Hot Daawgs; Getcher Hot Dogs!

Mark 7:19

I am told that today, July 19, is National Hot Dog Day.  We Americans do love adding yet another reason to celebrate.  Today, we celebrate that wonderfully horrible food that stands for everything we are as a nation. The hot dog’s glorious mixture of meats represents the blending of cultures, where beef, poultry, and pork co-exist in a harmonious state.  The resourcefulness of our forefathers is echoed in the use of each and every part of the animal. The simplicity of preparation makes a cook out of anyone. That most American of foods, today, we salute you.

Oscar Mayer

Wieners were a staple at our house when I was growing up, along with tube steak (bologna). Although we never missed a meal, we were often unsure of where our next meal would come from.  Beans and cornbread, bologna, and wieners were the substance of our sustenance. Sometimes they were dressed up with cheese and stuck in a slice of bread. Other times, they were simply naked.  Strangely enough, bologna was the only one of those entrees I lost a taste for.  Somewhere around sixth grade, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I still love beans and cornbread, and I still love hot dogs.

I’ve only gotten sick from food twice in my life; both events involved hot dogs.  The first time was on a family vacation.  I’ve already told you about our trips to Medina, Texas. Often, there were other pastors and their families at the same facility, enjoying much needed respite. One year, I think I was eight years old, the whole lot of us had a cookout. I waited my turn in line, then I scarfed down my first dog. I returned for a second…and a third…a fourth. In all, I consumed eight hot dogs that night.  Needless to say, later that night, I let the dogs loose. (Now you know the answer. I let the dogs loose.)

The second event took place my junior year in college.  On the last day of finals, I finished my exams at around 3:30 pm.  I had an eight hour drive ahead of me, so my brother (who was a freshman at the same school) and I decided to take in a movie, get a night’s rest, then drive home the next morning when we were fresh.  We went to the local cinema and watched Arnold Schwartzenegger in Conan the Barbarian.  I had a jumbo dog at 9:15 pm.  At 2:30 am, the jumbo dog had me.

Many folks would have given up on the lowly dog, after just one of those episodes. Not me. I have been loyal to the dogs, and they have been loyal to me.  I have often entertained the idea of having a hot dog cart as a retirement job.  A well-placed hot dog cart – near a park or river or lake or downtown offices – can net the owner a pretty nice cash reserve. There is low overhead, low maintenance, and simplicity of process.  You can’t lose.

In our health-conscious society, the wiener has taken a lot of criticism lately.  To that, I simply respond, “Jesus declared all foods clean.”  Sounds impossible?  Well, if he can declare clean anyone who comes to him, no matter what they have done…no matter what… can’t he just as easily use a hot dog for that most Baptist of prayers, “And bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies.”

Published in: on July 19, 2017 at 10:44 am  Leave a Comment  

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