I really wanted to wrap up the thorny discussion we were having last week, but I’ve got to tell you about my close encounter with the Weiner mobile.
You’ve all seen it. That 20+ footlong hotdog that rolls through marathons, parades and Harley rallies.
You can imagine my unbridled excitement when I spotted it parked outside my local grocery chain-store. Ooooh! I tittered my fingertips together and walked faster from the parking lot. I’ve always wanted to see inside—haven’t you??? I mean, this is the Mecca of nitrate-loaded comfort food. It’s the mothership for baseball snacks, campfire fixin’s, and meals microwaved by baby-sitters.
I braced myself, for the inevitable spiel from 2 young spokespersons clad in Condiment Yellow rain gear. Maybe they’d give me a coupon to try to detour my forward progress. That might satisfy the rest of the world, but me? My mission was to see inside the Weinermobile.
My timing was good. No one else was around. Focused like Chuck Norris, I went straight for my objective. “I want to see inside,” I said.
“Yeah, sure.” The young man hooked a thumb toward the open door barred by a limp strip of yellow caution tape.
It was an anti-climactic moment. No drop down grills. No conveyor belt, rotating chili, sauerkraut and onions through the seats. No canned music chanting that kiddie Oscar Meyer song. Not even a sling shot or canon to hurl hot-dogs into parade crowds. “Oh,” I said, thoroughly disappointed to have dreamed so long for so little.
Inside the grocery store I ran into Mrs. V., who was Scout’s retired kindergarten teacher. “Hey, did you see the Weinermobile?” she asked, her voice full of amusement. She was a great teacher because she liked to explore everything. “They gave me a whistle!”
DANG! I didn’t even get a whistle. So I trotted back out into the mist to try to recoup my “bucket experience.”
Here’s what I found out:
- The 2 twenty-somethings manning the Weinermobile have the job title of: Hotdoggers. (Put that on your resume!)
- Six Weinermobiles, travel town to town. Each team is gone for a year, sharing the hotdog’s magnificent presence. Their home planet is Wisconsin.
- Worst moment: According to Col. Mustard, (I’m not making this up) the male Hotdogger, the worst times are when it rains and everyone stays in the store and doesn’t visit with them.
- Best moment: According to Rachel Relish, her favorite memory was driving the Weinermobile through Times Square in New York. The crowds went wild.
- Does anyone ever deface the vehicle when it’s parked at the hotel for the night? “Oh my no. Never!” said Rachel Relish. “People love the Weinermobile.” It’s an American icon.
Now, I don’t know about you, but this made my patriotic heart thump in my chest. Juvies may graffiti school buildings and stop signs, but when it comes to the Weinermobile—it holds a space of sanctity and respect among all peoples.
And then Col. Mustard pulled a whistle from behind my ear. SCORE!!
It must have been there all along.
And best of all, I learned that every experience, even a long-imagined one, is whatever you want to make of it.