TODAY IN HOT DOG COURT:

IT IS A HOLIDAY. All are beseeched to visit the kingdom’s grand central BBQ and lay over the coals for ten minutes front, ten minutes back, to ensure the entire populace is afforded attractive, healthy-looking grill marks. Refraining from the bi-monthly cookout is not a criminal act, but grill markings are seen as a sign of general sophistication and finesse and thus maintaining them is highly encouraged. This is but a small luxury proffered to the realm, at the behest of King Hot Dog, the benevolent killer king.

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TODAY, IN HOT DOG COURT: Little seven-year-old Pierre Chien Chaud, of the oppressed and ostracized Chien Chaud family, was finding refuge under a tree whilst he tinkered on his lute.

Lute-ing

“Pourquoi, I wondehhhr, pourquoi eet eez I who have been tasked to lead my childhood motorcycle gang,” he pondered. “My peers, zey simultaneously fear me as such a leadeahhhr and also chide me for my French heritage. Eet eez truly a paradox.”

And thus Pierre mused on the nature of paradox for three days and his family began to wonder where he was, though he sat, so calmly and musically, pondering the mysteries of life in the shade.

Of course childhood friend groups are complex hierarchies forged on the steam of churning jealousy and fear. Pierre’s raw, James Dean-like power over women (okay, other seven-year-old hotdogs) was what propelled him to the top. But once he was there, ruling the moto-gang, dispersing his hip-ness and tortured-artiste-ness over the other three and their mo-peds (okay, they were mo-peds, not motorcycles…), each of the other boys began to wonder:

Pierre

Why not me? Why can’t I be the one leading this group instead of Frenchie McFrencherton? Who does he think he is, clothing himself in a stylish toga of puff-pastry?

What was possibly the most interesting and conflicting characteristic of Pierre, though, and what neither the other seven-year-old hotdogs nor his parents knew, was that Pierre was able to have two entirely separate trains of thought at the same moment.

And yes, as he luted and pondered the nature of paradox with one part of his brain, the other was fully aware of the growing antipathy towards him as a leader and perhaps as an individual who was alive. That other side of Pierre was planning a meeting of the motorcycle club that the other small hotdogs would never forget. Not even his little girlfriend, and moto-groupie, Cherice, NO not even that hot little number, would be spared from his twisted pre-emptive sausage strike.

TODAY IN HOT DOG COURT: What King Hot Dog didn’tknow, when he found the squeeze bottle of relish on Queen Hot Dog’s night-stand EVEN THOUGH he is clearly allergic to pickles, was that the Heinz was only the tip of the iceberg. Queen Hot Dog was beginning to slip up in keeping her long-standing HORRIBLE SECRET. Perhaps she was becoming prematurely demented. Perhaps she wanted to get caught. Either way, it was now only a matter of time until her fetish for pickled condiments, and her affair with Manjula the chutney lady (with whom she shared the majority of her briny flings…), would come out into the open. And so, as King Hot Dog stood there holding the squeeze relish, she had a decision to make. Spill the beans about Manjula now, and risk making her a target? He had killed his own brother with his bare hands… Or would she continue to live her lie just that little bit longer?

AND NOW FOR ANOTHER PEEK INTO THE INTRIGUE AND NITRATES BURBLING IN THE HEART OF HOT DOG COURT

On the outskirts of town, the Chien Chaud family gathered for their evening meal. 

“Papa,” whimpered Pierre, only seven days old, “today at school, zee uzzah keeds, zey… zey said I was not a real ‘ot dog… because of zee croissant blanket zat I wear.”

“ZISS IS AN OUTRAGE,” roared Henri. “WE PAY OUR TAXES HERE, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. WE CONTREEEBUTE TO ZEE MONTHLY RELISH-STOMPING DUTIES, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN ZIS TOWN.”

His rage gave rise to a blistering silence. Quiet chewing. A napkin dabbed at the corner of Pierre’s mouth.

Claudine drew her son into the crook of her shoulder. “Shhh, ma chere,” she whispered. “Your fazzah, he ees just so scarred from zee ethnic ostracism. You know, zat ees how he lost hees own muzzah.”

“I know,” said Pierre. “I just weesh zere was some way zose leetle pieces of crap who torment me… I weesh they could get theirs.”

“What!? Don’t be seeely. You are but a child. Do not theeenk such theeengs.” Claudine had no idea, of course, that Pierre was already the leader of an adolescent motorcycle gang and extremely sexually active.

The rage cloud lingered in its awkwardness and threat.

Henri had lost his appetite, and clamoured up the stairs to brood over his stamp collection.

The King of Hot Dog Court is a foot-long. His crown is carved radish and capers; his scepter is one of those toothpicks with a frizzly cellophane tip.

The hot dog people* refer to him as “Your Beefiness,” but Queen Hot Dog just calls him “Percival Amanda-Marie.” (His parents had a sense of whimsy when it came to naming.) His Beefiness’ favourite record is Lionel Ritchie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling.” Baked Alaska is his favourite meal. He killed his only brother to take the throne. He is a salty monster.

[*Hot Dog Court FAQ]