NASCAR is racing this week at Martinsville, where there is more talk about the hot dogs than about racing. Martinsville Speedway is, for some reason, famous for its hot dogs. I’ve been there, and of course I ate one. Okay, more than one.
They are monstrous things, and I don’t want to talk about what color they are. Actually, I can’t talk about their color because it is indescribable, but the word “neon” would be part of that description. Unless you tell them to leave it off they put chili on it, and if you do that they look at you weird, sort of like they suspect you of being a Yankee. Not that I would do that, since every good race track hot dog deserves chili.
It is claimed that Martinsville sells the best hot dog in NASCAR land, but that claim is wrong. That honor belongs to the Varsity Drive-In in Atlanta. Yes, of course it has chili on it. You think there are a whole bunch of Yankees in Atlanta or something?
The Varsity is right next to the Georgia Tech campus in downtown Atlanta, and it sells something like five tons of hot dogs every day. They have an express line, and if you get in it you better have your mind made up when you reach the order point. The order taker is a huge guy wearing a torn tee shirt, and if you hesitate he will bellow insults at you, wanting to know what the hell you were doing while standing in line if it was not deciding what you wanted, and asking you if you are feeble minded and wanting to know why you are holding up all of those nice people behind you.
I was hospitalized after an industrial accident, multiple fractures of both legs, and when my friends were taking me home from the hospital I told them I wanted to stop at the Varsity on the way home for hot dogs. They were embarrassed that they had not thought of that idea themselves.