Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hot Dog

The year: 1966. The crime: Attempted waste with an edible weapon.

When I was a kid I hated all food except candy and fish. One of my least favorite foods was hot dogs. They tasted icky and they were rubbery. The only way my poor mom could get me to eat hot dogs without whining was to cut them into “pennies” and serve them in Campbell’s Bean With Bacon Soup. Calling a hot dog a penny gave it a grace it could never achieve on its own. Those guts and eyeballs masquerading as food became legal tender. My instincts of greed trumped the disgust of the taste buds: yum!

When my mom served hot dogs on a chilly fall night in 1966 I had a brain flash. During the usual distracting family conversation and arguments I surreptitiously I wrapped that offensive cylinder in a napkin, then lodged it in the narrow ledge that ran along the underside of the kitchen table. After everyone had retired for the night, I transferred the offending sausage to the bowels of the pantry, still wrapped in the napkin. Game over, I was out of there.

Fast forward to a chilly spring mid-day in 1967.

Like all 4th graders, I considered myself one of the “cool” kids, despite the fact that I was obviously a nerd. The “cool” kids walked to school, the “pathetic” ones got driven. The “losers” ate lunch at school. We “cool” kids got to go home for lunch. One day I was enjoying lunch at home and Mom asked me what I was eating. I looked at her as if she had asked me if I would like a cigarette with my lunch and said, “It’s Bean With Bacon Soup with hot dog pennies!” She countered, through her clenched teeth,


Game over. Mom: One. Daughter: Zero.

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