There actually is such a place. It’s just outside Huntington on the Ohio River Road heading north. You can’t miss it. There’s a hand-painted sign. WE GOT THE WEENIES. The “dining room” is two school buses jammed together.
It’s what’s called a “point of destination.” Which means it’s not on your way to somewhere else. Or next to another place you happen to be. There’s nothing else out there. Which means you actually thought about it and still went.
My friend (who shall remain nameless) took his prom date there. Engagements have been announced there. Weddings have been held there. (You get a “Weenie Wedding Certificate.”)
As far as I know, babies coulda been born there. (There’s a Bouncin’ Baby Combo on the menu.) People could easily die there. I saw hefty patrons huffing, shoe-horning into seats.
The menu nicely accommodates death.
For $19.99, you can order the Homewrecker: a 15-inch, 1-pound weenie with 2 pounds of toppings, including jalapeños, sautéed peppers & onions, nacho cheese, Habaneros, chili sauce, mustard, slaw, lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese.
Or, if you need quicker results, you can upgrade to the Widow Maker for $32.50. That would be a 30-inch, 2-pound weenie, and 4 pounds of toppings!
Paula and I went there for lunch. Our whole food, plant-based diet took a back seat and turned its head.
We didn’t want to overly jeopardize our mortality (or marriage) so we ordered lite fare (two regular weenies with chili sauce, onion, mustard, French fries, and pop). I know sugary pop isn’t good for you, so I got a Devil Anse (Hatfield) IPA instead. (WE GOT THE BREWSKIES)
That morning I had made a presentation to 50-some men and women working with Coalfield Development Corporation to revitalize southern West Virginia. I had spoken of our divine-like capacity to transform suffering—large and small, regional and personal—into something whole and wholesome through creative work.
Creative work takes many forms. It could be deadly serious. Or fun and funky (and only marginally wholesome).
In the fall of 1999, a certain hillbilly came back home with his California bride, put up a 12-by-16 shed on the land where he’d grown up, and started selling hotdogs. A dream come true. Sonny and Sharie got married there three days later.
They’ve been renewing their wedding vows there every year since.
See Paula’s photograph on the home page.