The Dallas City Council.

Ask John Neely Bryan: Issuing a Challenge to the Dallas City Council

Dueling via competitive eating is a time-honored pastime.

John Neely Bryan, Our Founder
John Neely Bryan, Our Founder

Friends, I must report that my editor and I nearly came to blows this week over the contents of today’s column, which I am officially filing under protest. I badly wished to give his proboscis a good wringing after he required that I supplant the golden prose I had spun for both your entertainment and edification with a tepid pool of my second-best work.

Granted, my second-best work is more satisfying to the mind and the soul than 99.9 percent of the pabulum churned out by other so-called “professional” scribes. That does not change the fact that I must live with the knowledge I have done you a disservice, dear readers. You’ll learn nothing of my extensive knowledge of weaponry or hand-to-hand combat, and all because some yellow-bellied stuffed-shirt down at the D Magazine offices is afraid the company might be charged with inciting a riot or threatening the lives of public officials if we’d run my original, superior text.

Oh, hang it all. Let’s get this nonsense disposed with.


Question: We have a city council obsessed with building Eiffel Towers in Dallas while ignoring the problems of everyday citizens. Would you please challenge the worst offenders to a duel? — lakewoodhobo

I find myself conflicted in responding to your comment, Mr. Hobo. You express such derision for magnificent projects that can inspire the people of Dallas to grand and glorious achievements, and yet I was the spearhead for one such effort in this city’s earliest days. Lost to history is my aborted plan for an archway that would straddle the Trinity and be built entirely of taxidermied cattle.

The scheme was not abandoned in favor of a quixotic quest to fill every pothole or somesuch. My original vision, and the one I’d sold to my fellow Dallasites, was that of a modest 200-cow project. It was the dadgum feds who poked their noses in and declared that the structure must include no fewer than 600 head to ensure clearance for any watercraft passing beneath. Obviously the people were then justifiably concerned about the costs of maintaining an erection of that size.

Regardless of my personal involvement with this effort, however, there are few pastimes I pursue with greater vigor than dueling. So, hell, yes: let’s give the whole sockdologizing Dallas City Council what for. Only first we must consider under what terms to confront and dispatch each member in turn.

I think we can all agree that tackling this project via competitive eating contests in each of their respective districts — no holds barred, 10-minute time limit — will neither incite a riot nor does it explicitly or implicitly threaten the lives of public officials. And so I herewith issue the following challenges at times and dates of my opponents’ choosing:

Scott Griggs: Cups of coffee, Oddfellows

Adam Medrano: Fried baloney sandwiches, Maple & Motor

Vonciel Jones Hill: Thai egg rolls, Somphou Market

Dwaine Caraway: Livers and gizzards, Rudy’s Chicken

Rick Callahan: Tacos, Gonzalez Restaurant

Monica Alonzo: Brough Ham Fleetwood, Off-Site Kitchen

Carolyn Davis: Curry goat and oxtail combo plates, Elaine’s Kitchen

Tennell Atkins: Smothered pork chops, Sweet Georgia Brown

Sheffie Kadane: The Annihilator, Goodfriend

Jerry Allen: Chicken and waffles, Big Mama’s Chicken & Waffles

Lee Kleinman: Dal Makhani, Mughlai

Sandy Greyson: Pastrami sandwiches, Deli-News

Jennifer Staubach Gates: Fried green tomatoes, Suze

Philip Kingston: Dragon rolls, Yutaka Sushi Bistro

Mayor Mike Rawlings: Paulie Gee, Cane Rosso


I suspect my lack of corporeality will prove a distinct advantage.

Stretching my stomach in preparation,

John Neely Bryan is the founder of the city of Dallas and an expert on all matters. Email him for advice, to have a dispute adjudicated, or to seek his wisdom on any of a myriad of topics, at [email protected]


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