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Rachel Belle

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Brings Smiles...But No Hot Dogs!

Rachel Belle poses with the famed Wienermobile.
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When you honk the horn of a 27 foot long Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, it sings:

"Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener!"

The hot-dog-on-wheels stopped outside of KIRO Radio and every single pedestrian who passed by stopped to take a photo and grin at the big, shiny monstrosity.

"Our motto is Spreading Miles of Smiles, and who cannot help but smile when they see the Wienermobile for the first time?" asks Oscar Meyer Brand Ambassador, Cokie Reed. "It just brings joy to everyone's day."

Cokie, AKA Cold Cut Cokie, is technically an Oscar Meyer Brand Ambassador, but casually she's known as a Hotdogger. Every year since 1988, Oscar Mayer has recruited recent college graduates to drive the Wienermobiles around the country.

"About 1,200 applicants apply every year and only 12 get the job," Cokie said. "We travel around the country all year long, just going from city to city, state to state."

Hotdogger Kate Bennett, or Pigs in a Blankate, shares a little hot dog history.

"The Wienermobile has been around since 1936. It was first made by Carl Mayer who was Oscar Mayer's nephew. The first two Wienermobiles were actually scrapped for their metal during the war. The 1952 Wienermobile is at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. That's like a Mecca for Hotdoggers."

Ok, so here's the deal: the vehicle is shaped like a hot dog, it has hot dog shaped accouterments:

"That is our bun box! People have glove boxes in their regular car, we have a bun box."

The hotdoggers are constantly craving hot dogs...yet there isn't a single hot dog on board!

"We get people thinking about hot dogs," Cokie said. "So once they see the Wienermobile they're like, 'Hey, I want an Oscar Mayer hot dog,' and they go buy it."

Hot dogs are like pizza: the way you dress a dog up is quite regional. Putting ketchup on a dog is especially controversial. Even the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council's website says: Don't use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18.

I asked the Hotdoggers how they take their franks.

"When I was younger, I just used to take it out the pack and eat it," cokie said. "I don't do that now. I just like a plain hot dog with the hot dog and the bun."

Kate's from Missouri but her taste is pretty much in line with the classic Seattle Dog.

"Cream cheese, Sriracha, relish, sauerkraut, mustard."

You guys, I have to be frank, I pretty much did this story for one reason and one reason only: to relish in all of the hot dog puns.

"We do have a lot of puns. A lot of people ask us if we sleep in it. It's no Weeniebago. When people ask me how fast it goes I say, 'It goes up to 70 but it's no Lamborweenie. We always follow the speed limit.' We relish driving the Wienermobile. To get the job we had to cut the mustard. We'll ketchup with you later. It's nice to meat you."

Ring My Belle on KIRO Radio

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