No one quite remembered who actually had been there first, but both of the food trucks claimed it. And it seemed that everyone had a different version of why cooking at home had been outlawed by the town.
One said it was a rash of chip-fryer fires that did it, sent the insurance rates off the charts.
Another said it had been a conspiracy all along, the fires were set intentionally. Another
said it had all been rumour. Whichever way you believed it though, the long and the short of
it was that unless you were rich enough to eat at the one fancy restaurant in town, whether
you liked it or not, you were lining up at one of those food trucks at dinner time.
On one side of the street was the hot dog cart. HARRY’S HOT DOGS: THE ONE AND ONLY
ORIGINAL WORLDS GREATEST HOT DOG JUST A NICKEL proclaimed the sign, in bright
flashing neon lights, with a steady stream of regulars.
On the other side of the street was the taco stand. TANYA’S TACOS: HEALTHY VEGETARIAN
TACOS WITH ALL THE FIXENS FOR JUST A DIME is what this sign said. It wasn’t quite as
loud and flashy as the other one, but it had been made with care.
As five o’clock rolled around the floor, Duane left work and headed toward the taco stand,
as he had the day before and the day before that. But as he stood in line, Duane just couldn’t
handle the thought of yet another vegetarian taco. They were too expensive, his hours were
getting cut at work, and every day he’d always had a vegetarian taco, rain or shine. He’d even
heard some rumours that Tanya didn’t actually cook them herself. And it looked like they
were having a grand time on the other side of the street, with the hooting and the hollering.
He took one cautious step out of Tanya’s lineup, and then another. People around him
started to mutter, louder again as he started to walk across the street. “Duane, what are
you doing?” “Duane, they’re as cheap as they seem.” “They’re bad for you.” Duane ignored
this. “Duane, they don’t let everyone eat their hot dogs.” That’s just a rumour, he thought.
The Taco stand lineup was now screaming at Duane. “They’re racist, they’re sexist, the
food’s unhealthy. It’s bad, it’s bad!” as he crossed the street.
Duane got to the front. “Hot dog?” “Yes please.” “Bun?” “Also yes.” “Fixens?” “The works.”
“Perfect, here you go, pay at the next window.” Duane got to the next window. “That’ll be twentyfive
cents.” “But the sign says a nickel.” “Yes but that’s for the hot dog. You also got a bun and all
the fixens.” Duane passed the last quarter he had over to the man. “Now get out of the way.”
Duane stepped away from the cart. They were still screaming at him across the road. He
looked at the hot dog he had just bought. He looked back for the man in the lineup but he
seemed to have disappeared. Duane didn’t even want it anymore, but he had to eat. He
took a little bite at first, then a bigger one, until he was stuffing it into his face, hot sauce and
sauerkraut flying every which way, to cheers from the hot dog stand lineup. He knew it was
bad for him, but he wanted more.