Ketchup on a hot dog.

Ketchup is very much a staple condiment-Ronald Reagan said it was a vegetable! Ketchup is great on fries, burgers-even eggs.

But not on a hot dog.

When I first opened, I would not put ketchup on a hot dog for my patrons. I had a basket of ketchup packets outside for the ketchup eating crowd. I would shell out a fair bit of abuse on the ketchup loving populace as well. Sometimes I'd ask for ID (the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says ketchup shouldn't be put on hot dogs for anyone over age 18). Other times I'd say (incredulously) "KETCHUP?!?!? ON A HOT DOG?!?!?!" If there was a group of people and one guy ordered a dog with ketchup, I'd ask his friends if they could perhaps hold a hot dog intervention for him. Whatever insult I'd hurl, I'd sweep my hands contemptuously toward the Ketchup packets and say "I won't put ketchup on a hot dog, help yourself." This little schtick annoyed and amused the clientelle-it usually got a laugh and I have never been punched for it.

There was one guy who got wise to the act and ordered his hot dogs plain to avoid the abuse. He'd then sneak a few ketchup packets and go back to his car to eat so I wouldn't hurl abuse at him. This guy is a big Red Sox fan and we'd always chat about the Sox while he was waiting for his dogs. He is a seasonal worker so he wasn't out in the winter. In the spring of 2005 (after my Red Sox won it all) he popped by and told me he was going to see the Sox play on opening day in New York City. I asked him how he scored the tickets and he said he had a new girlfriend from Connecticut and she was a Yankee Fan.

I said "brother, if you can date a Yankee fan, I can put ketchup on your hot dogs."

So now you can get ketchup on your dogs at the Hot Dog Truck-I've even toned down the abuse.

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