Monday, May 31, 2004

confessions of a hot dog eater

I wonder when it happened. I wonder when hotdogs just were not enough by themselves. You might be able to relate. This has probably happened to you. I can't quite remember when it happened to me, but I know there used to be a time when hotdogs were enough. That time is no more.

My nieces and nephew eat hotdogs differently than I do now. I used to eat hotdogs like they do, but something changed and now I do it differently. I remember eating that warm delight of processed meat-leftovers as a kid. The dog would go into the bun and then I would eat it as I would a sandwich or a hamburger. I would turn the bun so that it was on the top and the bottom containing the hotdog in the center. This is how the shortest members of my family do it now-a-days.

But something changed. A moment in time happened in my growing up experience when the usual ketchup and mustard wasn't enough. It may have been relish. Yes, I think it was. I was too young for beans or chili and cheese. But relish was a new mystery waiting to be explored. I think I saw my dad put relish on his hotdog. And with this added element, the whole world of hotdog eating changed.

With the various additions to the hotdog like relish or chili, I could no longer eat a hotdog like a burger. No, the careful balancing act required that I eat the now decorated treasure with the bun on both SIDES of the hotdog rather than on the top and bottom. This way, the tangy relish or the warm beans could rest comfortably atop their new found friend.

And now, it doesn't matter what is on my hotdog. I still eat it sideways. Over the many years of sauerkraut, baked beans, chili and cheese, my hotdog has learned to accommodated all the additions. Even if I just put a simple condiment like mustard on my dog, I can't seem to bring my hotdog bun to the full upright and locked position.

In the end this sideward consummation...this "spooning" if you will, is just another reminder to my poor dear hotdog that it is not enough. No, hot dog, your fatty pig and rat bi-product just isn't enough for my greedy taste buds anymore. And soon, my nieces and nephew will follow in my snobish footsteps. I don't know what it will be. It could be any of them...tiny chopped onions, melted cheese, spicy chili, baked beans...and yes, quite possibly my first indulgence... the tart, green relish.

2 Comments:

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