Creative Piece

(The following piece is meant to be a comical, somewhat satirical work surrounding not only the correct nomenclature of the “hot dog” but testing the depth of the word “Revolutionary”. The goal is for the viewer to enjoy the read and take a stance if they so choose.

All-American Sausage Sandwich

Complete this phrase: “For lunch, I’m having a Peanut Butter and Jelly _______.” If you’re like most people, you would have filled answered with “sandwich”, which is correct, of course. A PB & J is, in fact, a sandwich – and a popular one at that.  Other examples of this most treasured midday staple include the Big 10 roster:  Roast Beef, Italian, Turkey, the BLT, Cuban, Reuben, Tuna, Bologna, Marmite (yuck!), and the up and coming Veggie sandwich. However, in recent years, there has been controversy over whether one more item should be added to this list of delectable handhelds: The Hot Dog. If you’re currently scratching your head at this idea, I don’t blame you. When I first heard of the idea of a Hot Dog sharing the same pedigree as a sandwich, I was shocked, perplexed even. I grappled with the idea of what would cause an individual to make such an absurd claim and challenged this bold take immediately.

Obviously, I dove straightaway into Pulitzer Prize worthy research, exploring the defining elements of each delicious morsel and the puzzling quandary of how a hot dog could remotely qualify as a contender in the sandwich category.  In spite of the compelling pros and cons from websites, blogs, articles, and opinions I read (including one from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg!), there is only one thing I can now state with complete conviction: this debate is far from over, folks. 

Let’s run through some fast facts. A Hot Dog is typically known as a “cooked sausage served on a sliced roll.” whereas a sandwich is “a food containing filling placed between two slices of bread.” Therefore, my adamant opinion is that there is no chance a Hot Dog can even vaguely be classified as a sandwich. Case closed. Or so I thought… Here’s where it gets tricky. The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary defines a sandwich as “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between.”  Jeff Mauro, highly regarded as “The Sandwich King”, sided with Merriam-Webster. And last, but not least, Ginsburg chimed in judiciously with three words that hurt me more than I could have ever imagined, “Yes, it is.” THIS. CHANGED. EVERYTHING. The hot dog seemed to fall persuasively under the definition of a sandwich. I was compelled to do everything in my power to disprove this blasphemy. Yet, stacked against the authoritative Merriam-Webster, the beloved Sandwich King, and the grande dame of respectability – Ruth Bader Ginsburg – I felt thoroughly defeated. Still, I wouldn’t give up that easily. I gathered together my own dream team: The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC), Mr. Joey Chestnut – World Record Hot Dog Eating Champion, and the American People. 

The NHDSC’s take on this debate can be easily conveyed through their home page header: “Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy.’” Joey Chestnut tweeted: “I want it to be known the hot dog stands free and independent from the tyranny of the sandwich.” And if those two points weren’t convincing enough, the citizens of the United States have voted.  And the data doesn’t lie. 57 percent of our fellow Americans emphatically begged to differ. A Hot Dog is its own entity and we, the true meat eaters of the world, resent it being demoted to the sub-classification of a sandwich. We hold hot dogs high in our hearts, thoughts, and often above our watering mouths before a soul-satisfying bite. And whether you join arms with the Sandwich King or the Hot Dog King, side with a Supreme Court Justice or the American People, or place your faith in Merriam-Webster or the NHDSC, what matters is that you stand by your opinion. I’ll leave you with one final point to consider: If a vendor at ballgame yelled, “GET YOUR SAUSAGE SANDWICH HERE!”, wouldn’t you be confused?