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Hot Diggidy Dog

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The Weinermobile Photo Credit Kraft Foods

by Kathleen Walls

Cruising across America's highways and byways to all the fun festivals and events in a 27-foot-long dog with six captain-style armchairs and a 180 degree windshield and getting paid to do it, what a way to tour the country! There are only twelve active Hotdoggers driving a Weinermobile. I recently met two young people who are doing just that. Hot Diggity Holly and Jess Grillin' are having the time of their lives while learning new skills that will help in later career choices.


For those of you who are not familiar with this American icon, the Weinermobile is a rolling Oscar Myer hot dog on bun that has been tooling around American roads since 1936 with a brief hiatus during WWII due to gas rationing. There are eight Weinermobiles six of which are actively cruising the country as we speak. The other two are a mini version and a food truck style used for special events. The Hotdoggers, as drivers are called, are chosen from United States colleges graduating seniors. They operate in teams of two and are assigned a section of the country. They operate for one year from June 1 until the following June 1. The positions are highly sought after. Last year there were over 2,000 applicants for the 12positions.

Jess and Holly are on the South Route for the first part of the year and will be switched to a different section for the next six month. They have been to places like South Padre Island, McAllen, Laredo, Dallas, Houston, Austin, in Texas, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Fl and ... well all over the place. They are learning as they go and having a great time doing it.  Their skills complement each other instead of duplicating them. Holly is a Spanish and Communication major with a minor in Journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. 

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Hot Diggity Holly and Jess Grillin'  Photo Credit Kraft Foods

Jess graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BBA in International Business and Management & Human Resources. Both of these young women can complement the other's skills as they travel and both will learn many new skills from the other as well as the on-the-road-experience.

I caught up with them at Ponte Vedra Beach where they were appearing at the Winn Dixie Open Golf Tournament.  I found them helping little golfers-to-be try for a hole in one on a single mini putting green, passing out stickers saying "I saw the Weinermobile" and answering a lot of questions about their amazing vehicle/traveling advertisement.  Normally, they would have been handing out Oscar Myer Weiner Whistles to kids but the tournament people made them promise not to just this once.

So when the Weinermobile visits your neck of the woods, be sure to "ketchup" with it. "Frankly" the hotdoggers "relish" "meat"ing new friends. Another skill that is necessary for the job is the ability to pull off really atrocious puns wiht a straight face. And if you pass them on the road be sure to honk hello. Did I mention the Weinermobile horn plays "I Wish I Was ...." in 21 different genres from Cajun to Rap.



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