God Bless America, and the Wienermobile

Happy Fourth of July!

Yesterday, my family and I were able to see the most American of American meat-related vehicles, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, in Grand Rapids, Minn.

This was significant to more than just the kids. In fact, my kids — like most of the kids I saw that day — were only moderately interested. I was the one who dragged the family into town to see the Wienermobile. Why? First, you must know the story.

In 1988, when I was in second grade, I won the Weekly Reader National Invention Contest for an invention that, sufficed to say, did not pay for my college. The prize included a trip to Washington, D.C., including a visit to the Smithsonian, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and a variety of other sites. This trip changed my life. I know that now, but back THEN there was an enormous disappointment. My win was supposed to include a trip to New York City for an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (as a “kid inventor”) and a ride in a New York parade on the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Unfortunately, there was a writers’ strike that year and the Letterman appearance was cancelled …. thus, so too was the Wienermobile ride.

No biggie for most folks. But for a second grader this was notable. Enough so that I remember even today. Was this the reason I spent my high school years watching David Letterman and eating hot dogs? Maybe. Just maybe.

Well, on July 3, I got a chance to see the Wienermobile with my wife and kids in Grand Rapids.

This is me at Ogle’s Supermarket. With the Wienermobile. That just happened.

Here are some observations about the Wienermobile:

  1. Two nice women were attending to the Wienermobile on this day. I got to thinking that if you worked for the Weinermobile that you’re probably never off the clock when you’re on the road. Pull up to the Super 8. Pull up the Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner. You are the driver of the Weinermobile and that is your identity.
  2. One would think that Oscar Meyer would try to play down the phallic nature of their massive hot dog capable of highway speeds. One would be wrong.
  3. I have entered the drawing to have the Wienermobile come to my Labor Day gathering. I have not scheduled such a gathering but, on the off chance I win, you are all invited.
  4. Enjoy your holiday weekend, everyone! More excitement is planned for next week here at MinnesotaBrown.com.


  1. Nice to see some closure.

  2. kid inventors were on last night Aaron – on Letterman. And I told Tom and my mom how YOU were supposed to be there, once upon a time. Kismet, huh?

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