From behind the windshield of the Wienermobile, my fellow Hotdoggers and I see the United States pass before our eyes. Every day we see people and places that we will never see again. From smiling faces to waving hands, we really are spreading miles of smiles with the Wienermobile. This is the tale of one interaction that occurred while haulin’ buns on the Florida turnpike.
Stevie Bunder Extends a Welcoming Arm
Peering down from the captain’s seat of the Wienermobile, Hotdoggers see every imaginable, and some unimaginable, reactions from fellow highway travelers. From looks of astonishment to fist pumping, we are so entertained that we don’t even need to listen to the radio.
While looking out the window last week, a standard black car drove past, waved and took a picture. As we continued down the toll way, the car slowed down, falling in place next to the Wienermobile again. The passenger, sporting a bright smile, hid her face as she laughed into her palms, embarrassed that the driver of the car forced this interaction upon us again. After the passenger waved, nearly in tears from laughing so hard, the car sped up again and settled in ahead of the Wienermobile in the right lane.
Interactions like this continued several more times over the next 30 miles as the modest black car would slow down, the passenger reveal a glowing smile and enthusiastic wave, then accelerate again. During the final instance the car reestablished its position next to the Wienermobile in the left lane, the passenger looked over with bright eyes and pointed at a sign above that read “SUN PASS – LEFT LANE ONLY | CASH – RIGHT LANE”.
Staring up at the Wienermobile, the glint in her smile faded, her hands formed into the shape of a heart, and we made eye contact for the last time. The Wienermobile, as disheartened as me to watch her go, let out a series of high-pitched honks and flashing headlights begging the vehicle not to leave us. Paralleling my sinking spirits, the RPMs of the Wienermobile fell as we came to a stop at the tollbooth. The black car faded out of sight over the shimmering Florida blacktop horizon. I paid the toll and sighed deeply. Giving the bun box a consoling pat, we accelerated into the wake left behind by our turnpike love.
Stevie Bunder Consoles Bun Box