The Midnight Ride of Oscar Mayer

The venerable New York Times, trying to expand its world-view, has discovered hot dogs. Specifically, the Oscar Mayer “Wienermobile.” Cute feature today that reprises a piece I posted on Cornichon.org two years ago [pause for a moment of respect].

Here’s a link to the Times piece.

And here, by popular demand, is mine:

60 dogs long, 18 dogs wide, 24 dogs high

Deep breath, you can do this. After all, it’s just a Chevy truck with a fiberglass hot dog on top, right? There are six of them around the country, each with a two-person crew, recent college grads with a one-year assignment to roll around in the Wienermobile. You remember the jingle that came out in 1963:

My bologna has a first name
It’s O-S-C-A-R
My bologna has a second name
It’s M-A-Y-E-R.
I love to eat it every day
And if you ask my why I say
’cause Oscar Mayer has a way
With B-O-L-O-G-N-A !

But what about Armour? Their jingle came out four years later.

Hot dogs, Armour Hot Dogs
What kinds of kids eat Armour Hot Dogs?
Big kids, little kids, kids who climb on rocks
Fat kids, skinny kids, even kids with chicken pox
Love hot dogs, Armour Dot Dogs
The dogs kids love to bite!

Oscar’s Wienermobile happens to be in Seattle this weekend for a couple of promotional appearances. Seafair? The Wiener crew (“Hotdoggers” Habanero Hayley Rozman and Anthony “Tony Bologna” SanMiguel) were not aware of that little event. Wait till they try to get that 27-foot dog across the floating bridge!

There really was an Oscar Mayer, a butcher from southern Germany who moved to Chicago in the 1880s and started a successful sausage company. His descendants sold it, and ownership eventually passed into the hands (the maw?) of the Kraft-Heinz conglomerate. Which at least has the decency to hire doctors and scientists to test what goes into and comes out of the company’s products.

But look, I was in Italy couple of years ago, in Bologna, to be precise, and what they enjoy in Bologna is called mortadella. No baloney. It’s considered the finest of Italy’s many cured meats (salami, prosciutto, etc.). Here’s the piece I wrote back then.

The hot dog, on the other hand, came from Vienna, hence the name Wiener. Okay, gotta go, the Blue Angels are after me.

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