The Hot Dog Conspiracy Of 1986 - And Why You Shouldn't Microwave Your – Loose Leaf Tea Market

The Hot Dog Conspiracy Of 1986 - And Why You Shouldn't Microwave Your Tea

Nick Brown

*Note: this is a mostly fictional and fairly long post written for entertainment value. If you don't have time for that, skip to the Nutshell Summary at the bottom of the page to read why we don't think you should microwave your tea.

 

Prologue

Customers sometimes ask if it’s ok to microwave their tea. Before I answer that question, I have a story for you. It’s going to seem like there’s no relationship to tea, but bear with me. You’ll understand everything at the end.

This is a story about betrayal, intrigue, disaster, and redemption. It takes place in a sleepy suburban town in New Jersey, and centers around a peculiar culinary machination of mankind...hot dogs...

 

Act 1: The Betrayal

When I was a kid hot dogs were a staple in my diet. No ketchup. No mustard. Just a hot dog in a bun. At least until the summer I turned 8.

Despite multiple attempts of parental trickery, I refused to eat anything else so my mom took me to see Dr. Saltstein, the family pediatrician.

“Great!” I thought. “Doc’s got my back. He knows how delicious and nutritious hot dogs are! I’m gonna get to eat them like three times a day now!” I was so thrilled that that morning I made my bed, cleaned my centrifuge, and organized my chemistry set.

After our 2 hour long wait, my hero entered the chilly sterile office. His white coat billowed behind him like a cape and he wielded his clipboard like He Man wields his sword.

My mom was about. To get. SCHOOLED.

“He refuses to eat vegetables,” she complained unjustifiably. “He’ll only eat hot dogs. What do we do?”

“Uh, get over it and move on?” I mused to myself. “Ok doc, let ‘er have it. Set her straight,” I thought as my confidence in Dr. Saltstein swelled to a nearly unmanageable height. My heart raced with anticipation at what he was going to say.

You see Dr. Saltstein was, I thought, a brilliant man. He once removed a splinter from my hand with an invisible needle and I didn’t feel a thing! When I had a sore throat he always made it better. He was the only one who really COULD get my nose, and I got a butterscotch hard candy after every visit! I had so much confidence in him, I was considering inviting him to participate in a weaponized cryogenics experiment I was planning for my 10th birthday.

A hush fell over the room as I awaited the Great Genius’s wise response with gleeful anticipation and a quiet, respectful awe.

“Don’t feed him hot dogs,” said Dr. Saltzstein.

My jaw dropped. “What did he just say?” my 8 year old brain thought.

“But won’t he starve?” my mother inquired.

“No. He’ll get hungry enough, and he’ll eat the vegetables.” His pretentious stethoscope drooped around his neck like some sort of elitist wanna be status symbol. (Why was that thing always so cold anyway?) I suddenly noticed that this nerd wore a pocket protector. Was that thing always there?

My thoughts raced like a thousand mice in a maze outfitted as an amusement park. “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I…. I thought you had medical training. I’ve been coming here for shots and check ups for years! I’ve been in the hands of a madman!!!”

“It might take a day or two, but he’ll eventually cave in and he’ll be fine,” Dr. Buzzkill replied.

“How dare he! The nerve of this pheasant brained muffle mouthed muppet,” I thought. “You have no idea who you’re dealing with!”

And with a single sweep of Dr. Saltstein’s betrayal in a 30 second conversation, my days of hotdogs for dinner every day were over. He wasn’t going to get away with this. I had a major problem to solve...but I'd  be back for him. But as I would soon find out, I didn't take care of him fast enough...

 

Act II: The Intrigue

During the summers my grandmother would watch me while my parents were at work. She was a strong woman. A hard worker. Tough. She actually beat Mr. T in an impromptu bar room arm wrestling match. But she had one weakness.

Me.

So I devised a plan. It was quite simple actually. Any time I wanted a hot dog, I would simply do a chore without being asked. And then I would use my best wide eyed puppy dog face, finger on my lip and all, shuffle my feet, and ask for a hot dog.

Bingo.

It worked like a charm.

Every day, precisely 10 minutes before Looney Tunes cartoons were starting, I would execute my plan. And every day, she would fall for it. She would make me a hot dog, despite my mom’s explicit orders not to

Well one day, she was in a hurry for some reason. She was also late in preparing my requisite hot dog. So she stuck it in the microwave and started it up. I sat in the living room shaking my head in quiet frustration as I heard the beeping sound of her pushing the buttons to start the microwave.

My Looney Tunes had already begun and the anticipation coursed through my veins like a pack of wild horses.

Bugs Bunny took a left turn at Albuquerque. Then he outsmarted Elmer Fudd. (Where’s that hot dog?)  Now I’m watching the roadrunner taunt Wyle Coyote.

I can hear the microwave still running. Wyle Coyote just rammed himself into the side of a mountain with his jet pack. Still no hot dog. (Hasn’t it been a while?)

Tom and Jerry! Catch that little mouse already you imbecile! What kind of cat can’t catch a mouse?!  The neighbor’s cat leaves one on our porch every night!

I was becoming agitated. The hot dog withdrawal was making me irritable.

I’ve been through like 3 Looney Toons episodes already! Who’s running this place and where is my hotdog?

A commercial came on, which I instinctively tuned out. I was not about to have some greedy fat cats try and sell me rubber and sugar to enslave me to a lifetime of addiction. The bright lights of the obnoxious commercial featuring half insane children losing their minds over fruit rollups faded into the distance as I drifted off into a day dream...

 

Act III: Disaster

The realization smashed my peaceful zone out like a sledge hammer through a glass coffee table. Could it be?!

My short term memory went into overdrive as I accessed a replay of my grandmother starting the microwave what must have been more than ten minutes ago.

Time Cook. 1. 3. 0. Start.

5 beeps.

But there were 6 beeps. Could it have been….

Time Cook. 1. 3. 0……0?!

She set the timer for 13:00 minutes instead of 1:30!

Just as the realization hit me, my eyes bulged from my head. My skin elicited a thin coat of panicked sweat, my circulatory system diverted my blood flow from my digestive tract to my extremities, my vision became highly enhanced, my hearing sharpened and my nervous system lit up like the Times Square Christmas Tree.

The muscles in my tiny legs tensed and launched me several feet forward in an attempt to reach the microwave in time. I could see the hot dog swelling inside as the turn table elegantly rotated in perfect circles, displaying my endangered precious hot dog as if it were an invaluable jewel.

The green digitized numbers counted down one menacing number at a time.

3....

I sprinted toward the kitchen, my nostrils instinctively expanding to allow for greater oxygen intake, my heart pounding like a jack hammer. I leapt over the Lego City I was currently managing.

2...

I streaked past my bewildered grandmother like a furious wind. “Nicholas…” she muttered as her blouse blew in my ferocious wake.

1...

With all digits extended, I lunged forward using all of my might to attempt to shoot my will out of my fingers to hit the stop button before…..

BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

My hot dog exploded.

It was a fiery display of fierce radioactive destruction.

As the ringing in my ears subsided, and my eyes recovered from the explosive white light, the microwave continued to run like the soulless, heartless automaton it was, completely oblivious to the carnage it had just caused.

I could hear the insane obnoxious commercial still playing in the next room, but inside my mind was just…an empty feeling of shock.

Billions and billions of hot dog particles lined every square inch of the inside of the microwave. Smoke billowed out in a cloud of vaporized dreams and wasted potential ecstasy as the turn table continued to listlessly rotate.

“My hot dog! My hot dog!” I was beside myself with disappointment, confusion, and righteous indignation. I demanded immediate restitution.

But none was to be had. My grandmother had some serious cleaning to do before my parents got home. She tried to get me to promise not to tell, she knew she wasn’t supposed to feed me hot dogs. It dawned on me that this incident would destroy the spell that I had over her. I would never have another hot dog again.

As I stood in complete shock...I wondered how it was possible to make such a silly mistake. But then I had a flash back to my follow up visit with the pediatrician. It was yesterday. My grandmother had taken me this time because my mom couldn't get the day off.

There was a quiet conversation and discrete exchange of butterscotch candies between her and the Man In The White Coat. It took place after he used his tongue depressor to check my throat. It was a late afternoon appointment so I already had my daily hot dog. I faked brushing my teeth before we left!

My eyes bulged and my fists tightened as I realized what happened.

The Mad Doctor saw bits of hot dog! Then he bribed her with butterscotch candies to sabotage me! The old woman hadn't made a mistake at all! She was paid off!

The Doctor had gotten to my loving grandmother. This could not stand. He would be dealt with! Redemption would be MINE!!!

 

Act IV: Redemption

At first I refused to keep quiet, I was ratting her out. I was furious and appalled at the conspiracy and destruction of a perfectly good hot dog.

But soon, my better nature got the best of me. I saw an opportunity to benefit. Besides, she was a good woman. She took good care of me and had good values and a loving heart. But I suppose she had another weakness. Butterscotch candies. She was tough, (She once beat Chuck Norris in a staring contest.) but she was human.

So I cut her a deal. I wouldn’t talk as long as my annual birthday money went from $10 to $20. I started at $50 but she negotiated me down. 

Exhausted from all the commotion, I was too tired to push the issue. So I hugged her leg and she put me down for a nap. The deal was sealed.

Till the day she passed on from this world in 2016 I never told my parents about the secret hot dog feedings, or the Oscar Meyer Microwave Sabotoge of 1986. And I made myself an extra $300 over the next 30 years.

I won’t tell you how I handled The Doctor. Let’s just say that after each visit, I got more than just one butterscotch candy. And the stethoscope was sure to never be cold again.

Was it worth it? I don’t know. In some ways yes, in others, perhaps not.

 

Epilogue

My childhood conspiracies aside, what can you learn from this story and what does it have to do with microwaving your tea?

Well, the first thing is the idea of mindfulness. Paying attention to the small things we do and having a ritual can have a big benefit in the form of developing good habits. Pay attention and take your time with your tea.

Tea is a great habit and its super good for you. Take an extra couple of minutes and boil the water. Set your intention for the day. It’ll be much easier to outsmart the booby traps that life sets up.

My grandmother didn’t pay attention and she got conned by an evil genius doctor. Then she got blackmailed by an 8 year old.

Bulletproof Breakfast, Lucky Morning Spice, and Ginseng Green Dragon are all great choices to start your day off without the joy of a delicious hot dog. And they'll fortify your will so you can resist being unwittingly recruited to commit acts of sabotage. (My grandmother was a coffee drinker.)

Secondly, microwaves release literal radiation into whatever you’re heating up and then you consume it. Water has structure and the microwave radiation actually changes the structure of the water. Besides, have you noticed what a microwave does to a perfectly good piece of pizza? It rubberizes it. Do you really want to consume something that comes out of a device that does that?

So the next time you want to take a short cut and microwave something, remember the story of the exploding hot dog, and the words of the Great Ferris Bueller:  “Life is short. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.”

Congratulations! You've reached the end. The following section is nearly identical to the Epilogue but has been edited for people who didn't want to read my awesome story. But you did! Thanks!!!

 

Nutshell Summary:

So why do we recommend you not microwave your tea, or the water for your tea?

Well, the first reason is the idea of mindfulness. Paying attention to the small things we do and having a ritual can have a big benefit in the form of developing good habits. Pay attention and take your time with your tea.

Tea is a great habit and its super good for you. Take an extra couple of minutes and boil the water. Set your intention for the day. It’ll be much easier to outsmart the booby traps that life sets up.

Bulletproof Breakfast, Lucky Morning Spice, and Ginseng Green Dragon are all great choices to start your day off without the joy of a delicious hot dog. And they'll fortify your will so you can resist being unwittingly recruited to commit acts of sabotage. (My grandmother was a coffee drinker.)

Secondly, microwaves release literal radiation into whatever you’re heating up and then you consume it. Water has structure and the microwave radiation actually changes the structure of the water. Besides, have you noticed what a microwave does to a perfectly good piece of pizza? It rubberizes it. Do you really want to consume something that comes out of a device that does that?

If you were to microwave the actual tea itself, you would alter and/or destroy some of it's beneficial constituents.

So the next time you want to take a short cut and microwave something, remember the story of the exploding hot dog, and the words of the Great Ferris Bueller:  “Life is short. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.”


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