Off The Beaten Path: Yes, Virginia – There IS A Santa Claus!
By Pam Pollock
As I grow and mature (?) I realize that I am waxing nostalgia on a daily basis. I find myself saying to my kids, “Well, in the good old days…” I waver between recounting precious childhood memories and making a bucket list of things I want to do before my time on earth expires. I admit that my bucket list is not exciting to most people – well, other than my desire to jump out of a plane, which it incredibly hilarious due to my extreme fear of both heights and flying. I did cross off one item this past summer when I went parasailing with my husband and son in Ocean City.
Now you are probably wondering what Christmas and Santa Claus and my Bucket List have in common. Pull up a chair and sit a spell; this could be a rather long explanation! I became obsessed with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile after watching the movie, “The Santa Clause” many, many years ago. Judge Reinhold’s character laments that he always wanted an Oscar Mayer Wiener Whistle. I wanted more – I wanted to see the Wienermobile up close and personal. That’s not an easy feat when you live in the middle of nowhere.
A few years back my son would not friend me on Facebook. Imagine that! One day, whist creeping on Facebook, I discovered that my son’s FB page was unlocked and I could view EVERYTHING! I spent the next 2 hours reading and saving photos to my computer’s desktop. I then texted him and told him that his setting were askew and he might want to fix them. I also told him, “Son, I read everything on your page and we need to talk!” I am sure he was sweating bullets and concerned about what I was going to bust him for! I let him have it, let me tell you! “You saw the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and had your photo taken with it and you never told me!” I exploded in shock at him! “I am totally jealous and sad!”
The years have rolled by and my wish was still just that – a wish. Until this past week when I received an email from Oscar Mayer ‘Hotdoggers’ Theresa Brenner and Benjamin Urkov inviting me to see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile up close and personal at an event in Pittsburgh! Can a 51-year-old grown lady “Squeee” with delight? Yes. Did this 51-year-old grown lady “Squeee” with delight? Why, yes, yes, I did! My wonderful husband agreed to let me slip out of the office on DEADLINE DAY and even drove me, one hour each way – making my Christmas Wish come true a month early! I celebrated by having an Oscar Mayer bologna sandwich for lunch.
After some flubs on the driving directions supplied by OnStar, we finally arrived at our destination. I could see the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in the distance – it’s gleaming paint and shape arose much like the Star In The East. “Follow me,” it seemed to say. “Follow me.” I may or may not have begun to tremble in the SUV, stamping my feet in excitement and shrieking, “It’s just like Christmas morning!” Ok, I totally did that and you know what, I have no shame in my behavior.
I jumped out of the car as soon as my spouse put it in park, grabbed my camera and ran across the parking lot. I hastily made my introductions to Theresa and Benjamin and then proceeded to go over every inch of that Wienermobile. A kid in a candy shop? Nope, not me – I was a kid in the Oscar Mayer store! Inside, outside and around every angle I went, snapping photos, gingerly touching and generally just oohing and awing over that Wienermobile. I sat on the Mustard and Ketchup covered seats; I checked out the Hot Dog shaped dashboard, I walked on the Ketchup Walkway. I may or may not have jumped in the air with such incredible happiness.
Yeah, I totally did that.
Theresa and Benjamin gifted me with my very own Wiener Whistle. I may or may not have posed for photos while blowing my whistle.
Yeah, I totally did that.
So, I am back at the office and typing this story to make my deadline. I am sitting here with a goofy smile on my face and a warm and fuzzy feeling in my heart. Boys and Girls, there is a Santa Claus and he has helpers! Theresa and Benjamin, I am sure that you see a lot of weird people while on your 1-year tour of America as “Hotdoggers”. I can only imagine that I am at the top of that list. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making one of my dreams come true!