What it’s like to drive a giant hot dog on wheels

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Drivers carry pleasure and jingles whereas touring the nation within the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

Ashley Ferrera and Tommy Derkin actually relish their jobs. That’s as a result of Ashley — aka All American Ashley — and Tommy — Tommy Salami — are Hotdoggers, which suggests they’re official drivers of the enduring Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. 

Their “lamborgweenie” is one in all six driving throughout the US at any given time.

“It’s one of the best factor to be,” mentioned Ashley. “I’ve been to a lot of locations I’d by no means get to go to if I wasn’t driving a giant hot dog.”

On Nov. 6, the pair introduced the colourful Wienermobile to the North Florida Carnival Meals Truthful. The Wienermobile isn’t stocked with precise hot canine however you possibly can choose up stickers and probably the most sought-after novelty merchandise, the two-inch-long weiner whistle. 

Tykes on the truthful have been mesmerized by the location of the large, 27-foot lengthy dog on wheels. You’re allowed to peek inside, the place you possibly can see the automobile’s many playful touches, like a hotdog-shaped dashboard, and flooring painted in catsup crimson and mustard yellow.  A “bun roof” (solar roof) is painted a vivid blue with floating clouds to signify that there’s all the time blue skies within the Wienermobile.

The horn performs the Oscar Mayer jingle, which Ashley and Tommy had to be taught and may sing for you (extra on that later).

When the Wienermobile is on show, you possibly can stand outdoors by a chart and discover out your peak in hot canine. Ashley stands at 10 hot canine (or 5-foot-six), for example. Tommy is at 11 canine (he’s 5-11.)

When individuals ask in the event that they sleep within the automobile, they’ve a prepared reply: “It’s not a weenie-bago.” Studying hot dog puns are additionally on the agenda at Hot Dog Excessive. 

To be taught extra about Ashley and Tommy, you possibly can choose up baseball-type playing cards with enjoyable details, like Ashley’s favourite hot dog toppings, that are “Whiz and chips child.” Tommy prefers a “Victory Dog: Bacon wrapped, with caramelized onions and inexperienced peppers, ketchup and mustard.”

The 2 vivacious Hotdoggers are 22 and up to date school graduates. Ashley, who’s from Philadelphia, was a public relations main at Penn State, which is the place she was recruited to drive a Wienermobile and attend Hot Dog Excessive in Madison, Wisconsin. Tommy is from Barrington, Ailing. and attended College of Southern California, the place he studied advertising and marketing and movie.

“This has been a smart way to achieve expertise as a advertising and marketing content material creator,” mentioned Tommy. 

He and Ashley each run their very own official Instagram accounts, describing their adventures. 

Picture courtesy of Ashley Ferrara and Tommy Derkin. The pair driving horses in Lexington, Ky.

They have been chosen from amongst hundreds of candidates, all current school graduates who commit to a full-time job spending a 12 months on the highway. Due to the pandemic, all their interviews had to be completed by Zoom. 

At Hot Dog Excessive, they realized all about their motor autos, about greeting the general public and studying to drive the Wienermobile, which is 60 hot canine, oops, 27-feet lengthy. It weighs seven tons or 140,500 hot canine and stands 11 toes or 24 hot canine excessive. It’s powered with a Vortec V8, 6.0L, 300 hp engine and has two photo voltaic panels

“I assumed it will be tremendous scary but it surely’s truly tremendous simple,” mentioned Tommy. “And everybody’s so completely satisfied to see you.”

Typically it’s a actually touching second. “They might have seen the Wienermobile with a cherished one who has handed,” mentioned Tommy. So seeing the giant hotdog on a bun has a particular which means. “They inform us how seeing it brightened their day.”

The Wienermobile was launched by Carl Mayer in 1936 when the nation was within the midst of the Nice Melancholy. “The unique purpose was to carry shock and pleasure to the individuals of Chicago, the place Oscar Mayer was based, throughout these difficult instances,” in accordance to the agency’s web site.

As a new addition, Ashley and Tommy put on masks, they’ve hand sanitizer on the desk and so they’re usually wiping down the inside of the automobile. Due to the pandemic, they now not give rides within the Wienermobile. 

However the Hotdoggers nonetheless do a lot of driving. They visited 11 cities —  together with Nashville, Tupelo and Atlanta — in 12 Southeast states within the 4 months they’ve been on the highway.  

“We go to a new metropolis about each week,” mentioned Ashley. “We might spend two weeks in some cities. Quite a lot of locations will not be what you anticipate.”

As an example, she considered Tallahassee as a school city however “we’ve met so many households. Individuals are so pleasant.”

In January, they’ll change with one other pair and journey to one other area, although they haven’t been instructed the place but.

As for the hot canine, Oscar Mayer stresses that they’ve taken out synthetic preservatives in addition to added nitrates and nitrites (besides these occurring naturally in celery juice) and by-products for a higher dog.

The Weinermobile might be making two extra stops in Tallahassee earlier than leaving for his or her subsequent journey on Monday. 

They anticipate their 12 months on the highway might be a reminiscence they’ll savor all their lives.

“It’s vital to strive new issues,” mentioned Ashley. “And it’s been such a nice expertise.”

As for Tommy, “As a current school graduate, it’s a smart way to see the nation and receives a commission for it.” 

“While you’re on the highway, everyone seems to be your greatest pal,” he mentioned. “Everybody has their very own story and reference to the Wienermobile. It makes it the best expertise.”

The Oscar Mayer jingle

In case you’ve forgotten it:

Oh, I want I have been an Oscar Mayer wiener

That’s what I’d  actually like to be. 

‘Trigger if I have been an Oscar Mayer wiener

Everybody can be in love with me.

Right here’s the place to discover the Wienermobile:

Saturday, November 7:10 a.m. to three p.m. at Tallahassee Museum and Tree to Tree Journey,  3945 Museum Rd.

Sunday, November 8: 11 a.m. to three p.m. at Tallahassee Vintage Automobile Museum, 6800 Mahan Dr.

You may contact Ashley on Instagram at @allamericashley and Tommy at @officialtommysalami

Discover out extra concerning the Wienermobile at oscarmayer.com/wienermobile

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