A vignette (if you will) of how a chance encounter with a hot dog stand may actually be destiny fated by the Spirit of Summer.

by Max Fisher


Are Weiners Actually the Spirit of Summer Made Manifest?

Is there arguably a better summertime staple than getting a hot dog from a hot dog stand?

We’ve all been there.

You’re walking … walking where ever you may be walking to (in all honesty you’d probably be driving, but it’s the summer and you should get some cardio in, so let’s stick with walking), minding your own business,  possibly bopping your head to one of your favorite jams, “making my way downtown, walking fast bleh bleh” (I can’t put any more of the song for legal reasons, but if you recognize that one bar, you know that song is possibly the best song ever to walk to).

Then suddenly you stop.

You take a moment to make sure that your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you; that you somehow aren’t seeing a mirage.

After a few moments, you finally realize you stumbled upon a hotdog stand (because who plans to go to a hot dog stand?).

In that moment of discovery, it doesn’t matter if you just ate a decently sized meal a little over an hour ago. It doesn’t matter that hot dogs are supposedly made of a mystery assortment of meat (the assortment of meat is delicious, and that’s a satisfying enough case closing for me. No need to call Scooby and the gang on this one).

The only thing that matters, the only thing running through your mind at the moment, is: “Do I have any money on me?”

Because hot dog stands don’t take credit cards, or at least I’ve never found one that does. You’re rummaging through your pockets like an old prospector shifting the water in his pan looking for gold.

Don’t do this with your weiner

Eventually you scrap enough of a dollar from one pocket, a few quarters from another. Luckily you had a 5 in your breast pocket that you forgot you had. And at this very moment you are glad you did.

You walk up to the stand and ask the nice person to make you one with everything on it. They happily comply as you watch their hand grab the spatula and witness nothing short of an act of performance art as the hot dog is scooped off the grill gently but firmly like a ballerina tends to get picked up by their companion.

You watch with amazement as they sauté onions. At a certain point it’s like you get hypnotized through sheer anticipation. You even wonder how they put the ketchup and mustard on (even though you know deep down you can do it just as well).

When it’s finally done and they put it in one of those paper tray thingys, it’s like you’re being handed a holy relic that has been entrusted to your care. In the anticipation you may overly thank the person who prepared the hotdog for you, leaving them to possibly think “Gee buddy, it’s just a hotdog.” But you know better!

You find a quiet place to sit and prepare to eat the hot dog. Marveling at it for a few moments you then bite into it and you think to yourself, this isn’t just a hotdog; IT’S THE TASTE OF SUMMER!

And yes. This is exactly the reason why you need to visit (accidentally or intentionally) a hot dog stand this summer. Because until that scrumdiddlyumptious charcoal-cooked (hopefully) mystery meat enters your muzzle, it just ain’t really summer.

Or at least we think so.