[image-1]When famed British mountaineer George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he responded, “Because it’s there.” So if you’re wondering what could possibly motivate supposedly grown-ass men to dress up in wiener suits and spend the better part of a Sunday traversing Charleston county eating hot dogs, look to Mallory for your answer.
Born of alcohol and the ”oddly” convenient coincidence that a few of us already owned hot dog suits, the “First Annual Charleston Wiener Crawl” lazily took shape over the course of a couple months. Additional suits were acquired, a schedule was finalized and re-finalized, special invites were distributed, and the day was set for Sunday December 18.
[image-4]The agenda was ambitious. Hot dogs at 10 different places. Starting at Jack’s Cosmic Dogs in Mount Pleasant at 10:30 a.m., we knew the wiener gods approved as we sat down to eat the first of the day and “Eye of the Tiger” started playing. This was meant to be.
With stops at Edmunds Oast for giant Italian sausage dogs (not on the menu) and large glasses of rosé, corn dogs and cans of PBR at The Recovery Room, massive currywurst and craft beers at Artisan Meat Share, this was not for the faint of heart or weak of constitution. But duty to task and the ever growing encouragement of spectators steeled the growing throng of Wiener Crawlers’ will.
[image-2]Shouts of “Nice Wiener,” hot dog high fives, and photo-ops with the random passersby began to feed the growing idea that this Wiener Crawl was more than a bunch of older guys walking around in wiener suits stuffing their fat faces with encased meat and alcohol. Chris “Boston“ DiMatta from The Rec Room was so inspired by the crawl he ran home, got his suit, and showed up at the AMS stop in full wiener regalia. Watching him walk into AMS was like watching the Bee Girl from Blind Melon’s “No Rain” when she found her fellow bee people. It was touching.
[image-3]Outside Artisan Meat Share, an Uber driver pulled over just so she could have her photo taken with all the wieners. Lookers-on at Closed for Business stopped and waved at the front window table full of hot dog men. A firetruck blew its siren, cars stopped in the middle of King Street, and a continuous stream of people waved and stopped for photos of wieners. As the day progressed it became apparent that following this tumultuous and divided election season, terrible events and trials in Charleston, and the weight of the holidays that a Wiener Crawl was just what this City and Country needed. I’m not suggesting a single wiener suit clad man is the way to political peace but many wiener dressed men on the streets seems to brings out the best of America.
The Crawl wound down after 7 p.m. at The Alley. More photos were taken with wiener fans, lighter “session dogs” off the kiddie menu were consumed, and more than a few beers were downed as we discussed the day’s events. Black, white, young, old, guy or gal; everyone we encountered greeted the Wiener Crawl with smiles, laughter, and appreciation. While we fell short of our ambitious goal of 10 different hot dog stops, we succeeded elsewhere. People on upper King Street shared their appreciation with us all along the way. That or we’re just a bunch of old guys in wiener suits and fanny packs eating hot dogs and day drinking with an over inflated opinion of ourselves.
I like to think we brought a little comical relief to a somber time. Wiener Crawls for the people!