FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD SHERMIE THUFF is a Big Guy with a Big Dream— to become the most famous competitive eater in the world. But every big dream has to start somewhere, and Shermie’s determined to start his in the spotlight. If he can take first place in Nathan’s World Famous International hot dog eating competition, fame will be his. The catch? The current record is 53-1/2 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. Shermie’s personal best? Seven. Clearly, Shermie has some training to do. . . . Only, no matter how hard he tries, he can’t get past nine measly wieners. Then, just when Shermie’s about to crack under the pressure, he gets his biggest shake-up of all: news that the 53-1/2 record holder is an itty-bitty, 130-pound guy. So Shermie vows to lose his restrictive Fat Belt the only way he knows how—with the help of Gardo, a weight-cutting fanatic determined to turn Big Shermie into a lean, mean eating-machine.