35 Comments

  1. I don’t think it’s a universe where no-one has eaten a hot dog. It’s a universe where people buying a foot-wide hot dog would seriously see it as something quite different than a foot-long hot dog and be genuinely puzzled about how to eat them.

  2. At the Minnesota State Fair, there are a number of booths that advertise “about a FOOT-LONG HOT DOG” (with the “about a” in small lettering), apparently because they fear getting sued by someone who buys one that measures out to only eleven and a half inches. I’m not sure if there’s really been a test case on that or if they’re just being cautious. But there are also a couple of stands that advertise a ‘MILE-LONG HOT DOG” with no disclaimer, presumably on “Hey, OBVIOUSLY we’re kidding” theory.

    Which makes me wonder where the breaking point is. I’m sure one could still get away with a “HALF-MILE-LONG HOT DOG” sign, but probably not with a “YARD-LONG” or “METER-LONG” one. There must be some point between those extremes where you’d stop having trouble. I suppose one could test this by setting up a few hundred hot dog stands at the Fair, advertising hot dogs at increasing lengths, and seeing when you start getting sued, but I see some practical problems with that technique.

  3. There was a picture that went around a few weeks ago that was allegedly Justin Bieber eating a burrito like this. That might be where Vic Lee got his inspiration.

  4. ” I’m not sure if there’s really been a test case on that or if they’re just being cautious.”

    Subway was successfully sued for having “footlong” sandwiches that averaged a meager 11.75 inches long.

  5. I think it’s a marketing ploy. He stands out among the foot longs because he is different. And, if you eat it as you normally would, it would no longer be a foot wide, it would then be a foot long. Good marketing on two points. One, you notice it because it’s different and Two, if you like it you will remember the name and seek him out next time.

  6. JP: Subway was unsuccessfully sued for having “footlong” sandwiches that averaged a meager 11.75 inches long.

  7. “JP: Subway was unsuccessfully sued for having “footlong” sandwiches that averaged a meager 11.75 inches long.”

    Yeah, but like that 80 year old women who suffered 2nd degree burns on her arms and legs because McDonalds served her a beverage whose temperature should be 120 degrees and 192 degrees and sued but lost thousands of dollars in hospital bills and court costs, what will be remembered will be what people like to hear.

    You know that story: Feckless opportunistic woman successfully sues MacDonalds for 10s of millions of dollars for serving coffee that is actually hot.

    Doesn’t matter if you win or lose, the folklore will be whatever is must illustrates the point you think is wrong with the world

  8. I seem to recall some sort of kerfuffle with McDonald’s quarter-pounders not weighing that much, so the “pre-cooked weight” addendum resulted.

  9. Mitch4, since this is all theoretical anyway… I believe it’s more likely that hot dogs would exist on an alternate universe Earth than on another planet in our universe.

  10. Ah, I don’t know the metaphysics to apply! But indeed I didn’t mean another real planet — but didn’t stop to think that to get an alternate-reality planet implies an entire alternate-reality universe. (Of course, that was all just to match the strip’s title.)

  11. But… would corn on the cob *be* a good way to eat a foot wide. If you start and the back and you turn it over your condiments would fall out.

  12. JP: What does printing the expiration date on the credit card receipt have to do with 11.75-inch sandwiches?

  13. Shrug: I agree; if yards of ale and six-foot party subs that measure one yard and two yards respectively are real things (which they are), a person would have a reasonable expectation that a yard-long hot dog would be a yard long. A yard of ale is somewhere between two and six drinks, depending on diameter, and is therefore not impossible for one person to drink, although I think it’s usually more of a “dare” thing than a way people drink generally.

  14. There was a story a year back or so about American Ale Houses claiming that clearly referring to “pints” was colloquialism an that no-one could reasonable expect it to literally mean 16 fluid ounces and surely fourteen or twelve ounces would qualify as “pints” in most people’s minds.

    My response was… unprintable.

    Of course, here in the most buck for your lack of bang state in the country they tend not to actually say they are pints but just to list as …. no quantifiable measure. Nothing more irritating than a bar that serves beer in 12 oz. glasses for 7 bucks. Grrrrr.

  15. woozy: “Nothing more irritating than a bar that serves beer in 12 oz. glasses for 7 bucks”

    What about a bar that serves beer in 12 oz. glasses for 8 bucks?

  16. @woozy: Given the (folk ?) ethymology of “a baker’s dozen” meaning thirteen — that a baker Back In The Bad Old Days faced so terrible a punishment for shortchanging that it was better to give 13 for the price of 12, just in case of miscounting — perhaps what’s needed for the ‘foot-long hotdogs that aren’t and the pints of ale that aren’t’ problems are threatened punishments for underage so frightening as to result in creating routine concepts of a “griller’s foot” (13 inches) and a “tapster’s pint” (17 ounces).

    Let 101 flowers bloom; let 101 schools of though contend. . .

  17. James, that link is actually for a current 30 million dollar settlement over FACTA violations where Subway’s Point of Sale equipment printed the expiration date of credit and debit cards on the receipt slip. I think I may be owed some restitution here….

  18. They’ve seen the movie Used Cars, in which the antagonist has doctored the protagonist’s TV ad to say that they sell “miles of cars”. There was a lawsuit. The court came out to measure the cars on the lot, and the defendant won because the tape measure just hit 1 mile long when the license plate tipped over on the last car exposing its gas cap.

  19. Who has been to a brick-and-mortar Books-a-Million store? Can you estimate for us the number of volumes available at that location?

  20. There’s a bakery that sells a “Mile High Apple Pie” which is about 5,279 feet short of a mile.
    All this talk makes me think of a “Blondie” strip from the 1930’s:
    Dagwood: Get me a soda from the refrigerator.
    Blondie: No.
    Dagwood: I’ll give you a million dollars.
    Blondie: No.
    Dagwood: I’ll give you a million billion trillion dollars.
    Blondie: No.
    Dagwood: I’ll give you ten cents.
    Blondie: OK.

  21. A proper pint of beer is 20 fluid ounces, Imperial measure (with a half-ounce tolerance for error), no matter what you ex-colonials say.

  22. I was at a coin show and saw a one pound silver U.S. coin for sale. It was like the old style U.S. silver dollar but big, and pure silver. I had never seen one before, so I bought it.

    The coin dealer: “Silver is $ xx per ounce, so sixteen ounces …”
    Me: “Twelve ounces.”
    The coin dealer: “Oh, you’re right, twelve ounces.”

    I didn’t buy anything else from that dealer, but I still have the coin.

  23. Books-a -Million still exists? We used to go one in Alexandria, VA and another one in Williamsburg,VA but both closed long ago when we still got to those places on trips. (The one in Williamsburg was a great place to go after most places in the area had closed – both to look at (and hopefully buy) books and, pre-RV, use the bathroom. They had a good selection of needlework books – something hard to find then and now in book stores.

  24. There is (at least in movies and I am guessing possibly in real life) a class of people (or those who want to think they are in that class) who might never have heard of hot dogs – or at least might not have eaten one – something for the servants perhaps – and therefore might need instruction on how to eat one. Do they serve hot dogs in the baseball park sky rooms?

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