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Hot Dog, Y'allBy Cathy Faye Rudolph
Editor, The Daily Apocrypha
In the end, we weren't saved by the Uniformed Forces of Goodness or Mulder and Scully or James Bond in a stealth 'copter or the dynamic duo of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
In the end, our collective bacon was saved by the hot dog.
Looking back, we'd held up pretty well under the stress of daily contemplations of our mortality, as defined by the explosive device inside the sportsbag. Being held hostage by a crazed UNIX programmer (as if there were any other kind) does have a couple of advantages, those being free pizza and soda courtesy of an arm of the Federal Government. Our tax dollars at work...at last. Those of us who had previously been circumspect about every single calorie decided if there was more of us to love, there might also be more of us to find if our captor finally did drop-kick the Big One.
But a steady diet of pizza and soda for four months gets a little tedious. Someone's old bowling trophy, pressed into service as an antenna prop, made me nostalgic for those long and slow grilled hot dogs on the roller grill at the bowling lanes. I traded a little banter with Carly, calling my wistful remembrance about the slow-roasted franks across the cityroom. I turned back to check on how the game was coming along, and discovered I had the programmer's rapt attention.
After that, it was just a matter of time. I talked all-beef, beef and pork, mystery meat combo, and that cousin on the Perdue side of the family, turkey. We argued brown horseradish, hot and sweet, school bus yellow. But when he couldn't restrain a sob as I recounted some of the big names in frankfurter history, I knew we had him. And who says that government bureaucrats are heartless fiends?--the task force, with prisoner in tow, dropped by the deli on the way out of town for hot dogs all around.
I woke up at three this morning, confused by the comfort of my bed and the familiarity of the household. It took several seconds for me to acknowledge that it was all over, that the four-month combination slumber party and hostage crisis was, as we say, old news. When I finally realized just what had awakened me, my laughter woke my husband, who grumbled sleepily that it was good to have me home, even if I *was* demented.
It took a long time to get the tune out of my head.
"Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Meyer weiner,
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