Wienermobile making its rounds in LC this weekend
Oscar Mayer navigators are graduates of Hot Dog High
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile navigator Jackie “Pepper Jackie Cheese” Corte received her official “Hotdogger” name after completing a two-week Wienermobile training program referred to as Hot Dog High.
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile navigators Jackie “Pepper Jackie Cheese” Corte and Elise “Cheddar Cheese Elise” Johnson get to deliver unlimited joy to the young and young at heart every single day.
“It’s the best job in the whole world; nothing compares,” Johnson said. “With our jobs you get to make people’s days and really complete some dreams every week. It’s really special.”
The iconic, 27-foot-long Wienermobile is touring Lake Charles this weekend, making stops at area Market Baskets. The truck will be parked noon-5 p.m. today at the Ryan Street location, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Nelson Road store, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Lake Street location.
“Some people have been wanting to see it since they were little and now they are 78 or 80, and it’s so great to make that dream come true for them,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the Wienermobile has been cruising America’s highways for 82 years. The first two trucks are no longer around but the company’s third edition, built in 1952, is on display in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. Each Wienermobile is built on a Chevrolet truck chassis and stands 11 feet tall (or 24 hot dogs high) and 8 feet wide (or 18 hot dogs long).
Corte and Johnson said they are one of six Wienermobile teams that travel throughout the country on 11-month tours.
“We do travel and live on the road about 340 days out of the year,” Johnson said. “But it’s so fun because you’re on the adventure of a lifetime and you’re making so many memories for people.”
Corte said that before the pair were allowed to hit the road they had to complete a two-week Wienermobile training program lovingly referred to as Hot Dog High.
“At Hot Dog High we learn how to drive the Wienermobile and then you graduate with your bun-dergraduate degree, as we like to say,” Corte said with a laugh.
“There’s lots of puns, and the whole thing is just a blast,” Johnson said. “Everything about it is fun, and once you graduate that’s when you get your official ‘Hotdogger’ name.”
Johnson said the truck they are driving is a 2012 model with solar panels that power the radio and air conditioning system.
“It’s strange driving the Wienermobile and then going back to our own cars especially because we find ourselves making these unnecessary wide turns,” Corte said. “It also feels cramped now in our personal cars. Also we’re so used to waving at people and being super noticeable, and when we’re in our own cars we find ourselves waving at people and getting weird looks back.”
“It hurts our ego a little bit, like why aren’t you waving back at us, and then it hits us that we’re not in the Wienermobile anymore,” Johnson added.