By: Ben Loory
I had a friend who used to drive the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile around. But honestly, who cares about that? Some great big fake hot dog cruising around the country? Hate to tell you, it’s just a big billboard ad.
But I guess somehow, because it moves—because it’s a car—that makes it seem like it’s actually something else. Makes it seem like it’s romantic, like it’s from some other world.
Some other world where they drive big hot dogs around.
But as for me, I don’t care. Or maybe I do a little—but hey, I try to keep it under wraps. Not that I’ve ever even seen the Wienermobile.
But if I did, I wouldn’t look away.
I mean, if it was standing there, like, parked in some parking lot, and they were asking passersby if they wanted tours, I’d probably say yes? Go in and look around.
I mean, okay, why not? I’d say.
And what if I was in there, and it was only me, and somehow, the drivers went away—like maybe they got a call, or had to go to the grocery store?
If the keys were in it, would I drive it away?
Would I fire up that hot dog and slam the thing in gear, barrel it on out of the goddamn lot? Head out to the highway and stomp down on the gas?
Give it absolutely everything it’s got?
And what if I was out there, going ninety miles an hour, and it turned into some kind of high-speed chase? Would I carefully and apologetically pull that thing over?
Or would I say Fuck it, I’m going out My Way?
Would I point that hot dog straight toward the ocean? Would I drive it off that cliff as best I could?
And would I scream and laugh and cry and dance the whole way down?
But I wish I would.
Ben Loory is the author of Tales of Falling and Flying (Penguin, 2017) and Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day (Penguin, 2011). His fables and tales have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Electric Literature, and Fairy Tale Review, and been heard on This American Life and Selected Shorts.