eating is all fun and heartburn until someone starts the domino effect of puking. We salute anyone who can jam 170 chicken wings down his gullet, but we'll wait to do it until a few days later...when it's absolutely safe. So, we wish you luck on Thursday as the Dallas West End location of Tony Roma's offers a rib-eating contest during The Original Rib promotion. The contest is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and the winner receives free dinner for a year. In addition, all Tony Roma's locations will be celebrating by offering a free half-slab of baby back ribs all day to anyone named Adam or Eve. Get it? Adam, Eve, "the original rib." That in itself is enough to cause heartburn. Tony Roma's West End location is at 310 N. Market St. Call 214-748-6959. Check www.tonyromas.com for additional locations.
Friday, February 20
We thought we looked quite regal in our pink leotard, tutu and ballet shoes, but Grandpa used to tease us with the--to us--incredibly insulting title of "belly dancer." OK, so we were a bit, um, girth-y in our costume, but ballet is a serious art form. Then we got kicked out for our, uh, developing womanly figure. So we defected to the belly dance team where our attributes were appreciated. Take that, Balanchine. But we're not alone; belly dancing is one of the fastest-growing healthful activities for women. And a national tour arrives to show us at-home shimmy-ers how it's done. The Bellydance Superstars & The Desert Roses perform a combination of traditional Egyptian, tribal and cabaret-style dancing in a show organized by rock-band manager Miles Copeland that lasts two hours and features solo, duet and group performances. It takes place at 8 p.m. Friday at Gypsy Tea Room, 2548 Elm St. Tickets are $18 to $20 at 1-800-512-SHOW.
Saturday, February 21
The Who had the right idea with the lyrics "I hope I die before I get old." We'd like to add, "Unless we're so crazy we don't care anymore." But there seems to be a fine line between wacky, eccentric, charming, endearing crazy and straitjacket, men-in-white-coats, padded-room crazy. And sometimes that line is drawn by the people who will benefit most. Such is the quandary in Fey, a play given the staged-reading treatment by WingSpan Theatre Company this weekend. Two sisters must determine whether their mom's desire to be Queen of the Fairies "makes them fairy princesses or gives them power of attorney." The play by Dallas playwright Valerie Brogan is the follow-up collaboration to the Festival of Independent Theatres 2000's Only Me. The staged reading is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Both performances are pay-what-you-can and are followed by a discussion with the cast and crew. Call 972-504-6218.
Sunday, February 22
There's but one thing we want from the 10th Annual Ticketstock: Brenden Morrow. No, sorry, we mean to get inside the average passionate sports fan's mind and figure out how the yelling-at-a-bad-call kind of love turns into having-a-team-logo-tattooed-on-your-forearm obsession. And we figure the yearly get-together hosted by sports talk radio KTCK-AM 1310 "The Ticket" is the place to be. There are sports celebrities, music, the Ticketchicks, live radio broadcasts, trivia and more. Friday features midget wrestling and The Ticket Timewasters band. Saturday includes autograph sessions with Morrow, Antonio Bryant, Dan Campbell, Aaron Downey, the Mavs Dancers, the Stars Ice Girls, the Cowboys Cheerleaders and the Desperados Dancers. Sunday has autographs by Jim McMahon and Josh Howard, autographs and a performance by the Desperados Dancers, plus The Torture King. Happy 10th, guys. May the Ticketstock tradition continue until the anniversary year is older than the Ticketchicks. Ticketstock is 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Plano Centre, 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway. It's free, free, free. Visit the Web site at www.theticket.com.
Monday, February 23
Engineering is one of those careers that sounds cool when you're making a cabin out of Lincoln Logs or assembling a speedy race car with LEGOs. Then you realize skyscrapers and Ferraris don't come with the paper instructions and diagrams. But those who could handle the math and physics requirements it takes to make stuff will be sharing their excitement and knowledge with kids during National Engineering Week at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. From Monday through February 27, employees from Lockheed Martin and IBM will prove that not all artists work with clay and paint; some use gears and fiberglass. Activities are 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. daily at 1501 Montgomery St. Call 817-255-9300.
Tuesday, February 24
If you can't make it to New Orleans for a proper Fat Tuesday revelry, we suggest you head to Dick's Last Resort for its Mardi Gras Party, have a couple of hurricanes in those curvy souvenir glasses and forget you're not in the Big Easy. Well, at least, until you step outside and realize the parade's been canceled. Beginning at 5 p.m., Dick's will be handing out beads (no nudity obligations to fulfill) and offering a Fat Tuesday party with Bourbon Street dinner specials, live music by The Boogie Men and a costume contest for most risqué getup with a $500 prize. Dick's Last Resort is at the corner of Ross and Record streets in the West End. Call 214-747-0001.