I first saw this thing called the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile driving around Ocean City in the early 1990s. You'd turn a corner, and there it would be, this big yellow vehicle with a hot dog atop it sitting at a light, or parked along a side street.
It was an odd sight, yet to me it sort of fit right in with Ocean City's boardwalk and family-fun atmosphere. But the section that is supposed to be the bun – it looks like an older model yellow sedan – always reminded me of a big banana and got me thinking about what else they could turn those big old land yachts from the 1970s and 1980s into. A mobile banana split, perhaps?
But then I'd get an earworm of that old jingle "I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener" … and whether it actually ever made me hungry for a hot dog, I really couldn't tell you, though I did consume a hot dog as I wrote this. (In the interest of full disclosure, it was a Ball Park frank; I like the way they plump up when I cook them.)
But the Wienermobile is back and celebrating its 25th anniversary with a – pardon the pun – meat-and-greet across the United States this summer. It'll be making some stops at grocery stores at the Jersey Shore – which certainly could use a little fun after all the aggravation with Superstorm Sandy – in the Brick/Point Pleasant/Neptune/Toms River area between May 9 and 12.
According to a press release rife with more silly puns than I have been able to muster, the Oscar Mayer folks are hoping to "ketchup with you" and give you an exclusive tour of the unique vehicle and hand out collectible wiener whistles.
It'll be at the Stop & Shop, 55 Brick Boulevard, in Brick Township, from 1 to 6 p.m. on May 9; at the Stop & Shop, 505 Richmond Avenue, in Point Pleasant, from 1 to 6 p.m. on May 10; the Stop & Shop, 116 Third Avenue and Route 35, Neptune, from 12 to 5 p.m. on May 11; and Stop & Shop, 353 Route 37 East, Toms River, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 12.