The Hot Dog and the Bun
It was an ordinary family dinner.
I don’t know how it all could have gone so horribly wrong.
The evening’s menu included mac n’ cheese, corn, sliced apples, a choice of milk or juice, and hot dogs.
Some of you reading this may already know how I feel about hot dogs. I’ve seen Field of Dreams at least twenty times and I can interpret the moral of the story quite clearly:
If there’s no magical baseball field in your back forty (complete with ghostly ball players and a doctor) do NOT let your children eat hot dogs. If you must feed them hot dogs on occasion, you should ensure that you are well versed in the Heimlich maneuver.
I was mentally reviewing said maneuver and utilizing quick, darting glances at each of my three children to ensure that no one was choking.
Then IT happened.
Out of the clear blue sky, my dear, sweet, youngest child announced –
“I want to know HOW the little bit of the daddy and the little bit of the mommy makes a baby.”
My head snapped around to meet and match the horrified expression on my husband’s face. My mind raced. I couldn’t recall how old the other two had been when we imparted this particular nugget of wisdom upon them. My “baby” was only eight years old. I could feel his big, blue eyes boring into me.
Receiving no reply, he rephrased the question.
“I know you guys said that the mommy has a like, a little egg inside her, and the daddy has little seed things in him that make the egg grow, but HOW do the seed and the egg get together?”
The silence dragged on for an eternity. Even the older two sat stony and mute.
Finally, the eldest came to the rescue. With a matter-of-factness beyond her fifteen years, she calmly picked up her hotdog.
“The daddy is the hotdog.”
[At this point she removes her ketchup-slathered hotdog from its bun and waggles it in her youngest brother’s face. The middle child joins in, nudges his little brother, and points to his lap with an evil grin.]
“And the mommy is the bun.”
[She waves the bun in the air as if were a magic wand.]
“The daddy puts the hotdog IN the bun.”
[She now inserts the ketchup-slathered hotdog back into bun with quick precision – entering from the end of the bun.]
“And when he does that, the little seeds come out. And when they do, sometimes it makes a baby.”
My previously innocent, but surely now scarred-for-life child appeared to contemplate this new information for a moment, responded simply with, “Oh” – and went back to eating his mac n’ cheese.
When I was finally able to tear my burning eyes away from my daughter-turned-sex-ed-instructor, I turned to my husband for some signal as to how we should now proceed – and saw his body twitching and convulsing from lack of oxygen.
I lept from my chair and prepared to administer the Heimlich to save him from what must surely be a vile piece of hotdog. A bizarre piercing sound escaped his lips. Somewhere in my adrenalized brain, I recalled something about blocked airways not being able to produce sound.
He wasn’t making the universal sign for choking, and his eyeballs weren’t bulging out of his head. His body was spasming uncontrollably and tears were streaming down his face, but he was NOT choking. He was definitely dying of laughter.
While our youngest appeared to be nonplussed by the entire incident – he has never eaten another hot dog.