Speedway is too cerebral for me

For years now, I’ve puzzled over the cups at Speedway, the gas station chain with the best Frozen Cokes around. The cups, you see, have a slogan on them.

“Un-RIVALed Refreshment”

Now, I know what it means to be “unrivaled”. It means that they have no rivals. But I did not understand the hyphen or the capitalization. For years, I just assumed that Speedway’s marketing people just had no idea what they were doing.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I finally asked them via Facebook (where I am a fan) what the deal was. And they got back to me.

ME: Speedway, can you explain “Un-RIVALed” to me? I know it means that you have no real competition, especially in the area of soft drinks, but I don’t get the use of hyphens and capitalization. What am I missing? Or rather, what am I Mi-SSing?

SW: It doesn’t answer all of your questions but I did find out that it was designed as a play on the fact that we carry both Coke and Pepsi products!

ME: Thanks for getting back to me. I have wondered that for years now. How about doing a customer contest to come up with a new slogan that won’t drive word nerds like me crazy? Winner gets free Speedy Freezes for a year.

SW: That sounds like an awesome promotion to me! I will forward that idea on to our beverage team but there is buzz, that there is already a new slogan in the works, that you should be seeing very soon!

So there we have it. It was a play on words. They took two rivals, Coke and Pepsi, and put them in the same soda fountain. They were using the hyphen and the capitalization to say that it was more than an adjective, it was a past-tense verb!

Boy, do I feel pedestrian!

I am glad to hear that they have a new slogan in the works though. But if it is anything like the last one, it may take me a few more years to decipher its hidden message.

In the mean time, I don’t really care what the cups say, as long as Speedway keeps the Frozen Coke flowing. Or should I say “Floe-ing”?

Get it? Ice? Ice Floe? Frozen Coke? No? Oh well. I’ll just leave it to the professionals, I guess.



I am the King of Hotdogs

Three stories about hotdogs and me. Sorry in advance for those of a squeamish disposition among you.

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In high school, my best friend John and I would get together and watch terrible movies. Terrible in the sense that they were poorly made, not terrible as in terribly immoral or anything like that. Our favorites were the end times movies that came out in the early 1970’s.

Anyway, whenever we got together, it was tradition to craft and eat a delicacy that we called “Six Foot Unders”. The ingredients are as follows: cheese filled hotdogs, American cheese, 2+ slices of thick-cut bacon, hot dog bun.

The trick was in the assembly. You had to properly wrap the hotdog in the American cheese so that the seam was facing the backside of the bun. The two slices of bacon went on either side of the cheese-wrapped dog. If you were feeling particularly decadent (and honestly, in for a penny, in for a pound), you could take a third piece of bacon and break it up into bits for a topping between the two slices that ran the length of the bun.

Also, we would eat two of them each. After forcing our stomachs to pay for our decisions, we would turn on the terrible movie and treat our eyes to similar fare.

Good times!

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In college, during my sophomore year, I lived in a house with three other guys just off campus. That meant that I had to cook for myself. Now, I wasn’t a terrible cook, but having ultimate freedom over the food that went into my body for the first time wasn’t as good a thing for my body as it could have been.

When living with other guys, there are always a certain amount of food-related dares. But the worst thing that I put in my mouth during that phase of my life was not something without precedent. In fact, it was a meal that was featured in the movie UHF with Weird Al.

There is a scene near the beginning of the movie where Weird Al loses his job and the only thing that will cheer him up is a “Twinkie Wiener Sandwich”. The ingredients are as follows: hot dog, Twinkie, aerosol cheese.

You have to slice the Twinkie open lengthwise, then nestle the hotdog into the cream. Top with the aerosol cheese and throw it down your gullet. Try not to regurgitate anything, results may vary.

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While trying to save money up for my future wife’s engagement ring, I worked part-time at a bookstore. Working part-time in a bookstore is a terrible way to save money for an engagement ring by the way. It is better to have a rich relative leave you an inheritance. But I digress.

The bookstore was right next to a gas station with a convenience store. In the convenience store, they use to run a special on hotdogs: 2 for 99 cents, which after Michigan’s tax is added in, comes to $1.05 for lunch.

I can’t tell you exactly how many hotdogs I ate, but I know that I have enough preservatives in my system still that when I die the morticians aren’t going to have much to do. Of course, eating all those hotdogs probably means that I’ll be seeing those morticians sooner than I would wish.

What I can tell you is that I saved up enough to buy the ring and that when I asked (after a brief hesitation while she asked if her dad was okay with my asking (he was)) she said yes.

I don’t eat many hotdogs anymore, thank goodness.

Now I eat brats. Much better.