So I might as well tell about the time my father convinced me that hotdogs were made out of dog tails.
Of course, I was skeptical--I was fifteen. "Oh sure," I said, rolling my eyes. I sat at the opposite end of the kitchen table from him.
"It's true," he said. (Maybe we were actually eating fried hotdogs).
"Stupid." I said. What I wanted to say was you can be so stupid.
"That's why so many people won't eat hotdogs, because they think it's a trashy meat." he said.
I had heard that, but I insisted, "That's not true."
"They're spiced up, so you can't actually tell what you're eating."
I liked that spicy goodness. "They're not dog tails," I said.
"You see those short haired dogs with the stubby tails? The vet trims them and they use the leftover tails as hotdogs. Just the right size." He keeps eating. "They have a special machine that removes the hair."
"It's true. In Holland they had to mark 'dog tail' on the packaged hot dogs, but they don't do that in America."
It is then that I remembered him telling me that during the war, people tried to sell skinned cats as rabbit meat, but later, the rabbit heads were left on the body, so that customers knew they were buying rabbit and not a cat for supper.
"We ate plenty of hotdogs in Holland. Didn't we, Mother?" He glanced at my mother, who stared at her plate. "We didn't care if they were 'Kooikerhondjes."'
That detail sounded convincing. Even though I didn't know exactly what a Kooikerhondje
was, I knew hondje was a dog.
"Kooikerhondjes." It curled my tongue.
"That's dog tails in Dutch."
"Is that true?"
"Cross my heart," which he does.
He looks at me, a smile starting on his face and then his laugh, a steady "heh, heh, heh." He elbows my mother. "I got her that time."