Friday, July 09, 2021

The West Virginia Hot Dog Trail - The Beginnings

At their annual meeting, our Weenie Wonks were excited by the prospect of developing a hot dog trail map, but they all had the same question: "With the vast number of HDJs in WV, how will we decide on which are included? Or more importantly, who will decide on which ones are excluded?"

All eyes turned to me, Chief Weenie Wonk.

I recalled the story of John F. Kennedy's audacious pronouncement in 1962 that the US would land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It was audacious because the necessary technology didn't exist in 1962, and the announcement shocked people in the know and sent them scrambling to invent it. I felt this was my JFK moment.

"It won't be easy," I proclaimed, "but it is important work and I need you all to give it your best effort. Think of the best hot dogs you've found and plot them on a map. Once we've done that, we'll have to make some tough decisions about drive time, road conditions, and the dependability of each HDJ to winnow down the list. We'll have to exclude some 4 and 4 1/2 Weenie places, but we should make every effort to include every 5 Weenie HDJ in the state, irrespective of driving distance."

"But, what about Marion County?" asked one WW. 

"Good question, but not just Marion. Also Harrison. We have to honor those brave HDJs who are bold enough to offer true WV hot dogs in that land of slawlessness. They are the true heroes of this culture war, preaching to gospel of WV hot dogs to a depraved and stiffnecked people who live in denial and think their slawless hot dogs are real WV hot dogs. We know the truth, and it is up to us to set them free." These stirring words seemed to energize the Weenie Wonks. 

"How about the whole 'sauce vs. chili' thing?" chimed in a Weenie Wonk from the Ohio Valley. The question annoyed me, like when a child says 'why' a thousand times just to belabor a discussion. 

"Let's just agree to use the terms interchangeably, shall we? I said trying to hide my irritation. "We all know that they are basically the same thing, and that some people will try to say 'chili has beans' and some will say 'sauce comes from a bottle.' Let's just accept it and move on."

"The important stuff is in the creed. Let's not get distracted from it. Now, all of you repeat it after me:

    "Chili, Slaw, Mustard Onions."

"What about ketchup?" asked the newest Weenie Wonk. 

"You're fired," I replied.

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