Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Leap

Thanksgiving passed without incident, if one ignores my mother's repeat performance of "Why I Should Be Able To Drive As Fast As I Want," something I, of course, did not ignore, thereby touching off a storm of fingerpointing and recriminations which did not end until the ceremonial Serving of the Pies.

Friday was nice too. Lunch with a couple friends at a local delicatessen, followed by a movie, followed by coming home and doing something so routine I can't for the life of me remember it, probably yelling at my kids.

Soon enough Saturday was here and with it came the promise of a quick trip out of town to see a football game. I'm only mildly interested in football but this was a chance to go see a game in one of the great NFL stadiums. Besides, spending four days in a row with my children was simply too horrifying to contemplate, a sentiment they emphatically shared. So off I went, leaving them in their mother's tender care.

And a lovely time was had by all. A good game and a stadium that's everything it's cracked up to be. The real highlight, however, came on Saturday night. After enough to drink, which is to say too much, we asked a bartender if he could recommend a place to eat.

"I'd look for a hot dog cart," he said.

"A hot dog cart?" I asked. "At this time of night?"

"Yeah. There are usually a few around."

Now, keep in mind we weren't in the sort of city in which one would expect to find hot dogs being sold on a street corner at 1:30 in the morning, especially in air temperatures sufficiently cold to to keep my drink chilled without the benefit of ice. Keep in mind too that the bartender was perfectly capable of yanking our chain for his own amusement. Nevertheless, we were hungry and we departed on our quest.

Lo and behold, he was telling the truth. An actual hot dog vendor not too far from the hotel we were staying.

This wasn't just a hot dog vendor, though. This was a chili dog vendor.

And these weren't just chili dogs. These were chili dogs of the highest order, top quality hot dogs enveloped in perfectly steamed buns before being topped with a pleasantly spicy chili, shredded cheese, and a sprinkling of onion. Were they better than the chili dog I had last year with Chuckles? I'm not sure any food could be better than that, but these were damned close, perhaps even a tie. Good enough that I ate three of them.

When we got in the car this morning, it still smelled of chili dog. Like Proust's madeleines, the chili dog's essence transfixed me.

"Christ, it stinks in here," said my friend.

"No," I said. "It smells like a good time."

"You're a freak," he said.

"I hope they have chili dogs at the game," I said.

They did.

10 comments:

rotten mcdonald said...

street chili dogs are the best. Especially in a cold northern town, known for meat packing, where the heritage of the meat in question... is in question.

And when you've had a drink or two.

dammit, Snag, you jinxed that last drive, didn't you? shouldn't have been pissed that they stopped serving beer in the 3rd quarter, it wasn't you, they do it to ALL the teams...

Pinko Punko said...

I do not like chili dogs, but I like hot dog vendors. A night of drinking and carousing is merely the prelude to the dog.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Chili dogs are sooo meh. I will not change my opinion on this. No matter how much you blog about them.

Righteous Bubba said...

These were chili dogs of the highest order, top quality hot dogs enveloped in perfectly steamed buns before being topped with a pleasantly spicy chili, shredded cheese, and a sprinkling of onion.

Who do you trust about this stuff other than people who've had too much to drink?

rotten mcdonald said...

You realize, Snag, that last time you waxed rhapsodic about a chili dog, we had a rash of chili dog references that very nearly got me banned and made AG take a hostage?

Rock on!!

and a chili dog.

dammit, now I'm hungry. And no street-dog vendor in sight.

fish said...

It was probably a Tofupup with vegan chili and soy cheese.

Snag said...

Offering someone in this town a tofupup could get you killed. No, my friend, this was one hell of a dog, worth a banning, or a hostage taking for that matter. And they sat deliciously atop the butter burger and broasted perch I'd eaten a few hours earlier.

fish said...

So how is the replacement heart?

Snag said...

So how is the replacement heart?

Fortunately, the heart was the one part of the pig left over when they finished making the hot dogs. I'm good for another year.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

No dog is worth getting banned. No, Sir!

Even the one that Billy PiLgRiM went to Washington for and never told AG so she could join the Chuckles/PiLgRiM love fest. Snag on the other hand invited AG to that affair.

I say BP/whatevah the alter ego is gets banned hard!!