You may recall that back in May, there was a huge announcement that rested squarely at the intersection of sausages and automobiles, arguably the most important cultural intersection in modern society. That announcement was from Oscar Mayer, noted producer of hot dogs and other tubular delights, and operator of the world’s largest fleet of sausage-shaped automobiles. The announcement was that their famous Wienermobiles would be renamed “Frankmobiles.” When I covered this announcement in May, I called bullshit on the whole sordid mess. Because, come on, of course Oscar Mayer isn’t really changing the name of the Wienermobile! What would they stand to gain! It smelled of a dumb marketing stunt then, and now they’ve pretty much all but admitted it, changing the name back to Wienermobile after just a few ridiculous months. Did it get us all talking about the Wienermobile again, for a bit at least. Yes, it did. Did it debase the company, the Wienermobile, and the very concept of hot dogs themselves? No question.
The announcement of the return of the Wienermobile was made, like all important, serious announcements, on Instagram a day ago:
And while Oscar Mayer may claim that the summer has been “franktastic,” we know that’s just more horseshit. Their claim that we, the hot dog-consuming public, “missed this BUNderful icon” is a presumptuous BUNdle of crap, because it was never gone. Precisely 0.0 people during the period of time from May 2023 to Now 2023 that saw the Wienermobile driving by said “oooh, look, it’s the Frankmobile” because nobody fucking ever thought of it as the Frankmobile, and Oscar Mayer knew it. They knew it all along! They were just toying with us, for no good reason!
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile spokesperson Edwin Roland explained the return to the original name from the insipid detour to Good Morning America:
“We had never changed the name of the Wienermobile before and to celebrate our new 100% beef franks we were all on board in doing that, but we missed the name internally and we’re excited to bring it back. It didn’t cut the mustard — it’s the same mission but it’s comin’ back to Wienermobile.”
Oh, bullshit, Roland. I think you knew exactly what you were doing. I have to believe the fix was in from day one!
Remember, the Wienermobile has been a staple of sausageo-automobilia since 1936! Since before fucking WWII!
The hot dog-shaped car that everyone knows has been called the Wienermobile since Karel Capek, the man who coined the word “robot,” was alive. Orville Wright and Earnest Hemmingway and Curly from the Three Stooges were still alive. Oscar Mayer’s attempt to just change the name of this important cultural institution to, what, crow about how they have all beef parts crammed into those tubes is the most base form of cynical capitalism.
The Frankmobile. What a load of crap. It’s the Wienermobile, and it always will be, and Oscar Mayer is just toying with us, like we don’t even matter. I’m not going to stand for it. I called this for what it was back then, a callow marketing ploy that was doomed to fail, and that’s exactly what it has borne out to be. Did these motherfuckers think I was going to change the text on my huge back tattoo of the Wienermobile? Fat fucking chance. But what if I had? What about all those poor bastards that possibly did believe Oscar Mayer’s foul ruse, and changed their tattoos? Is the company willing to compensate them to return their Wienermobile tattoos to their original, accurate state? I hope so. There’s probably, what, thousands of people in that miserable situation as we speak.
You know what? I hope the American Novelty Meats Consortium officially censures them this year, and doesn’t invite them to the annual Sauce Sage of the Sausages performance and gathering this year. There needs to be consequences for toying with us so cynically and so needlessly.
Also, since we’re talking about the Wienermobile, we need to address something important and as yet unanswered about the current one:
What are the taillights on the current Wienermobile from? The previous generation had old Pontiac Firebird taillights, but this new one, with these sort of Altezza-style lights, these I can’t identify. They have a sort of 1990s Toyota Supra look, but the shape is different, as is the size and arrangement of the individual light elements. They look like aftermarket units of some kind. Hey, wait a minute – I found them!
The Wienermobile flips them upside-down from what is shown here, but these are the same taillights! Finally, one mystery solved! It also reveals a lie being perpetrated by Oscar Mayer the taillights are “custom made to help the hotdoggers drive safely” as reported to the Coeur d’Alene Press in 2019. They’re not custom! They’re off-the-shelf aftermarket lights for 1993 to 2002 Chevy Camaros!
More bullshit from Oscar Mayer. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
(Btw, I’m currently reading an excellent book about hot dogs by Jamie Loftus called Raw Dog. It’s great, if you want some intense hot dog reading.)
(This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon about hot dogs of all things, so, yeah, buy the hot dog book and we’ll make a little money – MH.)