Friday, October 28, 2011

Hot Dog Man

The other day, I was rushing around for an end-of -the-day meeting at my school. The students were loudly and gleefully slamming lockers and scrambling toward the exits in buffalo-like heards and I stepped out of the side door with them. On the landing, a bunch of students had gathered into a crowd and were laughing and grabbing at pieces of paper handed to them from below. I looked to see what was up.

There stood a fellow dressed as a hot dog. He had a bun wrapped around him and a squiggly ribbon of mustard running up his belly. His face fitted into a little round hole and he wore thick black glasses. He was passing out brochures for a restaurant. The dialogue ran as follows:

ME: Hi. Uh, what are you doing?

Hot Dog Man (HDM): Handing out bruchures.

ME: You can't do that.

HDM: What?

ME: You can't come onto our campus without permission and hand out advertisements.

HDM: Why?

ME: You need clearance and visitor I.D. to be on our campus.

HDM [clearly angry]: Dude, that's ridiculous.

ME [trying to establish empathy -- even to sound conspiratorial]: We're responsible for these kids. We don't know who you are. So, please . . .

Here, there was a long pause. HDM looked at his  feet then at his brochures. The kids around me waited, cell phones temporarily (miraculously) dangling forgotten at their sides.

HDM [mutters]: Asshole.

KIDS [quiet uproar]: Oooh! Mr. Maaaaaat . . . [they wait]

ME: Um, you're the one dressed like a hot dog, Sparky.

KIDS [laughter; one whispers the obvious to a pal]: Mr. Mat called him an asshole, dude!

HDM [stomping away to a woman by the curb]: See? I told you.

What he had told her, I don't know, but she just shook her head and walked away with him. The kids went back to texting; I got a few high-fives and as I watched Hot Dog Man walk away down the block, his bun wagging and bobbing angrily behind him in the sunlight. The woman beside him walked purposefully, handsomely clad in a black business suit, with arms folded.

Why do people dressed as food pop into my life so often?


  1. You know, of all the improbable things that happened when I was a teacher, there were never people in hot dog suits.

  2. 'nora -- sometimes I am conviced my life is an abstract play by some unsee author. But if it is, people dressed as food is clear motif.(For some reason, I even have a picture in my office of a former student and me; he's dressed as a banana.)

  3. It was clearly only cause he was a hot dog if he dressed as a hamburger he would have been fine.

  4. Are you accusing us of discrimination against hot dogs? Well you're right. Burgers get carte blanche in our neck of the woods.

  5. I was not accusing of discrimination I was just saying if you had to choose to go up to a guy in a burger costume or a guy in a hot dog costume for that split second u would be like what guy would dress like a hot dog and go over to the ridiculously dressed hamburger man. P.S. I dont kno if you got my message on f.b. but thanks for the blog advice i have been keeping up with it in fact i just wrote my newest post 5 minutes ago. Check out Mr Matt let me know what you think please.

  6. Chris, I'll keep that in mind should we ever meet in the so-called Real World.