Its cold. It's the day after Valentine's Day. I'm already late for work by the time I step out of the shower and wrap a towel turban around my head.
As I walk from the sink to the closet, a burst of orange catches my eye. Just below my third story window is the Wienermobile.
Generally some fresh flowers or a little note will do but since I was on my own this time, I accepted this giant phallus as a gift from the universe. The kind of gift that bends you over a hot dog cart and reminds you who's boss. Oh yeah. You're fucked.
I do get a little nostalgic when it comes to the Wienermobile. It makes me think of Sundays at Nun's Beach in Capitola when I and 300 other happy campers (literally) invaded the beach- no matter how fucking cold and windy it was. We all sported red bathing suits and our proud green Kennolyn camp teeshirts and sweatshirts (is that yours? no? is it mine? no? where's yours? who's is that?).
We had to have a buddy when we went into the the water and when the lifeguard blasted two whistles, we sloshed through the sea to grasp the shivering hands of our buddies and raise them up high to prove that a) we were cool enough to have another person who wanted to be our buddy and b) we were good little rule followers.
When the lifeguard was satisfied no one had drifted off into the bay, he let out another whistle and we were again free to bounce up and down in the waves and dig our toes into the sand.
But that wasn't the best part. Neither was the hike up to the nunnery to use the bathroom- although that was a close second. You try pulling on your cold, wet one piece bathing suit followed by stiff sandy jeans after getting nearly completely naked just to take a piss. Only assholes peed in the ocean. So I guess that makes all those happy sea creatures assholes. Even sea otters.
The best part was "dinner". A special place was roped off with a few dozen "firepits" (read- holes dug into the sand with lit briquettes). This is when they busted out the roasting sticks and hot dogs. I always found that sliding the hot dog on lengthwise versus piercing it through the middle made for a more thoroughly cooked weenie. But it also increased the sand to dog ratio.
Once we were fairly certain the dog was mostly cooked- it had begun to sweat a little, maybe plump up some- we slipped that puppy into the cold bun that we had doctored up with a little ketchup and relish. By the time I got to the mustard packet, I lost my motor skills and ended up squirting Mandy Walsh on the knee. So into the bun the dog goes then into the mouth. It tastes like this: cold-soft bun, waaay hot casing, slight crunch as you bite through it, then slightly warmed inside and crunch. Sand.
Sand in your mouth, sand in your crotch, sand in your hair and your belly button. As you eat you feel the salt from the ocean drying on your face and mixing with the slight sunburn across your cheeks and nose (they used to call that "healthy color"). When you lick your lips you can taste it and your lips feel parched even though they are wet and you know that what your thirst for is simply water.
So... let's return to the present. Its oh.. 10 pm CST in Austin Texas. I'm puttering around in my suite and I look out the window again. And there it is. The Wienermobile. This time its using a tourbus as a decoy- and its parked several yards away- but I know its there. You can see it too. Just look.