If you thought parallel parking for your driver's test was tricky, imagine doing it in the midst of New York City gridlock, in a 27-foot-long hot dog on wheels. That was the reality for Rose Beef—like Lady Bird, it's her self-given name, though her birth certificate reads Rosie Hutchinson. And she lived to tell the tale of it.
"That was something that I loved, that I never want to do again," she laughs.
We're sitting in the second row of the Wienermobile, her home away from home over the past five months. Beef is a full-time Hot Dogger, the official title of the recent college grads who spend a year driving Oscar Mayer's gigantic hot-dog-shaped publicity vehicle, all over the country. She and Connie Salami (real name: Connor Gray) man the "Oh I Wish" Wienermobile, one of six that traverse the nation. Together, they travel from supermarkets to block parties to fairs and tourist traps, spreading word about Oscar Mayer's franks—and handing out weenie whistles and stickers—to everyone they meet.
The job itself is a one-year commitment, from June to June, and to qualify, you need to have a bachelor's degree and thoroughly relish wordplay (see what we did there?). Applications are open until January 31, 2020, for the upcoming class, so naturally, we had to take a sneak peek at what it's like to actually live the dream. (Check out the video above to see what it's like to become an honorary Hot Dogger for the day.) Before polishing your résumé, here's what you need to know.
You'll Get Sent Back to High School
Hot Dog High, that is. It's where recruits learn the essence of being a Hot Dogger and learn to drive the Wienermobile. At the end, there's a full DOT test you have to pass. Imagine doing serpentines around traffic cones, parking, backing up—all with five other Wienermobiles alongside you.
You'll Be Given a New Name
Upon graduation, everyone chooses a punny nickname, hence Rose Beef and Connie Salami's nicknames. Even as an honorary Hot Dogger for the day, I was christened anew. Candace Braun Davison shall henceforth be known as Cold Cutz Candace.
People Will Ask for the Shirt off Your Back
Hot Doggers are outfitted with black and red track suits with their title embroidered across the back. It's a sleek uniform, all things considered, and just about everywhere you go, somebody will ask if they can have it. Beef politely declines, explaining that it's often the only jacket she has with her at the time. (There's a closet in the back, but there isn't that much room for storage.) She usually consoles them with a weenie whistle, coupon, or "weenie baby," a Beanie Baby-esque plushie that looks just like the Wienermobile.
You'll Always Drive under Clear Skies
Even on a gray, 25-degree day, it was nothing but blue skies in the Wienermobile. That's because the roof is painted that way. It's a nice surprise, along with the ketchup-and-mustard-painted floor and the Wienermobile patches embroidered on the car's six red-and-yellow seats.
You'll Feel Famous
Even in New York, where bizarre spectacles are so commonplace that people typically don't even bother to glance up from their phones, crowds quickly formed around the Wienermobile wherever we went. Construction workers dropped what they were doing to snap photos, children tugged their parents' coat sleeves to get closer, men and women in suits doubled back to ask for coupons.
It's like having your own fan base—then slipping off the coat when you get to your hotel at the end of the day and enjoying anonymity. Or as close to it as you can get when you've parked the Wienermobile outside.