austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Just the way you like them and they're all red hot

What do you do with a mile of hot dogs?

Note the question. It wasn't ``what do you do about a mile of hot dogs'', a more conceptually open question suited to interviewing job applicants. Thoughtful applicants will ask what the hot dogs are doing: are they putting on a music festival? Are they rioting? Are they micro-blogging? Are they taking arms against a sea of turnips and by opposing, ending them? Or at least sending turnips back to their natural environment, sometime before the heady days of 1928 when it was discovered food did not necessarily have to be punitive?

An applicant knowing these cases require different responses --- and completely different responses to the hot dogs forming a rotisserie baseball league --- will be challenging, so make sure they get placed under your Office Enemy where they can be nuisances there instead. Another good question is whether you can make a relatively small cube of ice cream which no number of people could lift by their bare hands, or even by their cardboard-box hands, which they should be keeping in the emergency ice cream drawer of their desks. If that hasn't thrown them yet, then ask, ``are beetles?''

It's what you do with the mile of hot dogs that's under question. Or before question, if the question doesn't exist until the mark finishes it off. Let's get one thing settled: you don't take a mile of hot dogs and start whining how hot dog buns are sold in two-kilometer packs. It's not only an old chestnut but a factually defective one, since buns are traditionally sold in one-kilometer packs.

There are historical solutions. New York City used to have its fabulous Mile Of Hot Dogs Turnpike, the shopping-and-theater-lined district known as the ``Great Wiener Way'', which lead from downtown up to the southern terminus of the Boston Pickle Road. This had been established back in colonial days as the Lesser Frankfurter Highway, but it was given a less-foreign-sounding name in the wake of anti-German sentiment of the war years. The peculiar thing is it was the War of 1812 setting it off, but as Mayor DeWitt Clinton pointed out, ``it's not like we're going to stop speaking English'', since the powerful newspaper publishers had only just gotten a complete set of the English letters to set type with. The ``s'' had been a dream for decades. The change was made in 1846, so as to not look so ridiculous.

Growing traffic made the Great Wiener Way altogether less pleasant, particularly for horses who kept getting sauerkraut stuck in their hooves, so it was a relief in 1876 when fun was invented. The city tried using the mile of hot dogs as a bridge to Coney Island. Unfortunately it wasn't long enough, and people trying to walk there were routinely eaten by sharks, who came to believe pickles were large, tasty and meat. The attempt was considered unsatisfactory by people, but extremely satisfactory by sharks. After the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge the sharks tried building a mile of relish, but they couldn't get the jars open, what with having fins or flippers or whatever.

Let's suppose you aren't one of the great cities of the world. Let's go further and suppose you're not one of the lesser municipalities, lacking as you have the self-confidence to do some ridiculous feat of self-promotion. A mile of hot dogs is still good for generating imagination-staggering numbers. You could point out, for example, that to reach a location a mere hundred miles away requires a hundred miles of hot dogs. Similar results can be found for fifty or for two-hundred-mile distances. Point out enough of this and you can see people edging away.

You know what nobody's done as far as I can find? Nobody's tried putting a mile of hot dogs going straight up. That's a pity since ``it was there'' would be the perfect reason to climb a mile of hot dogs, and ``I needed to climb it'' would be perfect reason to stack a mile of hot dogs. I'm sure we'll manage it someday.

Trivia: Turnips, onions, and radishes appear to have been eaten back to prehistoric times in Europe. Source: Food In History, Reay Tannahill. It's probably more definitely known these days, since Tannahill's book dates to 1973, but advances in archaeology have probably managed to prove that turnips actually date back 15,000 more years than anyone suspected, and started out in the Malay peninsula or Brazil or something, and that there's not actually evidence for this so-called ``Europe'' after all. So I'll stick with what I can provide a source for, right or wrong.

Currently Reading: Monstrous Regiment: The Story Of The Wormen Of The First World War, David Mitchell.


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