“What the F*** You Want?” Wieners Circle in the Age of Covid
today at 5:48 pm
When we talk about “snap” in a hot dog, we’re talking about that toothsome quality in a dog that bites back a little bit – the unyielding before succumbing to the bite. You don’t get it in a skinless wiener or in a cheap dog you buy in bulk. They are found in Chicago.
Chicago is the land of the thick-skinned. In hot dogs and in the people.
That’s why The Wieners Circle is the perfect Chicago hot dog stand. You order your dog and you become the victim of a torrent of abuse – some of it quite profane and obscene. The ladies behind the counter are on their game, and if you are not expecting it, the more relentless they are.
It may be strange to say, but after months of holing up, you begin to miss the muscularity of the abuse, the “stand-there-and-take-itness” of the experience. The purity of well-directed insult! My God, what archery! How Chicago!
Take it all in for a moment:
“What the f*** you want?” is the typical greeting. The names they hurl on you next are creative in the extreme, but a guy like me couldn’t escape the “Richie Cunningham” label. My hair was red before it turned white, and my cheeks were, pretty much, “apple cheeks.” A former nickname of mine was “Grizzly Opie,” in other words, Richie Cunningham with a beard. They had a field day with me. I laughed my ass off.
Remember when Conan sent Jack McBrayer to The Wieners Circle? They called him “Malibu Ken.” Good thing Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was along:
As John Keats said once upon a time, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
But some joyful things don’t last forever.
Alas, The Wieners Circle is on hiatus during “these difficult times” and is closed for the next several months. The staff is no doubt standing by and are, as Robert Burns famously said, “kindling their wrath to keep it warm.” Anyone with an ex-wife is familiar with that particular fire that burns slow and hot until you get home.
The people who dish out the abuse (and the excellent food, by the way) still have bills to pay, families to raise, landlords to appease, and groceries to buy. Why not help them out?
Sarah Levine started a fundraiser for the crew at Wiener’s Circle. So far they have raised about half of their goal. Chip in five or ten bucks if you can. Act like you received a char Polish in return and a verbal drubbing of being called something unspeakable. Cut and paste the link to your browser.You’ll feel better. We all will.
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