The following is a touchy subject between Mark and me.
I always thought I would like to own a hot dog stand like ‘Willies Weenie Wagon’ at 159th and Crawford in Markham, Illinois. I first went to Willie’s when my brother David took me there after he got his drivers license. I had never had a hot dog like that before. A poppy seed bun with a plump Vienna hot dog nestled in it. On top of that, yellow mustard, bright green relish(neon green), fresh chopped onions, two tomato wedges, kosher pickle spear, two sport peppers, and celery salt, piled so high you can’t get it all in your mouth.
One of my favorite hot dog stands in Chicago is ‘The Wiener’s Circle’ at Wrightwood and Clark. Many a night after leaving a bar at four or five in the morning I would stop and get a dog there. This place is quite a zoo at that time of the day, but the women that work there are definitely up to the task of handling the drunks who show up after the bars close. I think they recruit the help from ‘Cabrini Green’ exclusively.
Do not challenge or even remotely show impoliteness to these ladies. They will give you a verbal whipping like you’ve never had. I’ve seen big mean looking guys leave there doubting their own gender. Nobody is safe, including your grandmother. You give your order accurately and quickly and wait politely for your order to come up. Regular customers are filled with glee when a new drunk shows up and says something stupid.
In April of 2004 Mark and I purchased a business called ‘The Hot Dog House’ in Oakland Park, Florida. I had run the numbers and was sure we could make it work. The day we took over the business I was very happy because we made more money than the seller said she made per day. The deal was, she would stay and help us for the first week while we learned how to run it. The second day was a different story. We didn’t even clear $100, and the seller disappeared and never showed up again. I’m pretty sure that the day before she had told every one of her friends to show up and buy a hot dog.