Yoli Bologna and Tailgatin’ Traci in RELSHME
Last week, I got word that the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was parked just down the street from where I live. For years, I have been wanting to catch an up-close look at what I consider to be one of the finest examples of classic Americana. Naturally, I dropped everything, grabbed my camera and my vintage Wienermobile coin bank, picked up my daughter early and headed towards this giant (27-feet long!) hot dog on wheels.
We arrived with much enthusiasm and started taking some photos. It was there I met two Oscar Mayer Hotdoggers, Tailgatin’ Traci and Yoli Bologna, the temporary guardians of RELSHME (one of six Wienermobiles currently touring the United States). Traci took our photo and then, much to my surprise and thrill, invited us to take a ride in it later in the week!
I knew it was going to be a blast when I later received a pun-filled email from Traci:
We are so excited to KETCHUP with you on Saturday afternoon. How does 3:15 sound? We will MEAT you in the parking lot…in San Bruno. We’ll take you on a ride and answer any questions you have about being a Hotdogger and life behind the bun.
Also, we have 6 MEAT belts in the Wienermobile, so feel free to bring up to 3 guests! Have a BUNderful weekend.
The ride and behind-the-bun tour was a blast! RELSHME is a swank ride, with its ketchup and mustard-colored embroidered leather seats, its hot dog-shaped dashboard, the removable ‘bun roof’ and storage for 11,000 wienerwhistles.
Our tour guides, Traci and Yoli, are not only very knowledgeable but have a real love for spreading goodwill across their assigned Southwest territory. This 6-passenger frankfurter has been in their possession since June 2011 when they earned the keys for it through the Hotdogger program operated by parent company, Kraft Foods. Each year since 1988, twelve recent college graduates have been sent out on a year-long mission to make promotional appearances with the Wienermobile. As you can imagine, Hotdogger is a highly coveted position and few “cut the mustard”.
Unfortunately our ride had to end but as we were leaving, they waved goodbye and hit the horn which played the famous hook from the hot dog’s television jingle: I wish I was an Oscar Mayer wiener. Joy!
There are more photos to view in my online photo gallery, An Inside Look at RELSHME, A Touring Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
Thanks to Paul Natale for the tip!
photos by Rusty Blazenhoff, Ken Dashner and Tailgatin’ Traci
A special thank you to our hotdogger hostesses, Traci and Yoli!