Go On, Mock The Guy Wearing The Hot Dog Suit. He Thinks You’re Doing It AnyhowPosted: June 13, 2011
There was a time when I really wasn’t putting the effort into school that I ought to have been. My parents never gave up on getting me to bring that effort forth. They kept trying until they found the right combination of words and action that would get me started on the path to being the productive, mortgage paying adult that I am.
Living in North Carolina in the summer is pretty nice, if you are in the western mountains or on the beaches to the east. If you’re in the middle, like I am, living in North Carolina is like living on the surface of the Sun. It is like living on the surface of the Sun, minus the view. It is kind of hot.
One day last week, the owner of a pizza place near my house sent one of his employees outside to promote that hot dogs were now on his menu. The employee had on a hot dog costume. There was a hole in the hot dog that allowed the face of the person wearing the costume to be the only part of him that was visible.
My dad and I were in the car together, back in our younger days. We stopped for fuel. A man working at the gas station was pumping gas into another customer’s car. My dad spoke up - “Do you see that guy? All day, that’s what he does. Over and over. Do you want to do that?” When I said I did not, he equated doing that sort of work with not having stayed on top of one’s school work. It was one of the things that made me see the light.
Last week was hot and very dry. There were few clouds to block the sun beating down on the Piedmont area of North Carolina.
I saw him standing next to the road during that especially hot week, dressed as a hot dog. He was holding a pizza box with a hand-lettered sign on the bottom, announcing the price of the new hot dogs. He looked miserable. As miserable as a guy in a hot dog suit on the surface of the sun, or on a North Carolina summer day, can be.
My son does well in school. Still, he did go through a period of not applying himself. In that way he is a chip off the old block. Struggling to find the switch that would release the energy for learning I knew was within him, I remembered my Dad and the gas station. It took some effort, but I was able to find a gas station with full service. Who knows if that’s what threw the switch? Eventually, something did.
Some day in the distant future, I’ll be a grandfather. My part of North Carolina will still be flaming hot in the summer.
No one will pump gas for a living by that point in history. I’d better make some time to show my son the hot dog suit guy, just in case he needs a little something extra to flip the switch for the next generation.
Poor, poor hot dog guy.