I am a shit meat product connoisseur. On my first Edinburgh Fringe, I bought a shit meat platter from a local shop. ‘Look what I’ve bought, doomed comedy group,’ I said, ‘A shit meat platter.’ ‘Why did you buy a shit meat platter?’ they chorused in unison, like curious Paul McCartney frogs. ‘Because,’ I explained, pausing to adopt a hand-on-hip, gazing indefatigably into the distance, Edmund Hillary stance, ‘It was there.’ It was because it contained black pudding and was £1.99.
Ten years later, at my funeral in 2010, we had scotch eggs. 32p each from TESCO. I like a nice pork pie. I like to dislike a shit pork pie. Often I buy shit meat products just to see how shit they are, and seldom am I disappointed. But when my Greyhound stopped at a Chevron service station at approximately 12.30am, somewhere between Portland and San Francisco, I was to be disappointed in my disappointment. Because I was about to sample my first Corn Dog.
There are many different kinds of virginity. Your first orgasm. Your front-bum virginity. Your back-bum virginity. Your virginity virginity: when you first take the virginity of a virgin, and the next day consider buying a jacket with epaulettes. Your open-mic virginity. Your Santa virginity. Your Holocaust virginity. Your red wings. Some, or all of these virginities may be lost on the same day. For all of them, it is preferable you are relaxed, if not aroused. Sometimes you do not even realize you are about to experience such a game-changing event: to unlock a new ability. Sometimes a virginity matters much more than the others, than the ones society or your peers think should matter most. Often I feel that the metaphor of loss is insufficient – though it is possible to lose inhibitions with your virginity, you may also transcend an old reality: not so much lose a virginity as experience an epiphany.
A corn dog is a hotdog. In batter. On a stick.
One synapse click: Scotch Eggs obsolete.
A jalapeno cheese corn dog is a hotdog in batter. With warm, jalapeno pepper-accented cheese between the batter and the hotdog. On a stick.
Once you have dared bite into the deliciously shit crunchy batter shell (presumably corn, but who cares), the hot dog centre is giving, juicy, succulent – virginal. Often, there is also a liquid cheese – yes, liquid cheese, slightly rubbery, like a bright yellow bike inner tube being squeezed out – or chilli dispenser for you to squirt all over the corn dogs. A glorious despoiling.
Calzone, pork pie, Crispy Pancake: you may as well bring your Penny Farthing onto the Space Shuttle. British shit meat products: we need to talk.
Cost: $0.96 – $1.25 depending on state/service station. 4/5 normal corn dog, 5/5 jalapeno cheese.