“Happy birthday hot dogs,” I whisper with closed eyes, standing in the cooler in Bónus. I’ve just noticed that the manufacturer is celebrating its 110th anniversary and impulsively I have to convey my gratitude. My love for hot dogs isn’t just because I know they always get hits online—I’ve written over 10,000 words on them for the Grapevine—it’s also on a deep personal level.
They are the perfect representation of Iceland in the eyes of the world. Not too weird, still the same colour as home, but oh so quirky. Kinda tangy, sweet when you get to know them and the just right kind of fat. Waiting in line for ages for an overpriced hot dog and then ruining it by asking for all of the condiments to be put on top of the hot dog to make it look better for Instagram is the perfect example of the blessing and the curse of the tourist industry in Iceland. Everyone that has ever stepped on this island knows it isn’t that special, it’s just so damn picturesque. People don’t Like privileged whining, but they do Like beautiful photos.
They are also the perfect representation of me as a person. The edgy part of me wants to call it non-PC, the honest part: uncomfortable. Made from every animal found in Iceland, they are as non-vegan as food can be. Stuffing your face with anything shaped like the erect phallus literally screams trigger warning. And, as we say in Iceland, the raisin in the hot dog’s end: they are manufactured by a company called SS. Its slogan is “Icelanders love SS hot dogs.” Still we live with them, for the same reason my girlfriend lives with me: it’s just too much of a hassle to find something that fulfils in the same way.
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