In the news business, we see a lot of odd stories come across the desk (or computer monitor). For instance, this past weekend, golfer Tiger Woods was putting in a tournament when a man (I am resisting the urge to simply call him an idiot) tossed a hot dog onto the green. A hot dog. The bozo then laid down and waited to be arrested (which he promptly was). The frankfurter was retrieved and disposed of, and Woods went on to miss the easy putt. (So I guess the guy had money on another golfer?) End of story, right? Of course not. Soon, there came a press release from a group known as the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (website www.hot-dog.org). The president of these fine folks issued a statement reading in part, “The use of an iconic food in an act of violence against an iconic golfer like Tiger Woods is reprehensible -- and a violation of hot dog etiquette.”
Hot dog etiquette? Really? I laughed it off, but then noticed near the bottom of the press release, “For more information about hot dog etiquette, see www.hot-dog.org.” Well, that was an invitation I couldn't refuse. So after a few minutes poking around the site of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (www.hot-dog.org), I finally hit upon the page entitled, “Hot Dog Etiquette.” As I scanned the list, wondering who came up with these and where was the line about tossing wieners at golfers (or any professional athlete), I realized that a small section of the worldwide web was being wasted. Let me include a few rules of hot dog etiquette:
Don't use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.
Condiments remaining on the fingers after eating a hot dog should be licked away, not washed.
Eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.
I could continue, but I'll spare you. The list goes as far as laying out the order that condiments should be put on the dog, but no mention is made of chucking franks at putting millionaires. But hurling hot dogs was not the only area not covered by the definitive essay on hot dog etiquette from the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (www.hot-dog.org). So, allow me to fill in a few items that were not included from the frank folk.
The proper way to cook a hot dog is with a stick, roasting the frankfurter over an open fire. Don't boil them like they were some tubular lobster. And do not put them in the microwave. There should be at least a little black on the outside from the flames.
The only time hot dogs that were not cooked over an open fire should be eaten is at a sporting event. Baseball, football, basketball... let's face it, the hot dog was made to be sold as a concession.
Hot dogs should be made from real meat, not the stuff you cut off and feed to the family dog. I've tasted hot dogs made from parts of the chicken I don't even want to think about consuming again.
The hot dog bun should not be so large that it distorts the hot dog-to-bread ratio. Too much bread dilutes the hot dog taste.
The entire hot dog should be eaten. If you are reasonably close to adulthood and have not had gastric bypass surgery, you should be able to eat an entire regulation-size wiener. Do not eat half and throw the rest away.
Use any condiment you desire on your hot dog unless the smell is so strong it sends the person sitting next to you at the ball game into sneezing convulsions.
There. I figure my contributions to hot dog etiquette are as good as any of those from the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (www.hot-dog.org). Oh wait, one more:
There should be absolutely no throwing of hot dogs by idiots desiring a bed in a cell, even if you're rooting for another golfer.