Fast Franks: For when you just don’t have time for the full, immersive hot dog experience


No longer will you have to suffer through the maddening inconvenience of microwaving your wiener and bun separately.

GateHouse — You know the scene: You wake up early in the morning, the sunrise sneaking in through the plywood you’ve nailed to the inside of your windows (the government — am I right people?). You’re just waking up, rubbing both sleep and clown nightmares out of your eyes, and you’re thinking, “You know what would be great right now? A hot dog — a mouth-watering, damp, pig-rectumalicious hot dog, a treat that’s as American as Mom, baseball and exploiting tragedy for minor political gain.”

But if you’re like me, at this point you grow grumpy and whiny, because the hot dog is all the way over there in the kitchen, which is like two rooms away. And it’s still morning, way too early to think about finding the hot dog, unwrapping the hot dog (which could result in your coming into contact with hot dog juice, which is unacceptable), zapping the hot dog in your microwave, and then — this is an entirely separate requirement, mind you — locating a bun, opening that package and cooking the two objects separately (if you’re one of those hot-bun people; me, I can be pretty easily convinced either way, which makes me feel a whole lot like Mitt Romney).

Of course then there’s condiments: ketchup obtainment, relish selection, mustard application, etc. etc. And only then, like three hours later, can you finally assemble the whole farce into your long-awaited breakfast feast, except by now it’s getting on in the morning and it’s probably more like brunch, but whatever.

Well, friends, your days of hideous terror are over, thanks to a genius product I glimpsed at the grocery store while trying to steal applesauce: Oscar Mayer Fast Franks. A three-pack of fully microwaveable Hot Dogs In A Bun. MICROWAVEABLE HOT DOGS, IN A BUN, THAT COME IN ONE PACKAGE. And they come in your choice of Beef OR Meat varieties.


“It’s mouthwatering to imagine — a tasty, hot and juicy Oscar Mayer hot dog wrapped inside a soft and warm bakery-fresh bun,” reads a press release that was a pure joy to track down. “And now imagine only having to wait 35 seconds for that first delicious bite.” It is one of the unexplained mysteries of modern marketing that no one has brought this up to the Nobel committee yet.

The product’s box is adorned with a tantalizing red “NEW!” label on its packaging; they may have been around for a while, but they’re certainly new to me, which is odd, given that I have a Little Man at home who powers down hot dogs like his very life depends upon making sure the remnants of at least three franks are traveling through his digestive system at all times. In a way, his life does depend on this, as somewhere between 97 and 98 percent of his entire calorie consumption to date has come via hot dogs. The remaining 2 to 3 percent has come from chocolate milk. Yes, yes, I know – we have an in-network pediatric obesity specialist already picked out.


More Columns About Buildings And Food (Note: No Buildings)


But imagine what a sap I felt like, a sucker, a pinhead, a moron, standing there in the grocery store drinking in the glory of Fast Franks; it took all the emotional discipline I could muster to not drop to my knees and embarrass what would frankly have been the entire lunch-meat section with breathtaking praise. “I want to praise Fast Franks with all that is within me, but my tongue seemeth to half in my mouth!” I nearly cried, almost breaking down in tears and scaring the living daylights out of the deli people. Because like an idiot, I’ve spent like three years wasting fully half of my hot-dog preparation time; time that could have been spent teaching him another language or tracking each day the spectacular increase of his body mass index.

Oh sure, Fast Franks probably contain more preservatives and unmentionable chemicals than ordinary hot dogs, sport more wasteful packaging and have the considerably unsettling appearance of what appear to be wiener corpses imprisoned forever in a hermetically sealed gas chamber, but think of the time you’ll save avoiding the complex process of applying a hot dog to a bun that might be on a whole other counter or something. And with the time you save, you can decide which variety you’ll buy next time: beef or meat.


About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

15 responses to “Fast Franks: For when you just don’t have time for the full, immersive hot dog experience

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