Star-Spangled Banger

To my American friends, Happy 4th of July, and here’s a story to honor (note spelling, just for today) one of your greatest treasures…. 


“I have to say I’m dubious,” said Mr Edwards, Manager of the Charlotte First Commercial Bank.

“Don’t worry, they’ll sell like hot cakes,” said his client, Mr Feltman.

“Then why not just sell hot cakes.”

“Because this is new, and a challenge.”

“That’s true,” said Mr Edwards, “getting people to eat hot dog certainly will be a challenge.”

“Here, I’ve brought a prototype,” said his client. He reached into his briefcase and produced a small cylindrical-shaped piece of what seemed to be pink meat.

“What’s that?” asked Mr Edwards faintly.

“It’s a wiener.”

“That’s what I was afraid of,” said Mr Edwards, even more faintly.

Mr Feltman took a bun from his briefcase, sliced a gash along the side of it with a large knife (I’ll have to have a word with Security, thought Mr Edwards, there’s no way he should have been able to get that into a bank) and placed the wiener inside.

“It looks most appetising,” said Mr Edwards.

“It does, doesn’t it?” said Mr Feltman, to whom sarcasm was a closed book, rather like cookery books. “It’s not finished yet, this mustard gets poured onto it,” he continued. He produced a bottle and applied a dirty yellow goo to the wiener in a wavy line, like a child’s drawing of the sea. “It’ll be served in this paper tissue, which will stick to the mustard. This will add flavor.”

“It could probably use it. And your saying that this delicacy will be called Hot Dog.”

“No, a Hot-Dog. If I called it just Hot Dog people would think there was dog in it.”

“Which there isn’t.”

“What? No, there’s no dog, there’s just sausage, made from, er, whatever sausage is made from.” Mr Feltman looked down at the wiener, then up at Mr Edwards. “Gee, you didn’t think -”

“Of course not. But why mention the word dog in something you’re trying to get people to eat?”

“It’s a catchy name. It’s called marketing.”

“It’s called madness.”

Mr Feltman looked crestfallen. “So does that mean you won’t lend me the money?”

Mr Edwards knew he should say no. But he was still haunted by the time, when he was very young, when he’d refused a loan to an old Colonel who’d wanted to sell chicken in a bucket. “Ok, I’ll lend it to you,” he said.

The rest is history. Mr Feltman made a fortune, Mr Edwards got promoted, and finally stopped having the nightmare where people surrounded him, shouting the strange phrase “you turned down the beetles”.


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