A SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENT

By | July 03, 2007 | archive

- FROM THE ARCHIVE -

Some other people were talking about the silliest things they’d ever done. Their examples beat my own, but then, they’d done more things than I had, silly or no. The one really silly thing I’d done that they hadn’t was — and I swear this is true — I once tried to see if it was possible to cook all the fat out of a hot dog.

I’m quite serious about this, though, as you can imagine, it happened on a day when I was really, really bored. I had eaten a hot dog for lunch, and I was wondering, how much fat is in these things, how long would it take to get all the fat out, and what would be left? So I took a hot dog, put it in the microwave, and started cooking it. Every so often I would open the microwave, take a paper towel, and wipe off the fat. Then I’d go back to cooking it.

The first thing I discovered was that no matter how much fat had oozed out in the last minute, when you got rid of it, there would always be just as much fat oozing out a minute later. And then another minute later. And still another minute later. In fact, it seemed that no matter how many times I repeated the process, the fat just kept on coming in hot-dog-scale waves. There seemed to be an infinite supply of fat in that little hot dog.

But I persevered. I kept cooking and wiping and cooking and wiping. Then I started soaking the hot dog to wash off any fat that might be trickling back in. This didn’t change anything.

Finally, finally, after about ten to twelve minutes of cooking, there was no more fat trickling out of the hot dog, nothing left to cook out of it. And what was left?

A stick. I mean, literally, a stick. It was hard, it was solid, and I could tell that while there was nothing edible remaining, if I repeated the process with another hot dog, I could rub the two of them together and make a fire.

So the result of my silliest experiment on the most boring day of my life was that I discovered what a beef frankfurter is: it is a stick injected with fat. Nothing less, nothing more.

That was the day I gave up eating hot dogs.

About jaimejweinman

Jaime J. Weinman has too much education and not enough food. His writing has appeared in McSweeney's, The Morning News, Yankee Pot Roast, Salon, and his inevitable blog, Something Old, Nothing New. He lives in Toronto, hot-dog capital of the nation.