We here at DadWagon were worried sick when we heard that 17 percent of food-chokings are caused by hot dogs — sending 10,000 kids under the age of 14 to the emergency room each year. After all, we are New Yorkers. Hot dogs are our national dish.
So we called upon the skills of another transplanted New Yorker, the hyper-talented artist and designer Jon-Paul Villegas, to redesign the hot dog. He immediately confessed a fascination with “America’s favorite meat slurry” that kids love despite persistent rumors that they are made out of “clown hearts, corncobs, elf necks [and] hobo guts.” And though Villegas noted that hot dogs will never be all that healthy — even if they become less “chokey” — he still volunteered five eminently survivable hot dog designs, each with his explanations attached. Vote for your favorite at the bottom!
The Scary Dog: I saw a YouTube video once of a giant snake swallowing a baby hippo. It just kind of crawled over it with its mouth. This is what kids do, because they don’t fear their prey. So they choke. Solution: Dress up the dog in some kind of a scary outfit so the kid doesn’t recklessly wolf it down. Drawback: The tiny props are themselves potential choking hazards.
The Topical Ointment Dog: Grab a rag. Slather it on. You eat it with your PORES!
The Snuff Dog: Finally, meat granules that you can actually SNORT! It’s like pounding an entire jar of BACOS through your NOSE-HOLE!
The Malted Dog. Frosty, puréed delightfulness. “Hello, Mr. Soda Jerk, I’ll have a thirsty-two-ouncer with mustard sauce and onion jimmies, and make it snappy, ’cause I am PARCHED!” Who needs hot, unwieldy, esophagus-clogging solid food when you can have a cold, creamy, and refreshing non-dairy meat shake? Pâté meets McFlurry for those sticky summer months. Eat it with a spoon. Or better yet, use a straw, young feller. But hey, watch out for that brain-freeze!
The Meat Torus, a.k.a. the Fleshnut: Essentially, this design is a ring of delicious nitrate-infused scrumptiousness. Like a doughnut, but made of meat. The obvious benefit of this design is that it retains the firm, fleshy consistency of the traditional frank, but without the throat-clogging length of a standard dog. Small bites, people.
I think that “fleshnut” could be my new favourite expression.
Of course, you could just go with the easy fix for all things edible and chokeable: just put the hog dog in one of those Munchkin mesh-bag-on-a-handle-self-feeder gadgets and let the kids safely suck the nitrates out.
is my take on the 2.0 hotdog… since kids choke on the skin (which sometimes is hard eliminating most of it would help… the wrap around skin would hold the pre-segmented hotdog together (like a traditional dog). The pre-segmented pieces will be easier to take a bit of and will make it more manageable for kids to not over eat per a bit.
"When we met my dad at Starbucks he said I couldn’t play with his laptop but I forgot. He also said don’t fool around with his phone but I think I FaceTimed Australia. My dad sighed and published a short piece on Medium about the challenges of raising kids in the digital age."