Wednesday, February 8, 2012

But Does It Have E-Z Pass?

I would have to have the willpower of G. Gordon Liddy—the Watergate conspirator who could hold his hand over an open flame without flinching—to be able to write about an morning encounter with a large wiener without heaping helpings of processed meat based puns and sexual innuendo. As y’all know by now, I am quite lacking in willpower. So consider yourselves warned.

I’d almost finished my walk to the office this morning when my co-worker Carol stopped her Honda in the middle of the street and called out to me that the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile was parked nearby, at the Days Inn.  I relish a morning encounter with a big wiener as much as the next guy who pays attention to both his shoes and hair product, so even though I’d left my camera at home, I made detour over to the Days Inn to check it out. 

Lo and behold, there it was, right next to a Halliburton pickup truck. Marcellus shale gas meets too much kraut on a dog gas, I thought. 

Before I could look under the Wienermobile to see if it were leaking mustard, the Oscar Meyer team, my new best friends Taylor and Tyler, appeared on the scene. Yes, those are their real names. For those of you keeping score at home, Taylor is the girl and Tyler is the guy, though they could have easily been the other way around. In wiener-speak they’re known as Bacon Lettuce & Taylor and Turkey Dog Tyler.

Taylor is a Penn State alum and Tyler hails from the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and now they’re both working as Hot Doggers, driving the Wienermobile hither, thither, and yon, promoting the Oscar Meyer family of tube steaks. Frankly speaking, that’s meat, beef, turkey, Angus (not made out of my dearly departed dog Angus, I hope), cheese, and selects, whatever in the hell they are.

Of course I asked the usual first question that comes upon encountering a huge wiener. ”Just exactly how big is it?”  For the record, I did, however, resist asking, “So, late at night, and after a few beers, does it have a mind of its own?” 

Actually, we talked about the chassis and drive train (Chevy) and how easy it was to fix it. (I’ve heard that a zillion times from my married chums.) Oh wait, maybe he wasn’t talking about that “it”.

I asked how many Wienermobiles there were, and with the alacrity of Jeopardy! contestant Mitt Romney providing the $200 answer, I mean question, in the category “Mitt Romney”, Turkey Dog Tyler replied “Six”. I said that I thought wieners came in packages of eight, and T.D. Tyler said they also came in packages of 10, but we never got around to the important question of why are there are eight hot dogs to a package but usually ten hot dog buns in a bag.

Soon enough we were differential deep in a discussion of corporate icons that had been turned into vehicles, when another local came on the scene asking a bunch of lame questions. I thought to myself:  ”This is just like being in a bar. Here I am charm, looks, and erudition personified, and some not-that-hot guy whose idea of literature is Jugs magazine (especially the June 2010 issue, pages 43-47) comes over and starts horning in on my territory.”

Someplace along the line, a long time ago, I learned that discretion was the better part of valor. (Very un-Bryant like, I know!)  So, just like in a bar, I took Mr. Yahoo’s appearance as my cue to say my goodbyes.   T.D. Tyler and B. L. & Taylor gave me a Wiener Whistle as I gave them the gift of quality time with another member of the adoring public.  

Soon enough they realized the grass wasn’t greener on the other side of the fence (or they had to ketchup with some friends) and they fired up their twin Webers, taking to the road to spread the Gospel of St. Oscar. 

When I got home I found G.O.P. Congressman Paul Ryan had been a Hot Dogger. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s much better than finding out that he has a sex tape.  I also learned that the Wienermobile has been around for ages, and has automotive cousins. Not only is there a Planters Peanut Mobile, but there is also a Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Mobile, and a Hershey Kisses Mobile. Oh there’s a Mini Wiener, too, but I’d stayed late in the bar often enough to know that already.

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