Thirsty? Step right up to the Brewers Bar and let me pour you a tap of Lakefront IPA. What, you like that one but want to try something new? How about Milwaukee Brewing Company’s Litta Bitta White IPA, which is named after the feud that cracked the area in half in the early days before Juneau and Kilbourn came together and Milwaukee was born. It’s a little crazy, with some citrus and fruit flavors and perfect for a zany Friday, which sees our Milwaukee Brewers ballclub in Boston, already playing American League ball only three games into the season. Well that’s the way it goes with odd 15-team leagues nowadays. You gotta have the interleague all over the place to make it work. Why don’t you have a nice little snifter of 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey to go along with that beer? It’s Friday, so who gives a fock.
You know what I was getting to, before you stepped up to the bar here, is that there sure are a lot of these ridiculously absurd hot dogs for sale, each trying to out-size and out-perform the other. I like sausage, don’t get me wrong, particularly kielbasa, Italian and chorizo. Firing up the grill is a celebrated pastime. I love that Miller Park is the only MLB stadium where sausages outsell hot dogs. Hot dogs…those base and degenerate amalgamations of pork, beef, turkey, chicken and Bog knows what else or what less. Hey, I like a Chicago dog or a Coney as much as the next person, from time to time, but it’s gotta be an all-beef frank, not one of these wieners made out of stuff I don’t want to know about.
But my regularly scheduled programming keeps getting interrupted by reports of the latest wacky snausages and 20-foot-long dogs that just have to be mass-produced because they’re so damn popular and people elect to be the ones braving a new grotesque world scarfing down as much nasty crap as possible. It’s the United States, so there’s gonna be excess, but does any of this really taste good, or is it all for show? Do folks want to show how much dog they can eat, or how much dog they have in their pockets? The Arizona Diamondbacks are probably working overtime trying to fortify their stock of $25, 18-inch corn dogs cleverly called “D-Bats,” which are stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon and the exterior engulfed in fries. I would hope that this revolting dish would be served with the key to a private restroom, but they sold 300 of these suckers on opening night and then ran out the next day, so it looks like everyone will resort to the common restrooms to deal with the gastrointestinal consequences. According to the Diamondbacks, some fans waited nearly an hour to buy a D-Bat on opening night. I guess you’d have to pay me rather than the other way around.
Along with frozen beer and bacon on a stick, the Texas Rangers offer the “Choomongous,” a two-foot-long sammy with Asian beef and spicy slaw. At least that’s not a hot dog, but you know, again with the size-does-matter hysteria. At least the Cobb salad at the Dallas-area ballpark looks fresh and healthy, and not all beige and brown. For the kiddies, the Chicago White Sox plan to offer a three-pound, 12-scoop sundae in a full-size batting helmet for $17. Wait, wasn’t that outlawed by Congress or something? Oh yeah, those mysterious Diamondbacks also have something called the “Venom Dog,” a foot-long habanero sausage with beans, guacamole and sour cream. The toppings are a regional thing, I get that. I’m going to assume the sausage involved is actual sausage and has some spice to it, so maybe the Venom Dog gets a pass.
Then there are the clearly insane high-end dogs, like a $2,300 dog made out of Japanese cow meat and topped with “Vidalia onions caramelized in Dom Perignon, sauerkraut braised in Cristal and caviar,” but you can only overpay for that one in New York City, per the Daily Mail. That one actually looks quite appetizing, I must say. But stuff like the “Boomstick” in Texas or whatever that dude is posing with from Dougie Dog in Vancouver, Canada, in the picture in the Daily Mail story…ewww. Actually, looking at the Dougie Dog menu, the yam fries are intriguing and the chili cheese fries look tantalizing…damn, I’m hungry now.
I’m not hungry enough for the $40 “Ultimate Hot Dog Challenge” which MLB or someone sinister brazenly unleashed on possibly unsuspecting Australians at the Sydney Opening Series, however. The ad for this all-too-American behemoth boasts that it’s “24 inches of delicious smoked frankfurter topped with American beef, chilli [sic], cheese sauce, tomatoes, onions and cheddar cheese in a hot dog that’s perfect to share with your mates!” Umm…no thanks. I’m comfortable in my own skin; I don’t feel the need to wield the largest or longest hot dog. I’m not pulled to share a giant-phallus boomstick with my mates. Generally we don’t share dishes unless it’s family style.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Certainly when you buy 24 inches of food, you won’t have to reload for at least a few innings, if not more. Some of these monstrosities even come in formidable cardboard containers, the easier to carry and better to protect and preserve your dog. And perhaps I’m just not a part of the tribe that likes to slurp down hot dogs all day long. Not every one likes beer, not everyone likes gyros, or baseball. It takes all kinds, I guess, and more power to them. I just hope they don’t have heart attacks. I don’t often eat hot dogs, but when I do, it’s a simple stadium dog with sauerkraut and mustard, maybe some onions if they got ‘em. But I prefer sausages because they got some real taste and flavor packed in, unlike the blandness of hot dogs, which itself is impenetrable if there’s a pound of diversifying toppings floating above it. Especially guacamole. Avocado is all-encompassing and omnipotent, don’t they realize that?
Well enjoy your drinks and holler at me if you want another. I’ll be down at the end of the bar watching the ball game. Maybe I’ll order a burger.