Blue Ribbon Hubby

Contains: long-term weight gain, stuffing, and direct encouraging.

Hey y’all. It’s been a lot longer since I posted a story than I would like. In part, that’s because this story ended up longer than I expected, which is becoming the story of my life. In part, it’s because my former landlord sold the house I was living in and gave me two months to find a new apartment and move. I didn’t get a lot of writing done in that time. But now I’m in a better apartment, and the house is in the hands of someone who’s actually doing renovations instead of letting it fall into disrepair. Sometimes things work out.

This story was the product of Biggerisbest7 sending me this photo (I’m afraid I can’t find the original source), and imagining a story about two fat twins whose spouses have a rivalry about who can make their respective husband fatter. We brainstormed a lot from there, and the idea caught my imagination. Now, months later, the result is here. I hope you like it.

Synopsis: Fat twins Duke and Earl married their husbands, Dallas and Virgil, in the same wedding. Ever since having to share their big day, Dallas and Virgil have had a rivalry surrounding who can be the better husband, largely based on whose husband is fatter. After not seeing each other for a while, the couple agree to meet at a state fair, where they find Duke and Earl have grown to the same size. But Dallas and Virgil don’t despair for long, and resolve to see who can feed their husband more by the end of the day.


“It’s going to be so fun for our boys to see each other,” Dallas said. With his phone between his ear and his shoulder, his hands were free to chop vegetables for dinner for him and his husband Duke.

“Won’t it, though?” Virgil asked from the other end. “It’s been so long since they got to see each other, and we only live 45 minutes away.”

“Well, you know how things get busy.”

“Oh I do,” Virgil chuckled. “Why, keeping my Earl from going hungry is practically a full-time job. We’re so fortunate that he makes enough money that I only have to work mornings.”

“Well, we can’t all be so lucky. Not that luck had much to do with it,” Dallas added, his tone growing increasingly quiet and pointed.

“And just what do you mean by that?”

“Oh nothing. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that your daddy works for the firm Earl ended up at.”

“You can put that tone of yours right back in the same place you pulled that idea out of, sweetheart. My Earl earned every cent he has to his name.”

“Oh of course he did. Why, he works so hard, I bet he’s wasted away to practically nothing.”

“Maybe you ought to look a little closer to home if you’re so concerned about a man wasting away. With you and Duke so busy, I bet he’s only half the man you married.”

“Ha! My Duke could eat a man half the size he was when I married him.”

“Well my Earl could eat a man the full size of your Duke when you married him.”

“I suppose we’ll just have to see once the Big Fair comes into town. See who outsizes the other.”

“Should be easy enough. When they go in for that brotherly hug, I know my Earl is going to knock Duke down.”

“Last I checked, it’s hard for a weasel to knock down a stallion.”

Dallas heard a chuckle from the phone’s speaker, before Virgil replied in a hushed tone, “Bless your heart. Enjoy your gloating while you can.” After a sigh, Virgil continued, “So, how are you dressing Duke for the occasion?”

“Something simple. Wouldn’t want my poor hubby overheating in the summer sun. Just some jeans and a nice white polo shirt, along with his favorite Stetson.”

“White, huh? That is so interesting, because I’ll be dressing Earl in jeans and white button-down shirt. I’m sure he’ll want to wear his favorite Stetson too.”

“And when did you come up with that idea? Just now?” Dallas asked in an annoyed tone.

“Don’t act like you’re the first Southern belle to dress her husband in white, sweetheart. Not only will it keep him cool, but if black is slimming, then white ought to really accentuate how broad he is. There’s a reason we’ve been doing it for decades.”

“Whatever you say,” Dallas sighed. As he heard the door open, he concluded, “I better go so I can finish dinner. I’ll see you this Saturday.”

“Always a pleasure,” Virgil beamed with a phony enthusiasm he didn’t bother to make convincing.

Of Dallas’s two hands, the one that held the handle of the knife was cleaner. He reached up with that hand to take his phone, end the call, and put his phone in his pocket. “Tramp.”

“Who was that?” a comforting baritone, slightly out of breath, asked from the dining room. Looking around, Dallas saw Duke ambling toward him. His light blue polo hugged all the ample curves of his spherical belly, while his beard framed a smile that always made Dallas breathe a little easier.

“Don’t worry about it,” Dallas assured Duke. After putting his knife down, he hastily rinsed his hands in the sink before wrapping his arms around his husband’s shoulders. Leaning into Duke’s abundant girth, Dallas let out a quiet sigh as his arms wrapped more tightly around Duke. Duke’s belly was like a beanbag that Dallas could lie on face-down, letting go of all his cares, even if only for a moment. Granted, Duke’s belly wasn’t quite as big as a bean bag chair, but it was close. “Welcome home.”

“Thanks, Honey.” After giving Dallas a kiss, Duke pulled away and took a few sniffs. “Dinner smells great!”

“Just wait until you taste it,” Dallas boasted with a grin. “I’m making extra because I know you’ll want fourths.”

“You’re too good to me,” Duke chuckled.

Taking Duke by the hips, Dallas gently pulled himself closer until the two’s abdomens touched. “I think I’m exactly as good to you as you deserve,” Dallas said with another peck on the lips. Against Dallas’s slender, flat stomach, Duke’s impressive globe of flab looked even larger. He made a mental note to stand right beside Duke at the fair so Duke looked even fatter.

“Well, I try,” Duke said with a wide smile. “My baby deserves the best.”

“And I got just that,” Dallas replied with a grin. After giving Duke’s belly a few loving pats, he said, “Go ahead and slip into something more comfortable. Dinner will be ready soon.”

Even after six years of marriage, every time Dallas announced dinner would be ready soon, Duke smiled like a kid whose parents told him they were getting ice cream. And every time, that smile made Dallas feel like he was the luckiest man in the world.

Watching how Duke rushed to the bedroom to change for dinner, as fast as a man his size could rush, Dallas smiled as he saw Duke’s love-handles jiggle. With a smirk, he remembered Virgil’s braggadocio and chuckled. Earl loved food as much as his twin did, sure, but how could he have possibly grown as much as Duke had in their time together?

Dallas shook his head as he remembered the wedding, a double wedding between him and Duke, and Virgil and Earl. He supposed it made sense for Duke and Earl’s dad to wed his two sons with one ceremony. Weddings weren’t cheap, and he couldn’t begrudge the man for footing the bill. Yet he still couldn’t help but bring the knife down through a potato more forcefully as he thought about Virgil there on the altar with him, going fifty-fifty on what was supposed to be the best day of his life. Or on the dance floor with him, ruining the intimacy of their first dance with such unwelcome company.

The knife clanged on the cutting board. After seeing how close it had come to his finger, Dallas took a deep breath and tried to dwell on more positive memories from that day. Duke looked exquisite, dressed in a cream-colored suit and coordinated blue ties and boutonnière. It was the best Duke had dressed in the years that Dallas had known him, both before and since.

But Dallas would scarcely say it was the best his hubby had ever looked. Duke had been a man of ample stature for as long as Dallas had known him. But before they were wed, Duke was at most a man-and-a-half the man that Dallas was. Now Duke had grown into well over twice the man that Dallas was, a size that simply looked better no matter what he wore. Dallas didn’t know how much Duke weighed on his wedding day, nor how much he’d gained since then. Duke was as uninterested in stepping on a scale as he was in counting calories. But he did know that on their wedding day, Duke’s vest wrapped around a belly that was as broad as his shoulders, and stuck out a good few inches in front. Now his gut protruded at least a foot in front of him, and his belly had grown beyond the width of his shoulders, expanding to new girths with all of Dallas’s cooking and pampering.

Even on the night of their wedding, it was clear their marriage would be a fattening one for Duke. After their uncomfortably crowded first dance, Dallas led Duke to the head table and pulled his chair out for him. “You take a seat, honey. Take a load off after all that dancing. I’ll fill up your plate for you.”

“You stay right here, babe,” he heard Virgil say. “I’ll get us both our first course.”

With a snarl, Dallas headed for the food table, intent on getting there before that copycat could. With two plates in hand, he made his way down the line of serving platters. While filling his own plate, he piled Duke’s plate high with all of his hubby’s favorites: cornbread and maple butter, fried chicken thighs, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits and gravy, and a big piece of peach cobbler.

Turning around, Dallas felt his confident smile flatten when he saw Virgil already heading back to the head table, two plates in hand. That hussy had skipped dessert just to get back to his man sooner. With a huff, Dallas power-walked back to the head table, moving as quickly as he could without spilling the food.

Seeing Duke turn his head to face him, Dallas put on his best smile. Once he reached the table, he set the food down and said gently, “Eat up, dear. It’s your special day, after all.”

“Thanks, hun,” Duke said as he picked up his fork. “I love you.”

Things were mostly silent at the head table as the twins scarfed down their first courses. Dallas ate more slowly, looking out over the wedding parties as they took turns getting their first course, as well as gazing with lowered eyelids and a soft smile at his new husband. Unfortunately, looking to the side also meant sometimes making eye contact with Virgil, who seemed no happier about locking gazes than Dallas. After glaring at each other, the two would break their gaze and go back to watching their husbands eat.

Duke was the first to finish his plate, though Earl wasn’t far behind. “Delicious,” Duke said before lifting his napkin to wipe his lips.

“Good,” Dallas replied. “I’ll go get you some more.”

“Dallas,” Virgil called out after clearing his throat patronizingly. “Don’t you think it’s uncouth to get seconds before all the guests have had a chance to get firsts?”

“I think Dallas is onto something,” Earl chuckled. “If anyone can get seconds out of turn, it’s us grooms.” After eating the last bit of biscuit on his plate, he mumbled, “I think I’ll go get some more as well.”

“Oh, no!” Virgil blurted out as he shot up from his chair. “I’ll get you another plate.”

“Isn’t that ‘uncouth’ of you?” Dallas asked with a smirk.

After mouthing “whore,” Virgil answered out loud, “What my baby wants, my baby gets.”

Both men strode over to the food table to take their place in line behind a small group of guests. Both bore strained smiles to be polite to their guests, who turned around with a smile. “Congratulations,” one said.

“Thank you,” Virgil said, even though she was clearly talking primarily to Dallas.

“We couldn’t be happier,” Dallas chimed in, prompting Virgil to turn his head and give Dallas piercing eyes while still maintaining his trembling smile.

The memory got hazy from there. Dallas wasn’t sure how many plates he got for Duke that night, maybe 5, maybe 6. What was crystal clear was the image of Duke leaning back in his chair, breathing shallowly as he rubbed the sides of his well-fed belly. He’d pushed his chair back from the table, far enough to give his packed gut some space to expand into. As he reclined, his gut was quite happy to take up that space, swelling out like the incoming tide overtaking the beach. His labored breaths were music to Dallas’s ears, like the crash of the waves on a warm beach day. It was almost as perfect as a day at the beach. The only thing that could have made it just as perfect is if Duke could have taken his shirt off.

“Oh babe, I’m so full. You’re too good to me.”

The sound of Earl praising Virgil brought Dallas out of his mid-matrimony daydream and back down to the reality of sharing his wedding day with that harlot. No matter how attentive he’d been to his hubby, Virgil didn’t deserve such praise, and Dallas knew it. In hindsight, he was thankful that Duke had been too painfully full to notice Dallas staring daggers at Virgil and his shit-eating grin. It wouldn’t have been fair to leave Duke with such a bitter memory on his wedding day.

The sound of ponderous footsteps coming from the stairs snapped Dallas back to the present. He tossed the remaining vegetables into the frying pan and put his cutting board and knife into the sink. With nothing left to do but wait for things to cook, he turned around and watched Duke stride in wearing something much more comfortable.

Duke had shed his work clothes and was left only in his undergarments: a pair of white boxers covered in red hearts, and a white tank top that hadn’t fit him in at least two years. Whether it could serve the purpose of an undershirt was questionable, but to Dallas, it did a more than adequate job making Duke look irresistible. The shirt was small enough that several inches of Duke’s ample belly hung below the bottom hem, enough for his belly button to peek out and then some. His boxers fared only slightly better, hugging his waist as tightly as Dallas hugged Duke when they hadn’t seen each other in several days. Above his taut waistband, his love handles spilled out like the top of a corn muffin on its tray, making him look just as delicious. “Dinner ready?”

“Soon, dear,” Dallas assured him, smiling as he gazed at his well-fed hubby, “I hope you brought your appetite.”

Giving his gut some hearty pats, Duke assured Dallas, “I always do.”


Dallas could scarcely keep his eyes off Duke as he drove their Jeep down the rural road. There wasn’t much for him to have to watch out for, leaving him ample time to admire just how fat his husband looked in his company polo. Though Dallas would never admit it out loud, Virgil had a point that, if black is slimming, then white must make a guy look fatter. Not that Duke needed any assistance to look fat, but Dallas wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to make him look even fatter.

“You excited, dear?” Dallas asked.

“Boy am I! I can barely remember the last time I saw Earl. It’s going to be so good to catch up with him and Virg. How about you?”

“Oh I’m quite looking forward to it,” Dallas said, smiling as he looked down at Duke’s gut spreading out onto his thighs. He smiled wider when Duke took a long gulp from his travel mug, which Dallas had filled with coffee and lots of cream. “That coffee won’t be as hot when we’re done at the fair. You might as well finish it before we get there.”

“Good idea.” Duke took a long gulp of his coffee, before letting out a satisfied sigh. “I hope they have apple bobbing this year.”

“Oh, dear,” Dallas giggled, “I think you might be just a smidgen too wide to bend over and bob for an apple.”

“Oh I know,” Duke chuckled, before giving his belly a few gentle pats with his free hand. “But I know you like it.”

Dallas’s smile grew a good deal wider. It wasn’t just the big ways the Duke showed his love, but the little ways as well. Their love was stronger than the arm of someone who could hit the bell on a high striker. With a love so strong, and thus so fattening, he chuckled at the idea that Virgil could have grown Earl fatter than Duke in the time since they’d last seen each other. “That I do,” Dallas replied, to cover for his mischievous laugh.

“Oh, I think that’s it!” Duke exclaimed, pointing toward the fairgrounds.

“It is! Better finish your coffee, dear.”

With some audible chugging, Duke gulped down the last of his coffee, before letting the travel mug down with a sigh of satisfaction. “Ooof,” he said before gently patting the top of his belly. “How much cream did you put in that?”

“As much as I know my man likes,” Dallas answered furtively.

“Heh, guilty,” Duke admitted before giving his belly some heartier thumps.

Dallas followed the instructions of the fair volunteers, who guided him around the fairgrounds to the entrance of the parking lot. WIth some searching, he was able to find a spot fairly close to the fair itself, so Duke wouldn’t have to walk too far. “Nice find,” Duke complimented.

“Fortune favors the bold,” Dallas quipped with a satisfied smile. “Come on, let’s go find your brother.”

“And Virgil!” Duke added before opening the passenger side door.

“And Virgil,” Dallas echoed, a smirk spreading across his face as he imagined that tramp’s expression upon seeing just how fat Duke had gotten.

With a few grunts, Duke was able to slip out of the car and stand up tall. In his white polo shirt, his belly had the presence of a prize-winning pumpkin. With his sunglasses and hat, he was ready for a long day in the sun, and looking sharper than a cat’s claw to boot. He took a deep inhalation of the fresh, late-morning air. “Oh that breeze is nice,” he drawled. After pulling his phone out of his pocket, he remarked, “Earl says they just parked. Said meet them by the entrance.”

“Gladly.” After wrapping his arm around Duke’s elbow, Dallas took Duke’s hand in both of his. With Duke smiling back, Dallas walked the two of them to the fair’s entrance.

Dallas scanned the crowd for another hefty hubby dressed in white with some disreputable slime in tow. There were plenty of men with ample proportions waddling their way into the fairground, a smorgasbord of eye candy as varied and delicious as the offerings of the fair. But Dallas knew he’d brought the heartiest main course, and couldn’t wait to see Virgil utterly deflate upon realizing as much.

“Earl!”

“Duke!”

Dallas froze in place when he looked up and saw the source of the reply. The impressively fat man wore an outfit similar to Duke’s, with a button-down shirt replacing the polo, and had freed himself from the grasp of a jezebel whom Dallas could have recognized anywhere. But could it have been Earl? Earl hadn’t been nearly so big the last time Dallas had seen him. Yet now…

“Oh, it’s good to see you,” Duke exclaimed as the two collided into an excited hug. Their burly arms wrapped around the other and held on as firmly as they could, with their abundant midsections struggling for room in the space between them. They bounced off each other like balls in a play pen, but held on in their eager embrace. “Damn you’ve gotten fat!”

“Look who’s talking!” Earl chuckled. “You could give a blue ribbon hog some competition.”

“Don’t I know it,” Duke boasted while patting the side of his gut with both hands, the full-bodied sounds reverberating across the fairground entrance. After giving Earl’s gut a playful thump, he continued, “And with you here, it’s like looking in a mirror.”

“A funhouse mirror, at that,” Earl enthused.

“Heh, yeah, but we can’t blame warped glass for these guts,” Duke chuckled as he gave his belly a few more slaps. “I have only my husband’s cooking to blame for that.”

“You and me both,” Earl concurred, standing tall and proud as he patted his own belly. “You know, I thought I‘d gotten fat, but I’d say you’re just as fat as me!”

“Absolutely,” Duke exclaimed as he patted his brother’s belly. “After all this time, we’re still so alike. Dressing up the same.”

“Fattening up the same,” Earl interjected, causing both men to erupt into laughter.

While the two continued their boisterous reunion, Dallas and Virgil’s eyes turned toward each other. Virgil slinked toward Dallas as smoothly as the snake he was, eyelids lowered the whole time.

Dallas strode toward Virgil in turn until the two were standing adjacent to their abundant husbands, who had a monopoly on all the enthusiasm between the four of them. “Virgil.”

“Dallas.”

“It’s been so long.”

“Mercifully.”

After raising his eyebrows for a moment as brief as his spurts of likeability, Virgil continued, “I must admit, I think my husband is right about your Duke. It seems you’ve managed to keep him as well-fed as you claimed on the phone.”

“I don’t like to brag, but when the fruits of my labor can’t speak for themselves all I can do is tell you how comfortably he’s living.”

“Oh he looks quite comfortable. Just as comfortable as my Earl,” Virgil muttered as he looked back at the other two. Still going on about how fat they’d both gotten, they patted each other’s bellies in admiration and amazement. Virgil looked on with his eyelids lowered only a bit now, reflecting how Dallas felt about them too: pride in how well he’d taken care of his husband, mingling with disappointment that he hadn’t done better. “At least for now.”

“For now?” Dallas echoed curiously.

“There’s plenty of decadent, fattening foods to be found at the fair. I’m sure both our husbands could tear a swath through them wider than the Mississippi,” he stated, his head turned to look at the fairground entrance. Turning his eyes to Dallas, he asked, “But whose will be wider by the end of the day?”, his mouth curling into a smirk.

Dallas couldn’t help but let his own lips curl up as well. “Who will be wider by the end of the day?”

“Of course,” Virgil added, placing his fingertips on his chest, “it’ll be my husband.”

“Oh I’m sure Earl will eat a lot today. But he can’t eat those words for you. You’ll have to do that.”

“Come now, we’re wasting time bickering that could instead be spent making sure our husbands have enough to eat.”

“For once, you’re right,” Dallas concurred, before taking Duke’s arm back in his. “Duke, sweetheart, why don’t we carry on with this conversation in the fair.”

“Oh, sure!” Duke enthused, removing his other arm’s hand from Earl’s gut. Virgil took Earl’s arm in his own, unimaginative floozy that he was, and the four walked into the fairgrounds together.

The crowds had already come out in throngs for the fair, making for a sea of people standing between the four and the event. But with two giants like Duke and Earl in the group’s midst, the crowd parted for them like a puddle splashing out from under the tire of a pick-up truck. The group certainly wouldn’t outrun those walking past them to enter the fair, but those who were leaving gave them plenty of room to get by.

“Oh look, Produce Improved!” Virgil shouted out. “I know you love their fried corn, hun. Why, he could eat it all day without breaking a sweat.”

“Sure could,” Earl boasted, getting one belly pat in before Virgil swept him away.

Dallas followed close behind with Duke in tow. “Come on, babe,” Dallas beckoned. “I bet they’ll have something you love too.” Upon pushing his way to the stall, Dallas took a quick glance at the menu, and all its various decadent and sinful takes on usually healthy fruits and vegetables. He quickly decided on his order: “Two double-dipped caramel apples, please,” Dallas told the woman managing the stall, before handing her his credit card.

“Aww, one for each of us!” Duke beamed.

“No, silly,” Dallas chuckled, placing one of his hands on Duke’s sturdy chest, while the other picked up and raised Duke’s wrist, bringing up his hand as well. “One for each hand.”

“Oh. Aren’t you going to get anything for yourself?” Duke asked.

“Don’t worry about me, sweety,” Dallas assured Duke in a voice as sweet and smooth as the caramel itself. Taking his card back, he continued, “Just enjoy your day.”

“Two double-dipped caramel apples!”

With a smile, Dallas took the treats in hand. “Thank you,” he effused, before turning around to give the decadent desserts to Duke. “It’s not every day you get to enjoy a caramel apple, or…” With a pause, Dallas glanced sideways to Earl and Virgil. Virgil was passing three cobs of fried corn to Earl with far too much enthusiasm, after which Earl started digging in. “Or fried corn.” Curling his frown back into a smile, Dallas looked back to Duke and continued. “Take advantage, dear. Eat as much as you can.”

Duke’s blank expression persisted a split-second longer. “Okay!” With a smile, Duke took a bite out of one of the caramel apples, allowing Dallas to see that the outer layer of caramel was as thick as the stick that held the apple aloft. Dallas smiled upon seeing just how decadent the treat would be. “Come on,” he said more loudly, loud enough for Virgil and Earl to hear. “Let’s not stay here too long. Wouldn’t want to be in anyone’s way.”

“Dallas is right,” Earl agreed, allowing Dallas to delight in the grimace on that chippie’s face as his husband uttered that sentence. Taking another bite from his ample basket of fried corn, Earl added, “Let’s keep it moving.”

In the meantime, Duke chowed down on the caramel apples, seemingly not getting much apple in his bites. Not that Dallas minded, as long as Duke ate all that rich, gooey caramel. The apples would have just filled him up without giving him many calories, anyway.

The four made their way around the state fair, with Duke and Earl catching up with each other in muffled and garbled words through their respective dishes. Virgil had seemingly opted to not get any food for himself, instead doting on Earl as he ate. With a scowl, Dallas wrapped his arm around Duke’s. “Enjoying yourself, dear?”

“Oh yeah,” Duke mumbled through his treat. “I’m spending the day with three of my favorite people,” he said, causing Dallas to pout as that harlot was included in that category, “And this is delicious,” he added, before taking another bite.

“Good,” Dallas cooed, smiling until he saw that Earl had nearly finished his fried corn. “Oh won’t you finish those soon, dear? There’s so much food to enjoy and so little time!”

“What do you mean?” Duke mumbled through his full mouth. “We have all day.”

“Right, just the one day. We gotta make it count.”

After a pause, Duke shrugged, before taking a large bite out of his second apple. He munched like the world depended on him finishing it as quickly as possible, before taking another hefty bite. In only a few more bites, along with some enthusiastic chewing, the apple was gone, reduced to a core on a stick. “What’s next?”

With a grin, Dallas answered, “I think they’re selling chocolate covered bacon over there.”

“Oooh!” Duke didn’t have to be led by Dallas that time, striding ahead to the confectioner’s stall as fast as his tree trunk legs would carry him. With his arms swinging hastily at his sides, he trod across the fairgrounds, moving like a boulder rolling down a hill. In spite of how fat he was, Duke could move at an impressive pace once he got going. It was all his inertia, he joked. And the imposing gut he carried with him ensured no one stood in his way if he was approaching them.

Duke’s eagerness made Dallas smile, knowing he wouldn’t have to try very hard to fill his hubby up. He took his time catching up, watching Duke place his order with a huge grin plastered on his face. It was a grin he was happy to flash Virgil, who’d been left behind along with Earl when Duke ran off.

“Oh Earl, I think they’re selling corn dogs at the stall next to that one,” Virgil enthused, and the two strode past Dallas to catch up. It seemed Virgil was the one deciding how fast they moved, but Earl didn’t seem to mind when corn dogs were their destination.

By the time Dallas was back at Duke’s side, he’d been given a red solo cup with about ten pieces of chocolate covered bacon inside. “Can you believe this is the large?” Duke asked

“Get two,” Dallas suggested coyly.

After smiling and pointing a finger at Dallas, Duke did as directed, ordering a second cup of the chocolate-coated treat that was ready by the time he was four pieces into his first. “Great, thank you,” he said, putting the cup between his arm and chest so he could put all his bacon into it. By the time he was done, the cup was like an overfilled bouquet of flowers, all pushing out for space, and even more short-lived. Just as Dallas could kill a cactus with his forgetful neglect, never mind a bouquet of delicate flowers, Duke made similarly short work of the chocolate covered bacon.

The group continued their walk, with Earl snacking on three corndogs. Following behind Dallas, Duke munched on the chocolate bacon loudly enough for Dallas to hear him plowing through it. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before Dallas heard the sound of a cup tossed into a garbage can, where it bounced off the metal side before settling in with the other refuse.

After letting out a short belch, Duke made a contented “Mmm” sound and patted the side of his gut. “What’s next, babe?”

“I see some cheese on a stick here,” Dallas replied, pointing to a stand just ahead of them. Again, he gave Virgil a stare and a grin, as Virgil glared back. Earl was still finishing the final corn dog, and it seemed Virgil knew he was falling behind.

“Don’t mind if I do.” With thudding steps, Duke ambled ahead of Dallas, causing the crowd to part like a school of fish avoiding a shark. Dallas was quick to follow behind Duke, as he knew the crowd would not afford him such room to move.

Once Duke reached the stand–Chase’s Cheeses–he quickly went up to the person in front and said, “Two cheeses on sticks, please.”

“Make that four,” Dallas blurted out as he caught up to Duke. “He’s not paying, anyway,” Dallas continued as he handed his card to the stand’s cashier.

“You sure?” Duke asked.

“Yes I’m sure,” Dallas cooed. “You’re always so good to me, babe. Let me return the favor.”

Looking from Dallas to the cashier, Duke corrected, “Four cheeses on sticks, please.”

With a neutral face, the cashier took Dallas’s card, swiping it through her phone’s reader attachment and handing it back. “We’ll have those out for you shortly,” she said flatly.

“Thank you,” Dallas and Duke said in unison, before looking at each other with squinting eyes and warm smiles. The two held each other close, Duke’s hands on Dallas’s shoulders, Dallas’s hands on the side of Duke’s belly.

“Man, they have so much amazing food here,” Earl shouted out, interrupting their moment. Dallas looked up to see Virgil and Earl making their way through the crowd, and struggled to maintain his smile. It was hard to not notice how the fairgoers separated to let Earl pass, as they did with Duke. Though Dallas wanted to tell himself they made more room for Duke, he couldn’t help but be convinced they were making more room for Earl.

Seeing a paper tray with several cinnamon rolls in one of Earl’s hands, and a half-eaten cinnamon roll in the other, didn’t help quell Dallas’s nerves. It seemed he’d made short work of the corndog, and Virgil had already gotten him something to fill the space. Earl’s mouth bore the crumbs of pastry and traces of icing of someone who’d made very short work of the initial cinnamon roll.

“Don’t they, though?” Duke concurred. “Between the two of us, I bet we could sample one of everything.”

“Ha! I like the way you think,” Earl replied. “I can’t wait to get my fill of it.”

“And it’s going to be a big fill,” Virgil added, arm in arm with his husband with a cocky grin that Dallas wanted to wipe right off his face, ideally with a Brillo pad.

“Here you go,” the cashier said, nearly causing Dallas to jump. She held one stick each in the gaps between her fingers, upright and fanned out like a peacock’s feathers.

“Thank you!” Duke enthused as he took two of the sticks in each hand. Taking a bite out of two of them at once, he turned to Dallas and said, “Thank you, babe,” his words garbled by fried cheese. “You sure you don’t want something?”

“I’ll get something when I want something,” Dallas assured him, peering over his shoulder in time to see Virgil lean in and give Earl a kiss on the cheek. Earl smiled and gave an air kiss in return, for his lips were covered in icing and cinnamon butter. Looking back, Virgil made eye contact with Dallas and smirked, leaning in to give Earl a hug.

“Harlot.”

“Hmm?” Earl asked.

“Nothing, babe. Come on, let’s see what else the fair has to offer.”

The four kept walking as Duke made short work of the cheeses on sticks, while Earl made his cinnamon buns disappear just as quickly. One by one, the cheeses were reduced to wood with nary an edible morsel left. While Dallas was looking for more of his husband’s favorites, Duke called out, “Hey look, a petting zoo! That looks fun!”

Looking to the side, Dallas saw that Earl was holding an empty plate, and seemed much more interested in more food. Neck-in-neck as the two were, he couldn’t risk Virgil getting the lead. “Mmm, the line looks kinda long,” Dallas said of the two families waiting to get in. “Besides, they have funnel cakes over here.”

After peering a while longer at the animals, Duke said “Okay,” and followed Dallas to the funnel cake stand. Dallas rushed ahead to put in a big order, while Duke ambled behind him. His arms swung widely in a vain attempt to keep up with Dallas, who reached the funnel cake stand while Duke was only halfway there.

“Hi, three funnel cakes with cinnamon sugar and chocolate syrup, please,” Dallas said softly. “And extra napkins.”

“Name for the order?”

“Dallas.”

“My, my, someone’s in a rush,” Virgil commented once he arrived. “Afraid of losing are we? Don’t you think you should let your husband enjoy the petting zoo his heart is so set on?”

“Can it, tramp.”

“I’m sorry?” Virgil exclaimed as he tilted his head to the side, his smile disappearing in an instant.

“Apology accepted,” Dallas said as he turned back to the stand to take his card.

With their cheeks flush and his breathing audible, Duke and Earl caught up to the other two, “You two gotta stop running off like that,” Earl panted.

Still breathing heavily, Duke ambled up to Dallas and asked, “What did you get, babe.”

“Your favorite,” Dallas beamed. “Cinnamon sugar and chocolate syrup.”

“Mmm, you know me well,” Duke said, leaning in to give Dallas a kiss on the cheek. Dallas embraced Duke and returned the gesture, all while grinning with satisfaction. He softened his smile to a loving one before pulling back to look at Duke, their eyes meeting and their smiles matching.

To his side, Dallas could hear Virgil say somewhat hurriedly, “Oh, poutine! I know you love that, babe.” Before Earl could answer, Virgil had already started ordering.

“Order for Dallas!” the man called out, carrying three plates with a funnel cake each.

“Oh, you got some for yourself!” Duke enthused.

Without uttering a word, Dallas smirked as he took the funnel cakes one at a time. He piled the second and third on top of the first, before tossing their paper plates in a nearby trash can. With three funnel cakes piled high, Dallas passed the plate to Duke and said, “Not this time, dear.”

“You got all these for me?”

“Of course!” Dallas sang as he leaned into Duke’s ample gut, bringing the funnel cakes close to Duke’s nose. If he could smell them, Dallas reasoned there was no way he’d be able to resist eating them.

“Aww, babe. I feel bad eating all this food while you don’t have anything,” Duke moaned, before a quick burp leapt from his lips.

“I told you, dear, don’t worry about me. I’m fully capable of making sure I don’t go hungry. You, on the other hand,” he countered, leaning closer to Duke and feeling the dense mass of Duke’s belly pushing back against him. “Why, you look simply famished. And we can’t have that, can we?”

Nudging the funnel cakes closer to Duke’s nose seemed to do the trick. Without another word of dissent, Duke took the overloaded plate in his hands and proceeded to wolf down its contents. With a smile, Dallas took Duke’s elbow in his hand and led him back to Virgil and Earl. Earl was eating his way through a large order of poutine, the thick-cut fries serving as ample vessels of the gravy and cheese curds. His smile fading, Dallas looked back to make sure Duke was eating just as enthusiastically as Earl. He grinned again when he saw that his hubby was more than adequately holding his own, funneling down the funnel cakes with gusto. “Alright, now let’s go to the petting zoo,” Duke said.

“They have a petting zoo?” Earl exclaimed. “How did I miss that?”

“Because you were too focused on food,” Duke teased.

“You’re one to talk,” Earl chuckled. “Anyway, yeah, let’s go!”

“Erm, you boys go ahead,” Virgil stammered. “I’m going to walk around a bit. I’ll meet you back here.”

“Me too,” Dallas chimed in, not sure what Virgil had planned, but very sure that he wasn’t going to let that tart get away with gaining the lead.

While the twins ambled off to see the animals, Virgil made his way deeper into the fair. Keeping a close eye on him, Dallas followed, knowing that bawd had something up his sleeves and intent on finding out what it was. Navigating the crowds without two walking land masses to part the sea of people proved a fair bit tougher, and Dallas lost sight of Virgil several times as he tried to keep pace. But he always managed to find him again. Virgil’s sequined top, an appropriate item for someone like him who always had to be the center of attention, proved quite easy to spot in the crowd.

Dallas kept up the chase until Virgil stopped at a sausage stand, an excited look on his face. He ordered two Italian sausage subs, before stepping aside to wait for his order.

He can’t eat both of those on his own, Dallas thought, before his eyebrows rose with realization. They’re for Earl! He’s going to get Earl eating again as soon as he gets out of the petting zoo!

Without wasting another second, Dallas turned back toward the petting zoo and made his way back as quickly as he could. The crowd felt like an obstacle course, as all the fair-goers barely moved from their paths as they saw him approaching. Diving and weaving his way through the crowd, Dallas forged a meandering path reminiscent of the funnel cakes themselves. Soon the petting zoo was in sight, and Virgil was not, letting Dallas know that he’d beaten him back.

But he still needed something to give Duke. He scanned the food stands around him, trying to scope out something that Duke would love, and that would also be sufficiently filling. After some frantic searching, he spotted a stall selling blooming onions, and ordered two.

By the time Virgil emerged from the crowd like a disco ball on wheels, Dallas had the blooming onions in hand, and was ready to make sure Duke didn’t get outpaced. “Blooming onions?” Virgil asked.

“Of course. They’re one of Duke’s favorites.”

“I’m not sure finger food is going to give you a leg up at this point, dear.”

“Feed them what they like and they’ll eat it up. You’d know that if you knew anything about being a good husband.”

“Why you sorry–”

“Oh look! They’re coming this way.”

Indeed, Duke and Earl were making their way out of the exit gate from the animal enclosure, like two walruses escaping an aquarium. Side by side, the two sauntered through, their strides clearly compromised by how much they’d eaten. “I told you that would be worth it,” Duke assured Earl.

“I guess. I mean, I get why we can’t bring food in with us. But eating it all at the entryway?”

“You know our husbands would kill us if we wasted food,” Duke reminded Earl, before letting out a burp that prompted him to pat his protruding gut. “Besides, you must have enjoyed the poutine, given how quickly you scarfed it down.”

“You’re one to talk,” Earl chuckled as he patted the side of Duke’s ample belly. “You made such short work of those funnel cakes, they might as well have been cookies.”

“Maybe so, but they don’t feel like cookies,” Duke admitted with a pained chuckle. As he patted the side of his gut, he groaned before continuing, “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty full.”

“You do know about me, then,” Earl told him, patting the side of his own belly and letting out some amused groans. “Those boys sure know how to keep us well fed.”

“No wonder we’ve gotten so fat,” Duke laughed, giving Earl’s belly a few good-natured pats.

“Oof, gentle, ye idjit.”

“Heh, sorry. Maybe now would be a good time to take a brea–”

“Oh boys!” Virgil called out, excitedly carrying the sausage subs to Earl. “Did you have a good time?”

“Yeah, we–”

“Good! Now, you must be so hungry after all that walking and bending down to pet the animals,” Virgil doted, leaning close Earl. “Luckily for you, I brought you something to satisfy that hunger.”

“Oh, thanks dear,” Earl replied, taking a sausage sub with some visible trepidation.

Virgil placed the other sub in Earl’s other hand. “Enjoy,” he cooed, before flashing Dallas a grin.

After rolling his eyes, Dallas walked up to Duke. “Did you enjoy the zoo, dear?”

“Oh yeah! I got to pet a pig!”

Dallas smiled as he placed a hand on Duke’s belly, giving it a gentle rub as he thought about how he got the same privilege. “Well, while you were gone, I got you one of your favorites.”

“A blooming onion! I was hoping that was for me!”

“With extra sauce, just how I know you like it.”

“Aw, babe!” After giving Dallas a kiss, Duke took the treat in hand and picked off several pieces to dip in the sauce. After tossing them in his mouth, he let out a pleased “Mmmm,” and said, “That hits the spot.”

“I thought you said you were getting full,” Earl chuckled.

“I always have room for a blooming onion,” Duke retorted, loading a few more pieces of the thing with sauce before he shoved them in his mouth.

Dallas looked proudly at Duke, before looking aside and lowering his eyelids to give Virgil a smug grin. After frowning back at Dallas, Virgil turned to Earl and said, “Well, better make likewise. We wouldn’t want those subs going to waste, now would we?”

“Maybe we could share them,” Earl offered.

“You know I don’t like subs, silly,” Virgil giggled.

“I’ll take a sub off your hands,” Duke offered.

“Oh thanks!”

As Earl passed one of the subs to Duke, who took it in his free hand while holding the blooming onion in his other, Dallas savored Virgil’s wide eyes and flaring nostrils. Virgil could only watch in despair as his husband passed one of the subs to Dallas’s hubby, who took a big bite out of the sandwich. Meanwhile, Dallas leaned on Duke and took the blooming onion in hand. “Here, babe. Allow me.” As Duke was finishing a bite of the sandwich, Dallas took a few pieces of the onion, dipped them in sauce, and fed them to his husband.

“You’re too good to me,” Duke mumbled through a mouthful of onion and sauce.

“Oh hush, you,” Dallas teased. “We’ve been over this. Now less objecting and more eating.”

After taking another bite out of his sub, Duke garbled, “Can’t say no to that.”

The group kept walking through the fair, moving at a slower clip with the two heavyweights hampered by their swelling stomachs. It worked out for Dallas, who would have likely spilled the sauce on Duke’s shirt if they were walking faster. The way Duke’s gut jutted out was quite distracting in its own right, and he was happy to stroll along slowly so he could stare at the bulging mass.

Looking over at Earl and Virgil, Dallas felt a little nervous as he saw that Earl had seemingly found a second wind, and was eating the sub at a respectable pace for how full he was. He felt more encouraged when he saw Virgil’s despondence, seemingly disappointed his husband would only eat half as many subs as he had planned. For now, things seemed to be going Dallas’s way.

As the two finished their subs, with Duke also finishing his blooming onion, the group approached a stand that sold deep-fried candies. “Oh look, fried Oreos,” Dallas said as he pointed to the signs displaying the available treats. “Your favorite.”

“Heh, I certainly do like those,” Duke said. “But I don’t know if I have room for them.”

“Your loss,” Earl chimed in as he approached the stand. Though he plodded along with a gait that indicated his swollen belly was heavier than he was used to, he made his way determinedly to the fried food stand. His burly arms swung side to side with gusto, helping him maneuver all his heft forward. After some encumbered walking, he reached the counter. Through panting breath, he asked, “Three deep-fried Snickers, please.”

“You got it, big guy,” the man behind the counter replied.

With his nostrils flaring, Dallas covered the distance to the counter in a much shorter span of time. As soon as the man returned with Earl’s Snickers, Dallas ordered, “A half dozen deep fried Oreos.”

“Sure thing,” the man said.

While waiting for his order, Dallas snuck some glances at Earl. He sauntered his way back to the group just as patiently as he’d left. But he wasted no time in picking up one of the Snickers by the stick and taking a bite. Looking back again, he saw Virgil beaming at Earl, giving him a kiss on the cheek once he finally ambled his way over. That tart’s smile was all the more insidious when he looked back at Dallas, who resumed watching for when his order would be ready, not wanting to give Virgil the satisfaction of making eye contact.

“Deep fried Oreos,” the man said as he handed Dallas his order.

“Thank you,” Dallas shot off before quickly shuffling back to Duke, not wanting to drop the Oreos but knowing time was off the essence. “Here hun,” Dallas asserted. “Wouldn’t want you to miss out on your favorite, would we?”

“Well,” Duke stalled, looking down at the Oreos and up at Dallas, who flashed his widest smile and most adoring eyes. “Alright,” Duke chuckled, prompting Dallas to immediately feed him one of the Oreos before he could take it for himself.

Dallas kept the Oreos coming as the group wandered the fairground some more. Both Duke and Earl were ambling along at a pace that left many of the fairgoers walking around them. Though no one dared to challenge them, their glacial speed meant plenty of fairgoers passed by as Duke and Earl added to the mound of food in their stomachs. Some even slowed down and stared, seemingly astounded at the lumbering giant men still packing in more food.

Dallas smiled as he saw all the people staring. He was quite proud of just how much he’d swelled Duke up while they’d been moseying around the fair. His already impressive gut had expanded to gigantic proportions, jutting out in front of him like it needed to be the center of attention. As stuffed as it was, it barely bounced as he hauled it around from stand to stand, bringing it to its next course.

After some labored eating, both men managed to finish their respective dough-encased candies, licking their fingers and moaning with satisfaction. “Boy, that sure was good. But I’m stuffed,” Earl complained.

“Me too,” Duke said. “Maybe it’s time we call it a–”

“Oooh, deep-fried peanut butter cups!” Dallas shouted out. “I know you love those, dear.” Turning to Virgil, he continued, “Why, he could get a whole order of them down right now.”

“I can?”

Before Duke could finish his question, Dallas had bolted to the stand and ordered a large order of the decadent treats. Looking back, he saw Virgil rush for the closest stand, one selling fried dough in various forms. Dallas smirked; Virgil was getting desperate. Why else would he have bolted to the nearest stand, rather than taking the time to pick out something Earl liked? That harlequin was falling behind, and he knew it. All Dallas had to do now was keep it that way.

“PB cups.”

“Thank you,” Dallas blurted out, before rushing back to Duke with his treat. Behind their boys, he could see Virgil rushing back with two elephant ears stacked on top of each other on the same plate. Virgil may have returned to his husband sooner than Dallas did, but Dallas knew he’d get more calories into his husband than Virgil would.

“Open up, dear,” Virgil’s shaky voice said in his best feigned affectionate tone, before shoving an elephant ear into Earl’s mouth.

Taking a cue from the doxy, Dallas said, “Here, dear. Enjoy.” Before Duke could speak a word of objection, Dallas pushed a whole fried peanut butter cup into his mouth. Duke’s cheeks puffed up in surprise, but after biting into it, he seemed quite happy to eat. Upon finishing the first cup, he happily opened his mouth and let out a sigh, before Dallas shoved the next cup in. Whatever stupor had taken over Duke seemed to give him free reign to keep wolfing down the fried peanut butter cups as Dallas kept them coming. Though he chewed as slowly as he’d walked, he was getting the luscious calorie bombs down. Standing in place without a care in the world, he savored every one.

The group stood in place while Dallas and Virgil both fed their men their respective dishes. Based on the grunts and muffled groans, Earl seemed to be struggling more with his. But Virgil kept the fried dough coming, shoving it into Earl’s mouth without even breaking it into pieces. But Earl did his best to keep up, not denying a single bite as Virgil kept pushing it in.

Both brothers managed to finish their treats around the same time, letting out lengthy groans as they reckoned with all of the food that had been shoved into their stomachs. Leaning back, they gave their guts ample room to spread and swell, as all that food settled in. With eyelids half closed and mouths half-opened, they looked more ready to take a nap than enjoy a day at the fair.

“Come on, babe,” Dallas said before slipping his arm behind Duke’s back. Virgil did likewise, not asking first, though Earl didn’t protest. With the help of their respective husbands, the bulging brothers were able to get moving with a slow, lumbering pace. As slow as their steps were, they were also a lot shorter than the brothers’ usual gait. It seemed to be taking Duke and Earl most of their energy just to stay awake and upright. Wherever they ended up next, Dallas thought, they wouldn’t be getting there quickly.

Where they ended up was a stand emitting a noticeable amount of smoke. “Turkey legs!” Virgil called out. “You wouldn’t want to miss out on those, would you, dear?”

“I wouldn’t?”

“No,” Virgil answered sternly, before leaving Earl behind to go to the stand.

Dallas watched the strumpet power walk off to get more food, staring for a few moments before turning to Duke. “You want a deep fried burger?”

Duke stared off into the distance blankly, as if he hadn’t heard Dallas’s question. But Dallas knew his man well enough to know that, after a vacant blink, would come his answer: “Yeah.”

With a smile, Dallas headed to a nearby stall advertising the preposterous meal. Before long, he had the dough-encased burger in hand, wrapped in a sheet of paper that wasn’t doing much to keep the grease from seeping through to his fingers. After taking a few napkins, he strolled back to Duke, just as Virgil was rushing back with his turkey legs. “Here hun, eat up!” the tramp enthused, shoving the turkey leg into Earl’s mouth before he could object.

Dallas shook his head side to side before he reached his hubby. With a smile, he said in a soft voice, “Here, dear. Don’t eat it too fast. We wouldn’t want you getting a stomach ache.”

“I’ll do my best,” Duke mumbled, his words made a mess by food coma like the grease had made a mess of Dallas’s hands. After passing Duke the deep fried burger, Dallas took the napkins and wiped his hands, before tossing them in a garbage bin.

“Isn’t it delicious?” Virgil asked desperately. Earl’s answer was too muffled by turkey meat to be made out.

After Duke finished chewing his first bite, he let out a lengthy “Mmm” sound, before taking another bite. Dallas smiled knowing his man didn’t have to be forced to keep eating. Not that Earl seemed to mind the attention, or Virgil keeping the food coming for him. But Dallas knew he wouldn’t still be eating if that hussy wasn’t pushing the food in. Duke, on the other hand, could keep the food coming on his own. Dallas just hoped that would translate to him looking fatter by the end of the day.

Around the time Duke finished his deep fried burger, Earl had stripped the second turkey leg clean of its meat. Dallas took the wrapper from Duke to toss it in the trash, while Virgil did the same with the bones. After licking his own fingers clean, like the messy drab he was, he wrapped Earl in his embrace and gently rubbed the top of his belly, where his stomach was jutting out like a pick-up truck that couldn’t fit in a parking spot. “How do you feel babe.”

“Full…” Earl drawled. With gasping breath, he continued, “I didn’t… know I could eat that much.”

“What body have you been living in?” Duke chuckled with labored breath.

“One just as big as yours, tubby,” Earl teased.

As Dallas rubbed Duke’s gut, he looked down with pursed lips. Though Dallas didn’t want to admit it, the twins had indeed swelled up a seemingly identical amount. Both were clearly more bulbous than they’d been when they walked into the fair, their bellies like boulders they struggled to carry in front of them. But neither could lay claim to the bigger boulder, and thus neither he nor Virgil could lay claim to the bigger brother.

“Hey, look at that!” Virgil called out. Following where Virgil’s finger pointed, Dallas saw a poster that read, “Deep-Fried Butter Eating Contest, 3:00 PM.” Behind that poster were rows upon rows of folding chairs, and a stage with a table set up for the contest. Looking at his phone, Dallas saw that it was 2:38. “Why I bet you could win that in your sleep,” Virgil said to Earl, before gently patting his crammed gut.

“No way, Duke would take home the trophy for sure,” Dallas asserted.

“Uh,” Earl chimed in. “I think I’m too full to have any chance of winning that thing.”

“Nonsense,” Virgil cooed, stroking his chest and the top of his belly in an up-and-down motion. “The butter will just melt around everything.”

“Makes sense to me,” Duke chimed in.

Though it pained Dallas to see Duke agree with that floozy, he smiled upon seeing that Duke seemed to have more wind under his wings than Earl. “There’s only one way to find out, isn’t there?” he asked proudly. With a smirk, Virgil nodded.

Dallas took Duke’s arm over his shoulders, moving him slowly to avoid upsetting his incredibly full stomach. Earl and Virgil followed behind, with Virgil helping to push Earl along, moving his massive frame forward so they stood a chance of making it to the eating contest before it started.

The fairgoers were already gathering in the seats set up for the contest. A solid chunk of seats near the front and center were packed full already, with even the back starting to fill. As the four continued their plodding trip down the sides of the seating area, they spotted someone standing by the stage who looked like she might be in charge, holding a clipboard and giving orders to other fair workers. Once they were finally within hollering range, Virgil called out, “Excuse me! We’d like to register for the eating contest.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, honey,” she replied. “We don’t have enough space on stage for four more contestants.”

“Oh, it’s not all of us,” Dallas chimed in. “Just our two husbands here.”

Looking up at the twins’ dazed faces, the woman asked, “The big fellas?”

“Yes,” Virgil answered.

Raising her eyebrows, the woman muttered to herself, “That could be quite the show.” Speaking more loudly, she continued, “Alright, gentlemen, what are your names?”

“Duke Harding, ma’am.”

“Earl Harding, ma’am.”

The woman nodded as she wrote the names down. “Alright, Duke and Earl. Welcome to the show. Now, the contestants are already gathered behind the stage, so we better get you there too.” After beckoning the two to start waddling their way around the stage, she turned to Dallas and Virgil. “You two can take a seat in the audience.”

As the woman turned to rush Duke and Earl along, neither of them moving at a pace that satisfied her, Dallas and Virgil walked back to the folding chairs. “Shall we sit together?” Virgil asked.

“Why would I ever spend any more time with you than I have to?”

“Sorry for asking.”

The two parted ways by the front row, with Virgil walking up the near edge of the seating area while Dallas made his way to the other side. After finding a seat close enough to the stage that he would still be able to see, Dallas sat down, wearing a confident smile as he waited for the show to begin. The few remaining seats were filled around 2:50, leaving even more spectators standing in the aisles.

A few minutes past 3:00 PM, the woman with the clipboard walked up on stage. “Good afternoon, everyone!” she cheered, “My name is Casey Jewel, and welcome to the annual Big Fair deep-fried butter eating contest!”

Cheers erupted from the oversized crowd. Dallas flinched at the sudden noise, before settling back down in his seat, smirking as he thought about the victory that was soon to come his way.

“Thank you, thank you everyone. We have eight folks backstage right now, ready to show you just how much they can eat, so let’s not waste any more time. Please give a warm round of applause to our contestants: Andrew Xing! Polly Bates! Mason Rodriguez! Earl Harding! Duke Harding! Betsy Abernathy! Izaak Goodwin! And Leo Karim!”

Though Dallas couldn’t help but frown at Duke being introduced after Earl, he did smile as he saw his husband waddle to his well-deserved seat that was as close to the center of the table as it could get. It seemed he wasn’t alone in his enthusiasm: the crowd’s cheers grew louder as the two mammoth men ambled their way to the center of the stage. While the various other contestants looked like they could hold their own, Duke and Earl looked like they could wipe the floor with everyone else on that stage, and then eat them. Dallas smiled as he looked forward to Duke doing exactly that.

The crowd continued their enthusiastic cheers as all the contestants took their seats. Most of them waved back with toothy grins, excited to be part of such a proud tradition. Duke and Earl, meanwhile, wavered back and forth in their seats, eyes half-open as they smiled and nodded at the recognition. It was clear they weren’t entering the competition on an empty stomach, but Dallas was confident that wouldn’t hold Duke back.

“That’s a Big Fair welcome if I’ve ever seen one!” Casey enthused. “Now, let’s show some of that love to ‘Don’t Have a Cow, Man’ Dairy, who graciously provided all the butter our contestants will be eating!”

More cheers erupted from the crowd, while Dallas looked on with a smile at Duke. Duke’s eyes seemed to wander listlessly across the crowd, but when the two made eye contact, he smiled and gave Dallas a thumbs up. Dallas made a heart with his hands in return, and raised it above the crowd.

“Alright, now, I’m sure most of us are familiar with the rules, but if it’s your first time here: welcome! All of our contestants will be brought out trays of deep fried pats of butter, all the easier for them to scarf down than a whole stick. Whoever eats the most of them before giving up, wins! Simple enough, right?” Casey asked, getting some laughs out of the audience. “Now let’s Bring! Out! The Butter!”

The crowd chanting along with Casey made Dallas jump again, but he was quick to resume smiling as he saw the platters of deep-fried butter being brought on stage. Each one must have had fifty of the little grease bombs. It might not have been as visually impressive as a stack of hot dogs or hamburgers, but it would certainly get the job done in terms of proving who amongst their husbands could eat more.

“Contestants, I sure hope you wore your eating pants,” Casey said, getting the audience to laugh along. “Let’s not waste any more time, shall we? Contestants, on your mark! Get set!”

Most of the contestants leaned forward in their chairs, hands on either side of their plates of deep fried butter, eager to start. Duke and Earl barely budged, still looking only half-awake.

“Eat!”

Both men reached out and grabbed several of the pieces of deep-fried butter, popping them in their mouths like popcorn.

Dallas’s smile grew to a grin as he watched Duke chow down on the fried treat. The other contestants seemed to put on a show of how much they were eating, eating the deep-fried butter with performativity, like it was a Herculean effort. Whether it was actually that difficult, he wasn’t sure. But Duke ate the butter like hors d’oeuvres, like it was no harder to get down than a cracker with a slice of cheese. So even though Duke finished his first platter only a short while before the other contestants finished theirs, Dallas was confident he had the advantage.

He was less confident about Duke having the advantage over Earl, who seemed just as nonchalant about eating so many calories in so little time, and finished his first plate at the same time Duke did. The crew brought out two more platters for the two men, stacking them on top of the empty trays as a visual indicator of just how much each man had eaten.

Some of the contestants only made it to their second tray before they tapped out. One waved his hand side-to-side to the audience to indicate he couldn’t eat anymore, before hobbling off the stage with his other hand over his stomach. One looked like she would fall asleep in her chair, probably on top of the fried butter, given how she was leaning forward to try to get more down. But Duke remained persistent, shoveling in the fat bombs determinedly. It would have made Dallas proud to watch, were he not worried about Earl being neck-and-double-chinned-neck with Duke.

“Two down, six remain! Who do you think is going to win, folks?”

Dallas couldn’t help but laugh at Casey’s question, as if anyone but Duke or that jezebel’s husband stood a chance. Both of them had progressed to their third tray of deep fried butter while the other four contestants were working through their second. Upon seeing the two giants start their third trays, one contestant waved his hand dismissively and walked off stage. Given how many of the deep-fried pats remained on his tray, Dallas reasoned it was a wise decision.

Not that the others stood much more of a chance. Though two of the other contestants did make it to a third tray of deep-fried butter, they were lagging so far behind Duke that they might as well have called it quits there. Another contestant quit while the other four were working on their third tray, before yet another fainted in his chair.

“Oh, man down!, man down! Staff, please come tend to this poor soul whose eyes were bigger than his stomach.”

As requested, two individuals came out from backstage and dragged the chair back with them, leaving only Duke, Earl, and one contestant remaining. In spite of some clear difficulties due to pronounced fullness, Duke and Earl finished their third trays of deep-fried butter, leading to a fourth tray being placed on top of each of their stacks. The remaining contestant, in spite of trailing so far behind the two, pushed through and finished her tray. But when a fourth was brought out, she held her hand up to decline it, and stumbled off stage with her hand clenched in a fist over her mouth.

“And we’re down to two, everyone! Two twin giants with frankly astounding appetites. But who will emerge on top?” Cheers erupted from the audience while Dallas sat quietly, smiling at Duke. He knew the answer to that question, and he couldn’t wait to see the look on Virgil’s face when he learned the answer too.

In spite of their massive appetites, the two men ate with an unhurried pace more appropriate for savoring the selection of a gourmet meal than a fried butter eating contest. But Duke didn’t have to eat quickly to please Dallas. All he had to do was keep pace with Earl, and eventually, eat more than him. Just enough to win this eating contest, and prove once and for all, who was better. And as they worked their way through their fourth platters of fried butter, Duke seemed to be emerging victorious, just as Dallas knew he would. While Duke forged ahead, eating the fried butter dutifully, Earl seemed to be falling behind, struggling more visibly to get it down.

“Come on, Earl, you can do it!”

Dallas’s smile flattened immediately when he heard that harlequin cheer his husband on. Upon seeing Earl start eating faster, his flat expression curled into a frown. How he’d heard his husband’s encouragement over the din of the crowd was a mystery, but he must have if he was enjoying such a second wind.

Dallas didn’t like the idea of sinking to that hussy’s level. But he liked the idea of Earl unfairly winning the competition even less. With a sharp inhalation, he called out, “You got this, Duke!”

To Dallas’s delight, Duke started eating faster as well, putting the two of them neck-in-neck again.

“You can do it, Earl! Make me proud!”

With a snarl, Dallas cried out, “Keep pushing, Duke! Show them what you’re made of!

“Keep going!”

“Keep eating!”

“Push on!”

“Eat, eat, eat!”

With Dallas and Virgil cheering them on, Duke and Earl managed to force their way through the fourth platters of fried butter. Their eyelids hung half closed as they struggled to pack the fattening treats into their engorged stomachs, but they pushed on diligently. As the crowd cheered them on, they both managed to get the last of their breaded butter pats down.

“Incredible! Four trays of deep fried butter down! It’s either man’s game at this point, folks. Who will end up eating the most!”

As Casey hyped up the crowd, Duke slumped over the table, while Earl leaned back in his chair with his head hanging backwards. Earl breathed through his open mouth as his eyelids hung low, seemingly ready to fall to food coma’s embrace. As he slouched back, his belly pushed forward in front of him, straining the buttons on his shirt like his stomach was straining to hold all that fried butter in. Duke could barely show his face, struggling to look up at the cheering audience as one arm propped him up.

The event staff brought out a fifth plate of fried butter for each man. Yet when the food was brought out, neither Duke nor Earl seemed interested in taking another bite. Both remained still, all their effort seemingly being used to stay awake and not pop.

“Uh oh, have our twin behemoths finally reached their limit?” Casey asked.

“No!” Dallas called out, loudly enough to be heard over the crowd. “Come on, Duke! Eat!”

“I don’t know! Seems these two might be out for the count, and neck-in-neck to boot,” Casey said.

What came over Dallas in that moment, he wasn’t sure of. All he knew was that he’d bolted out of the seating and was running past the rows of stairs, toward the stage.

“That–Sir! Sir, you can’t–”

Seeing that tramp running for the stage too made Dallas all the more confident in what he had to do. Both he and Virgil reached their husbands, with Dallas having to push a stagehand aside to get through, and grabbed a handful of the deep fried butter. With scowls directed at each other, Dallas and Virgil shoved the butter in their husbands’ mouths.

“Gentlemen, please!” Casey called out. But as she ran toward center stage, she slowed down as uproarious cheers erupted from the audience. It seemed the intrusion had made for an even more crowd-pleasing show. As some of the event staff ran out to try to wrangle Dallas and Virgil, Casey lowered her mic and raised her other hand to stop them. “No no,” she said, just loudly enough to be heard only by those on stage. “Let’s see where this goes.”

“Come on, babe, chew and swallow,” Dallas cooed into Duke’s ear, rubbing the top of his remarkably swollen gut. It was like a boulder wrapped in dimpled cloth, giving no slack for Dallas to sink his fingers into. His gut was packed so tightly that there was no indication it could fit anymore food inside it. Yet as Dallas kept the belly rubs coming, careful to be gentle and not disturb the contents of his husband’s engorged, overpacked stomach, Duke kept eating, forcing his gut to find room.

“You got this in the bag, babe,” Virgil whispered. “Do it for me.” The pieces of fried butter were disappearing slowly but steadily from each platter, with both Dallas and Virgil keeping them coming constantly. No sooner could Earl or Duke swallow the mound in their mouth than their husband would shove even more in. At one point, Dallas pushed the greasy treat right through Duke’s teeth, and found it quite capable of sliding through. But Duke was mostly amenable to continuing to eat, opening his mouth dutifully to keep the pockets of fat and dough adding onto his own imposing mountain of fat and dough.

With Dallas and Virgil’s help, Duke and Earl were able to finish their fifth platters of fried butter. “More!” Dallas and Virgil called out to the back of the stage, prompting even more cheers from the audience. It seemed they were lapping up the spectacle up just as voraciously as Duke and Earl chowing down on the deep-fried butter, even as they were too full to do much of anything else. With Casey giving the staff a nod of approval, they brought out two more trays of the fried butter, giving one to each pair.

“My husband can eat way more than that!” Virgil shouted indignantly. “Bring another!”

“Bring two more!” Dallas ordered.

While both men commenced stuffing their husband’s mouths with more of the fried treat, the staff brought two more trays out on stage, emptying one on top of each of the platters brought out before. Dallas, intent on not losing after going to so much effort to get this far, stuck his hand out like a claw machine and grabbed as many as he could, before shoving them all into Duke’s mouth.

Dallas was lost in a fury of rubbing Duke’s swollen gut and keeping the fried butter coming, making sure there wasn’t a chew wasted. No matter what happened, he couldn’t let Duke fall behind Earl. Indeed, Earl seemed to be keeping his own, in spite of seemingly being laid so low by food coma that he was nearly lying down in his chair. But he still dutifully ate all the pats of butter Virgil fed him, so Dallas had to make sure Duke did the same. And Duke did, in spite of barely being able to keep his eyes open, in spite of chewing with all the speed and grace of a sloth, in spite of barely being able to keep himself from falling face-first onto the table. In spite of it all, he finished every piece of fried butter on his plate.

As did Earl. When Dallas saw Earl’s empty plate, he gave Virgil another glare, before both men shouted toward the back of the stage, “More!”

Dallas and Virgil remained still, staring back and waiting impatiently for more food to be brought out. The crowd’s cheers waned in volume as the action on the stage was brought to a halt. After a moment, Casey pulled back the curtain to say, “Folks, we still have a contest going.” A while later, she said curtly, “What? What do you mean? How do you… Are you sure?” After listening to the responses a while longer, responses Dallas couldn’t make out, she said, “Alright,” and walked back to the front of the stage.

“Well folks,” Casey said to the audience, “That was a mighty impressive performance from Earl and Duke here. So impressive, in fact, that together, they’ve done something no other contestants have done in the history of our deep-fried butter eating contest: they’ve finished all the deep-fried butter we have!”

More cheers erupted from the audience, while Casey gave them the best smile she could. From so close, Dallas could see the smile was strained, and that Casey was relieved that the audience had responded positively to how she’d spun the fact that the contest had to end prematurely.

“Yes, yes. And both of our contestants have eaten an impressive six platters–”

“Seven!” Virgil and Dallas called out in unison. “They added another tray to the sixth,” Virgil elaborated.

“Seven platters of deep-fried butter.”

“So who wins?” Dallas yelled.

“It’s a tie! So audience, please give it up for your new eating contest co-champions, Duke and Earl Harding!”

Dallas’s jaw dropped upon hearing the news. He stood frozen in place, unable to react as two of the event staff helped his impossibly full husband stand up again, while another handed the two a large trophy with the image of a stick of butter on top. Duke and Earl, both swaying back and forth and holding onto the other for balance, held the trophy up for the crowd to see, prompting even more applause.

Once the audience had expressed sufficient enthusiasm, the event staff turned Duke and Earl gradually and led them both off stage. They walked in slow, short steps, letting out the tiniest of burps as they moved. As much as they’d eaten, there couldn’t have been much room for gas to hide in their stomach, but the bouncing of their bellies as they waddled away seemed to bring those tiny bubbles to the surface. Proud groans of contentment seemed to be the only other noise the two could make, punctuated by the occasional release of gas. Bouncing and burping along, they ambled their way out, trophy in tow.

“Gentlemen,” Casey said, startling Dallas enough to make him jump. Based on the look on Virgil’s face, it seemed he’d been just as spooked. “You can follow your husbands off stage.”

With his mouth still agape, Dallas nodded slowly and followed behind Duke and Earl. He walked at a pace just as plodding as the two of them, those words “It’s a tie!” still ringing in his head. While Casey told the crowd about future events at the fair, her words echoed unintelligibly to Dallas, who followed behind the twins in a daze.

“Oh that was great,” Earl proclaimed in slurred words.

“Totally,” Duke concurred, both men sounding drunk, when all they’d imbibed was an impressive amount of grease.

“We should do this again next year.”

“Absolutely.” In slow, methodical motions, Duke turned around to look back at Dallas. “Hey babe!”

“Yeah?” Dallas replied somewhat meekly.

“Let’s do this again next year. All four of us.”

“Sure,” Virgil replied, sounding just as defeated as Dallas. “We’d be up for that.”

“Great,” Earl replied. “We should probably head back before you and I pass out. Oh, uh, who takes the trophy?”

Before Dallas or Virgil could interject and claim it for their own man, Duke answered, “You’re going to dad’s next weekend, right? Take it there. It can be a family heirloom.” The belly laughs from the two jostled their guts enough to make them both grunt from the pain of their overly engorged stomachs being moved around so much.

“Alright. I’ll see you soon, fatty,” Earl said to Duke.

“See ya, tubs,” Duke replied. As the two leaned in for a hug, their bellies collided, resulting in simultaneous belches that reverberated enough that Dallas swore he felt the ground shake. The sounds were deep, as if gas from the beginning of the day were making its way to sweet freedom in the open air. Once their mouths quieted, the two chuckled and gave each other a proper hug, their arms barely able to reach each other over their comically swollen bellies.

“Well, that’s it, isn’t it?” Virgil asked, as the two watched their two giants genially bid each other goodbye.

“For today,” Dallas said, glancing Virgil’s way to see him looking back with a mixture of melancholy and confusion.

Both emotions vanished from Virgil’s face as his eyebrows rose. “Thanksgiving.”

“It’s only a month away,” Dallas stated with a smile.

“We settle this then,” Virgil agreed. After the two exchanged the first mutual genuine smiles they’d exchanged that day, both walked up to their respective husbands. “Did you boys enjoy yourself today?”

“Of course,” Earl answered.

“But I suppose it’s time we head back,” Duke admitted, at which Earl nodded, his head bouncing like a ragdoll. Duke gave his brother one last pat on the back, before draping his other arm over Dallas’s shoulders. Caught off guard, Dallas nearly collapsed under the weight of his husband’s lean, but managed to hold the both of them up. “Until next time,” Duke said to Earl and Virgil. “Love you two.”

“Love you two too!” Earl replied, chuckling before he and Virgil made their own way back to the parking lot, Earl also leaning on his struggling husband.

“Here, babe,” Dallas grunted, grappling with the weight of his overfed hubby. “Try–Jesus–try leaning back. You’ll be able to stand better that way.”

“Okay,” Duke replied with his half-asleep drawl. As he bent backward, his gut expanded out like a balloon had been inflated inside of it. Yet Dallas still felt some relief as Duke didn’t have to put quite as much weight on him. “Yeah, that is better.”

With their walking situation more sustainable long-term, Dallas led Duke back to the parking lot. In between keeping an eye on where they were going, he spent most of the walk eyeballing Duke’s gargantuan belly. It stuck out ahead of him like a third person leading the two of them. His shirt was stretched so tight that Dallas swore he could see Duke’s belly in between the threads. Small belches still rose out of him as they walked. A little grunt could be heard every time Duke’s foot made landfall as he walked, and his belly was jostled even just a bit. With some gentle rubs, those groans turned to happy moans as Duke’s eyelids lowered even more, his accomplished mouth curling into the faintest of smiles.

“So…” Duke spoke slowly and deliberately, just like how he walked.

“Yeah, babe?”

“What’s for dinner?”

One thought on “Blue Ribbon Hubby

  1. I’m very sorry to share with fellow readers that our beloved Mr Swell has passed. Rest in peace, and thank you for everything you have given.

    Like

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