Hot dogs closeup  Wieners, frankfurters, franks, weenies, dogs, pups, red hots…

Out with the hat and gloves, out with frosted-over windshields and early sunsets. In with sprinklers and flowers, bathing suits and, if lucky, get-away vacations. For many, we’re in the middle of the best season of all, and yet…

An early July Oracle Happiness Report revealed that 45% of us “have not felt true happiness since early 2020,” and 25% “don’t know or have forgotten what it means to be truly happy.”

And this morning’s USA Today Snapshot of an AP-NORC poll shows that just 14% of us think America is headed in the right direction vs. a whopping 85% who say it isn’t, so, instead of sharing education news today, I’m going with summer’s all-time one-handed wonder, the hot dog. July, is, after all, National Hot Dog Month, so think you should know that:

  1. While sausages reportedly hark back to 700 BCE, credit goes to German immigrants who sold their “dachshund sausages” out of a food cart in the 1860s in New York City.
  2. It’s said that, around 1879, German immigrant Charles Feltman opened the first hot dog stand in Coney Island and sold some 3,600 of them!
  3. When a St. Louis vendor ran out of white gloves to help folks hold their hot sausages, he stuck them in white buns.
  4. By 1883, baseball games and hot dogs were the perfect pairing and still are…

And that’s just for starters:

  • Story has it that, at a baseball game at New York’s Polo Grounds, cartoonist Tad Dorgan heard vendors shouting, “Get your red-hot dachshund sausages.” In turn, he reportedly drew a dachshund dog in a bun, but, unable to spell dachshund, he called them “hot dogs.”
  • Disney’s Mickey Mouse’s first spoken words were “hot dogs” in the cartoon The Carnival Kid.
  • Americans gobble up some $2 billion dollars’ worth of hot dogs every year.
  • Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, we devour about 7 billion hot dogs!
  • The average American eats 70 hot dogs a year!
  • Nathan’s 2022 Hot Dog Eating Contest winner, Joey Chestnut, downed 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes—that’s 7.6 franks every minute for a total of 22,040 calories and 60,040 mg of sodium!

Oh, yes, the toppings…

A recent online Harris Poll found that mustard is #1, with 71% of the vote. Then come:

#2. ketchup (52%)
#3. onions (47%)
#4. chili (45%)
#5. relish (41%)

Ketchup?? Really?? But, if that brings you a measure of good cheer, that’s good enough for me this summer of our discontent, 2022. Grab a cold one and enjoy.

~ With thanks, Carol