Go On, Mock The Guy Wearing The Hot Dog Suit. He Thinks You’re Doing It Anyhow

Part One

Hot Dog Wearing Necklace Made From His Children

Sunglasses can't hide his shame (Image by Matt Carman via Flickr)

There was a time when I really wasn’t  putting the effort into school that I ought to have been. My parents never gave up on getting me to bring that effort forth. They kept trying until they found the right combination of words and action that would get me started on the path to being the productive, mortgage paying adult that I am.

Living in North Carolina in the summer is pretty nice, if you are in the western mountains or on the beaches to the east. If you’re in the middle, like I am, living in North Carolina is like living on the surface of the Sun. It is like living on the surface of the Sun, minus the view. It is kind of hot.

One day last week, the owner of a pizza place near my house sent one of his employees outside to promote that hot dogs were now on his menu. The employee had on a hot dog costume. There was a hole in the hot dog that allowed the face of the person wearing the costume to be the only part of him that was visible.

Part Two

C3-class Solar Flare Erupts on Sept. 8, 2010 [...

Welcome to North Carolina (Image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr)

My dad and I were in the car together, back in our younger days. We stopped for fuel. A man working at the gas station was pumping gas into another customer’s car. My dad spoke up –  “Do you see that guy? All day, that’s what he does. Over and over. Do you want to do that?” When I said I did not, he equated doing that sort of work with not having stayed on top of one’s school work. It was one of the things that made me see the light.

Last week was hot and very dry. There were few clouds to block the sun beating down on the Piedmont area of North Carolina.

I saw him standing next to the road during that especially hot week, dressed as a hot dog. He was holding a pizza box with a hand-lettered sign on the bottom, announcing the price of the new hot dogs. He looked miserable. As miserable as a guy in a hot dog suit on the surface of the sun, or on a North Carolina summer day, can be.

Part Three

No longer a work location (image via wikipedia)

My son does well in school. Still, he did go through a period of not applying himself. In that way he is a chip off the old block. Struggling to find the switch that would release the energy for learning I knew was within him, I remembered my Dad and the gas station. It took some effort, but I was able to find a gas station with full service. Who knows if that’s what threw the switch? Eventually, something did.

Some day in the distant future, I’ll be a grandfather. My part of North Carolina will still be flaming hot in the summer.

No one will pump gas for a living by that point in history. I’d better make some time to show my son the hot dog suit guy, just in case he needs a little something extra to flip the switch for the next generation.

Poor, poor hot dog guy.


44 Comments on “Go On, Mock The Guy Wearing The Hot Dog Suit. He Thinks You’re Doing It Anyhow”

  1. We found him Captain!! says:

    My dad influenced me by introducing me to Lionel Hampton.

  2. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I could never mock the hotdog suit wearing guy no more than I could mock the person who dances in that awful green robe and Statue of Liberty crown in April to advertise income tax services. The feeling I get when I see these poor slobs is pity and horror – it could be me, but for the grace of God and some shred of dignity. When, oh, when, will this practice be outlawed? No civilized nation should subject its workers to this humiliation. But, then again, we can justify torture, so …

  3. This is why I won’t eat hot dogs. Or people dressed as hot dogs.

  4. jaerae1971 says:

    Now I’m craving a hot dog. Thanks.

  5. Todd Pack says:

    There’s a we-buy-gold place that’s near Chuck E. Cheese’s, and they put 2 guys out dressed in Elvis-style gold lame suits (you’re supposed to pronounce that “lah-MAY” but “lame” works, too). I can’t believe that works. “Man, I need cash. If only I could sell my gold … hey, I’ll bet those 2 rednecks in the ill-fitting Elvis suits would give me a fair price!”

  6. madtante says:

    I wouldn’t want to be in a hot suit, especially as we’ve been 70-100% humidity and upper 90s to lower 100s lately BUT a friend whose store hires anybody to do this said they get from $50-100/ day–no taxes, cash.

    As sad as it may seem, that’s better wages than I’m making (the upper side of that). I prefer playing on the internet in a/c, don’t get me wrong but that’s easy money if you can take the heat.

  7. Lafemmeroar says:

    The idea of having to stand on the street (or corner) while wearing a degrading outfit will hopefully put the fear in a child to do well in school.

  8. I can’t help but wonder if he didn’t emit a grilled hot dog smell, what with the heat and all.

    I also wonder about the pizza box. isn’t that a bit confusing? A hot dog guy with a pizza box? Is it cross-marketing?

    At least he wasn’t doing that Ninja-spin thing with the pizza box. You know, where they’re supposed to wow you with their awesome skill, except that you can tell when it’s the poor guy’s first day and he hasn’t quite developed the skill yet. So sad.

  9. Betty says:

    I’m thinking a hot dog prepared by a pizza maker is probably as good (or NOT) as a pizza made by a hot dog cook. You can’t do both well.

    • omawarisan says:

      No way. Hot dog chef is a very specialized thing. Pizza guys dont do it well. My old boss, Ziggy, used to have us cook them in a deep fryer. We sold like 2 hot dogs a week.

  10. I say the same thing to my son – “You don’t want to have to stand on a corner in the rain and wave a sign for 8 hours a day with a giant football helmet on your head!” But, a job’s a job, and it does take a lot of gumption and energy to wave a big sign and jump around all day long. Just watching a sign-waving person makes me want a nap.

    • omawarisan says:

      I do have to hand it to them. They could say I wont do that, but they are making the effort to support themselves. But if they’d only done that Emglish paper in middle school thing would be different.

  11. Jane says:

    Your plan to encourage education may backfire with your son. He might argue that the hot dog guy could secure gainful employment as a driver for some future rich and famous person who owns a vehicle shaped like a hot dog?

    Could be someone you know.

    • omawarisan says:

      Ohhhhh no. No one drives my weiner mobile. Lots of passengers, one driver – me. I’m going to come down for Mardi Gras. We’ll be the Krewe of All Beef.

  12. Kim Pugliano says:

    Yuck. I couldn’t concentrate on your words for the picture at the top of your post. That guy makes me feel hot. Not hot in the “ooh baby take me here take me now” way but in the sweaty armpits “I just want to be naked in front of a cool fan” way.

  13. Amy says:

    Just the other day, I saw some poor person dressed in a cow costume outside a Chick-fil-a. It was face of the sun hot here, too. He/she was dancing around and waiving at cars. I was waiting for them to pass out at any moment.

    • omawarisan says:

      I lived on top of a Chick-Fil-A for 3 three days stretches for a fundraiser. I thought I was suffering until they sent a kid up with the cow costume. He lasted about 30 minutes. I thought we were going to have to medivac him.

  14. gmom says:

    Are you kidding? Those hot dog dudes love their gigs. We have a statue of liberty at a tax place around April and I had opportunity to chat with green man. After a few moments of weather talk I said, you’re stoned right? Totally.
    And have you been to Disneyland in Florida? Their are hundreds of people dying to wear costumes in super hot weather for the chance to work there.
    your boy might best be warned from straying away from school work by visiting a hair salon or dentist office. Now there is some creepy work!

  15. jacquelincangro says:

    Who knows? There could be a bright future for the hot dog guy. At our minor league baseball games, during the 7th inning stretch, a guy in a hot dog costume comes out to lead the crowd in Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Something all hot dog guys aspire to, I’m sure.

    • omawarisan says:

      There is that guy, but for every one that makes it that far, there are twenty kids who are neglecting their studies on the mistaken idea that they have what it takes to be a professional hot dog guy. It is so different being a star hot dog in high school and being one in the pros

  16. Yes, I remember the threat of pumping gas as my likely career if I didn’t motivate myself. Either that or the car wash depending on whether my Dad had filled up or gotten the car washed most recently.

  17. Laura says:

    If you really want to inspire your hypothetical grandchildren, arrange for them to have really miserable summer jobs. That’s way more motivating than watching someone else.

  18. pattypunker says:

    you really have awesome parents. they schooled you well.

  19. Jeane says:

    I have to say I have always sort of wished I had the courage to get out on one of the corners and dance my ass off in a crazy manner. Not sure I want the hot dog suit but we have a guitar pizza guy and dude has some moves.

  20. We had a young intern working with us 11 years ago at a local hospital foundation. One of his jobs that summer was to wear the mascot costume: “Sunbuddy.” It was hot and stinky (and there was no hole for his face), but he did it anyway. He’s a doctor now…


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