This past Sunday Miami natives were treated to a rare sight. Stationed in the parking lot of the Walgreen's on 117th Avenue and Sunset Drive was the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in all its plumped up glory.
Wienermobile sightings have been relished by Americans, hot dog fans or not, since 1936. The "hot dog on a lightly toasted bun" is custom made from fiberglass. This is no ordinary foot-long either; the Wienermobile stretches 27-feet, has a V-8 engine, and a Chevrolet W4 Series chassis.
he real attraction of the Wienermobile, however, is simply that it is a giant hot dog on wheels. Can you imagine how much fun it would be to drive or ride in a 27-foot-long hot dog? People have been fantasizing about it since the Wienermobile first hit the "scenic-krauts" of America 50 years ago, which is why 15,000 people entered Oscar Mayer's contest to drive the Wienermobile for a day in 2004.
The lucky dogs who get to pilot the Wienermobile around the country for a year are called hotdoggers. Every year, about 1200 college graduates apply for the 12 hotdogger spots. If accepted, the candidate has to cut the mustard at Hot Dog High before being riding shotbun. Upon graduation, the hotdogger salami swears to "relish the delicacy, ketchup on the great taste of hot dogs, and give in to the craving once it's mustard." They also have to promise to always wear their "meatbelts."
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Hot Dog High is where the hotdoggers learn all their awesome puns. It's where they also earn their cool hotdogger names, like Joey Bologna and Super Dog Sam.
The six Wienermobiles go on twelve-month tours of the U.S., hot dogging it in small towns and big cities and always drawing a crowd, while hotdoggers hand out wiener whistles. On the 2010 tour, you get to pose with the Wienermobile, while the hotdogger takes two pictures of you and your new best friend, which are then posted online for you to download.
In front of the Walgreen's pharmacy, men, women, and children all staggered towards WNR MBLE as if they couldn't believe their eyes. And really...who could?
Check out the hotdogger blog for more Wienermobile adventures.