You don’t believe it at first. The muchness of the whole thing. It arrives at your door wrapped in foil, like a Cheech and Chong joke, and way too big to be a… corndog?
And then you gingerly pull away at the corners of the foil, peeling it back so as not to disturb the food baby inside. You’re reminded of an old-timey carnival as the steam escapes, the fried dough smell bringing up atavistic memories — movies from your childhood.
And when you’re finally faced with the thing — the behemoth diameter, the ornate crust, the potential messiness — you wonder how far you can unhinge your jaw to just get in there, taking that first bite to make your way down to the Nathan’s all-beef hot dog inside.
You don’t even wait to plate up the rest of your food — the Bangkok Balls and spicy Sichuan cauliflower, the buzzy La Zi Ji. You’re standing at the kitchen counter and you dip the tip — just the tip — in mustard and ketchup, and then go for it. A massive chomp that rains corn flakes and panko back into the foil.
And now you see the big old dog in the middle, like it’s been wrapped in a fucked-up pancake, and that next bite is the full picture, all savory beef and sweet crunch, the tang of the mustard and the comfort of the ketchup.
Before you know it, the corn dog is just… gone. All you’re left with is the stick. And just like you did as a kid, you’re nibbling the last crunchy bits off it, feeling just a tad bereft that you didn’t order two hot dogs while at the same time realizing what a terrible and beautiful idea that would have been.
The carousel music playing in your head slowly drifts away. You pluck a whole corn flake off the foil and put it in your mouth.
And then you sit down for dinner.