CNN is reporting that an old hot dog was unearthed, encased in ice, underneath historic Brooklyn hot doggery Feltman's. Also reported: this dog is 140 years old. We're not science bloggers here—but that shit is impossible. We investigate!
So the premise of this story is that Feltman's kitchen is about to be demolished. And during the demolition, an archaeologist(?!) discovered a nasty, old-ass hot dog. Immediately, he claims that it is 140 years old and wants to preserve it. Where you preserve a hot dog encased in ice is beyond me. Does the Smithsonian have an historic tubed meat wing? Now, it's one thing to claim it's 140 years old—but to report on it? That's just irresponsible journalism.
Here are the problems with the story, and they are fourfold:
Problem 1: Ice melts
This hot dog has been encased in ice, preserving it for 140 years! No, that hot dog is encased in ice, preserving it for this winter. Was this hot dog encased in ice last July, when it was 95 degrees and humid as fuck outside? No, it would have been rotting away, smelling like a foot inside of a used diaper.
Now that we know it couldn't be encased in ice for over a century, there is no way this hot dog could withstand the elements without being inside a Twinkie wrapper. And that hot dog was NOT encased in a Twinkie wrapper. It was surrounded by nothing but a bun and a receipt! This reporter is trying to tell me that throughout 140 summers and 140 winters, this hot dog still looks exactly like a hot dog? And not some really old, petrified object? Unlikely.
Artist's rendering of an actual 140-year-old hot dog.
Problem 3: Feltman's is 140 years old
Feltman's opened in 1870, exactly 140 years ago, serving sausages on rolls. NOT hot dogs. So let's get this straight: Feltman opened his hot dog restaurant, cooked a product he had yet to invent, dropped it on the floor, and just left it there for almost one and a half centuries like some salted meat time capsule? Doubtful! Eyebrows are raising, CNN!
Problem 4: The "Original" Receipt is Still on the Hot Dog
If there was a receipt with the hot dog, that means the hot dog was sold to a hungry customer, no? And that customer then drops this hot dog on the floor, receipt and all, without picking it up and either A) eating it anyway, or B) throwing it in the trash? And would a sold hot dog manage to wriggle it's way underneath the restaurant? We're through the looking glass here, people.
I know what you're thinking...well if it's not a 100+ years old hot dog, then what's going on here?
Well if you let me finish, I'll tell you. The conclusion that I've reached is that the owner of nearby rival Nathan's Hot Dogs buried one of his dogs underneath Feltman's to curse the restaurant. Just like that Red Sox fan did to the Yankees with the David Ortiz jersey in 2008. And apparently it worked, because Feltman's has been demolished.
However, I will admit that more important than the age of the hot dog is what the hot dog represents. It represents a history, the end of an era, a source of pride for the locals. It's like the angel skeleton from The Simpsons. It doesn't matter if what you believe in is real or not, the simple fact that you believe at all is what matters most. And if they want to believe in priceless, ancient hot dogs...then I'm all for it.
Now I'm hungry.