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It was the ultimate post-college road trip: a year-long journey in a 27-foot-long fiberglass hotdog across the US and Europe. Rife with breakdowns, meaty puns, the burdens of instant celebrity and more Wiener Whistles than anyone could ever hope for, Ihlenfeld's uproarious recounting of his time behind the wheel is a coming-of-age story-as irreverent as it is touching-of l It was the ultimate post-college road trip: a year-long journey in a 27-foot-long fiberglass hotdog across the US and Europe. Rife with breakdowns, meaty puns, the burdens of instant celebrity and more Wiener Whistles than anyone could ever hope for, Ihlenfeld's uproarious recounting of his time behind the wheel is a coming-of-age story-as irreverent as it is touching-of learning about life, love, and (sausage) links, ultimately arriving at the realization that that the future is anything but a straight road.  


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It was the ultimate post-college road trip: a year-long journey in a 27-foot-long fiberglass hotdog across the US and Europe. Rife with breakdowns, meaty puns, the burdens of instant celebrity and more Wiener Whistles than anyone could ever hope for, Ihlenfeld's uproarious recounting of his time behind the wheel is a coming-of-age story-as irreverent as it is touching-of l It was the ultimate post-college road trip: a year-long journey in a 27-foot-long fiberglass hotdog across the US and Europe. Rife with breakdowns, meaty puns, the burdens of instant celebrity and more Wiener Whistles than anyone could ever hope for, Ihlenfeld's uproarious recounting of his time behind the wheel is a coming-of-age story-as irreverent as it is touching-of learning about life, love, and (sausage) links, ultimately arriving at the realization that that the future is anything but a straight road.  

30 review for Dog Days: A Year in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    Though the odds were against him, Dave Ihlenfeld made the cut, and became a Hotdogger for a year, the prime perk of which is taking THIS - out for a spin. Ihlenfeld's account of his year spent traveling inside a giant wiener is sprinkled with delightful Oscar Meyer trivia, such as the writing of that oh, so famous jingle in 1963, (now the longest-running jingle in America), to the history and development of the iconic Wienermobiles. Along the way, he learns lessons in patience, getting along wit Though the odds were against him, Dave Ihlenfeld made the cut, and became a Hotdogger for a year, the prime perk of which is taking THIS - out for a spin. Ihlenfeld's account of his year spent traveling inside a giant wiener is sprinkled with delightful Oscar Meyer trivia, such as the writing of that oh, so famous jingle in 1963, (now the longest-running jingle in America), to the history and development of the iconic Wienermobiles. Along the way, he learns lessons in patience, getting along with others, and how to maneuver a 27-foot-long fiberglass hotdog through a toll booth. AND, he gains a new philosophy of life: ...life is like a long road trip. There are breakdowns and there are beautiful distractions, but there's no real road map. You just make a right here, a left there and see what happens. On the whole, this is a well-written travelogue, and a look inside not only a landmark vehicle, but a most unusual marketing campaign. I was tempted to subtract a star as I got really tired of his wanting deserving-to-get-laid spiel, and the attitude that stems from some males who seem to believe that just because they think a woman is hot, she should want to use their penises. Seriously? Does this ever work for anyone? (Ihlenfeld has apparently found an outlet for this brand of humor as a writer for Family Guy.) Ketchup with your reading as this one really cuts the mustard, and should therefore, be relished. Sorry. The Devil Little Oscar made me do it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Yolanda

    I was looking for a funny book to sandwich my other books and this one hit the spot. It was light, amusing with just enough history about the weinermobile. The twenty-two year old author received the job offer to be a hotdogger for one year. Part of the interview he had to sing the tune "Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer. . ." I think that is one song most of us remember. I say give this book a try, I smiled and laughed throughout the book. I was looking for a funny book to sandwich my other books and this one hit the spot. It was light, amusing with just enough history about the weinermobile. The twenty-two year old author received the job offer to be a hotdogger for one year. Part of the interview he had to sing the tune "Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer. . ." I think that is one song most of us remember. I say give this book a try, I smiled and laughed throughout the book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    This very quick read is a mishmash of themes: it's a little bit road trip, a little romance, a little history. IT's about a guy who drives around in an Oscar Meyer Weinermobile for a year. You will learn about the history of the company, you will enjoy hearing about the narrator and his madcap adventures. What I liked was the humorous tone of this novel, as well as the likability of the writer. This very quick read is a mishmash of themes: it's a little bit road trip, a little romance, a little history. IT's about a guy who drives around in an Oscar Meyer Weinermobile for a year. You will learn about the history of the company, you will enjoy hearing about the narrator and his madcap adventures. What I liked was the humorous tone of this novel, as well as the likability of the writer.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kat Scratch Fever

    This book was so funny and interesting... Until he starts talking about the women he shared the road with. Between describing one as "like a doll, but one you want to do unspeakable things to" and another as "somewhere between a pole vaulter and a point guard" (African Amercian woman) Dave should stick to the history and anecdotes of the Weinermobile and leave his horny middle aged reminicisngs at home. Fuck you Dave. This book was so funny and interesting... Until he starts talking about the women he shared the road with. Between describing one as "like a doll, but one you want to do unspeakable things to" and another as "somewhere between a pole vaulter and a point guard" (African Amercian woman) Dave should stick to the history and anecdotes of the Weinermobile and leave his horny middle aged reminicisngs at home. Fuck you Dave.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    Dog Days by Dave Ihlenfeld caught my eye at the library. The cover sports a Wienermobile parking in front of a suburban home. While I'm no fan of Oscar Mayer products and have never seen the Wienermobile in person, I was curious. I read the book on the "there's a memoir about everything" front. Dave Ihlenfeld spent a summer after college driving a Wienermobile. Actually is it was a couple different vehicles — depending on where in the world he was (including a strange trip to Germany). Ihlenfeld Dog Days by Dave Ihlenfeld caught my eye at the library. The cover sports a Wienermobile parking in front of a suburban home. While I'm no fan of Oscar Mayer products and have never seen the Wienermobile in person, I was curious. I read the book on the "there's a memoir about everything" front. Dave Ihlenfeld spent a summer after college driving a Wienermobile. Actually is it was a couple different vehicles — depending on where in the world he was (including a strange trip to Germany). Ihlenfeld outlines how piss poor the maintenance of the cars were and how expendable the driving staff was seen as from upper management. Nonetheless, he seems to have had fun and has capture the good, the bad and the ugly in an entertaining memoir. Interspersed with his adventures are chapters on the history of the Oscar Mayer company and its fleet of Wienermobiles. These are the sections, I suppose, where readers are supposed to get all nostalgic and weepy for the whistle they had as a kid. Having never seen the cars nor the whistles, I read these sections more as a curious observer. The take away is that advertising is demented no mater what the product.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bea Elwood

    So on the one hand, this a cute book about a privileged white male who graduates from college with no real goals or direction for his life (a wimpy counterpoint to Into the Wild perhaps) and who finds purpose and worth in traveling for an odd, year long job. But, on the other hand, a genuine case study for male privilege. Could you imagine being one of the women he has to work with? I'm creeped by this guy and I don't think he even realizes how slimy he presents himself to be. So on the one hand, this a cute book about a privileged white male who graduates from college with no real goals or direction for his life (a wimpy counterpoint to Into the Wild perhaps) and who finds purpose and worth in traveling for an odd, year long job. But, on the other hand, a genuine case study for male privilege. Could you imagine being one of the women he has to work with? I'm creeped by this guy and I don't think he even realizes how slimy he presents himself to be.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dawnie

    I really enjoyed this book....read it all in one sitting. The author is pretty funny and I loved learning more about the Hotdogger program. I learned about it a tad too late, otherwise I think I would've made an excellent Hotdogger! I really enjoyed this book....read it all in one sitting. The author is pretty funny and I loved learning more about the Hotdogger program. I learned about it a tad too late, otherwise I think I would've made an excellent Hotdogger!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Art

    "There's no room in the Wienermobile for secrets" that pretty much says it all. I thought the book started a little slow but after the author was hired the book picked up speed and sucked me in. A fun light read and now I want my own damn Wienermobile whistle. "There's no room in the Wienermobile for secrets" that pretty much says it all. I thought the book started a little slow but after the author was hired the book picked up speed and sucked me in. A fun light read and now I want my own damn Wienermobile whistle.

  9. 5 out of 5

    cat

    I have reached a new low with my "Year of" obsession. Someone stop me, please? I have reached a new low with my "Year of" obsession. Someone stop me, please?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    I was intrigued when I saw this in our library's book sale. I needed something light, and I've become quite fascinated by industry memoirs, so I couldn't leave it behind. So glad I didn't! Dog Days is nostalgic, fun, engaging, and well-written. Ihlenfeld comes across as a likeable but directionless college graduate. His honesty about being a bit shallow is as refreshing as his self-effacing humor. He's no paragon of virtue, but his underlying good character and decency shine through - he's someo I was intrigued when I saw this in our library's book sale. I needed something light, and I've become quite fascinated by industry memoirs, so I couldn't leave it behind. So glad I didn't! Dog Days is nostalgic, fun, engaging, and well-written. Ihlenfeld comes across as a likeable but directionless college graduate. His honesty about being a bit shallow is as refreshing as his self-effacing humor. He's no paragon of virtue, but his underlying good character and decency shine through - he's someone we enjoy spending time with. Of course, the main character in this book is the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. I've seen the Wienermobile a time or two in my life, and it's so ridiculous that it can't help but raise a smile. And that's the genius behind this marketing tool. Ihlenfeld does a good job of interspersing the history of Oscar Mayer (the man as well as the company), and the Wienermobile without allowing it to weigh down the narrative. But we also get to see behind the scenes of the Wienermobile, what it's like to be a "hotdogger," making hot dog puns and handing out wienie whistles for a living. But like any good story, this one goes a bit deeper, and we see Ihlenfeld grow and mature over the year he and his team spend on the road, facing challenges, recognizing their strengths, and finding their direction, in more ways than one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Linda Smatzny

    This is the author's recount of his year driving an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. He and his time traveled up and down the state of California with an older wiernermobile. Next was a time in the southwestern part of the US. After the holidays, the author and a new partner did some big events in the south including Mardi Gras in New Orleans. His final trip was six weeks in Europe visiting US air bases. The book includes some black and white photos. The book was a quick easy read. This is the author's recount of his year driving an Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. He and his time traveled up and down the state of California with an older wiernermobile. Next was a time in the southwestern part of the US. After the holidays, the author and a new partner did some big events in the south including Mardi Gras in New Orleans. His final trip was six weeks in Europe visiting US air bases. The book includes some black and white photos. The book was a quick easy read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Reb Belstner

    A light, enjoyable read which removes the mystique behind this iconic advertising vehicle. While I no longer have my hopes up for being a Hotdogger, I would recommend the experience to any just out of college kid who has the opportunity.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Elkins

    Entertaining memoir about spending a year on the road as a representative of Oscar Meyer. A pretty fast read, with a good amount of history, humor and low-dose introspection.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kris Kizer

    It was funny and interesting. I could see it being a YA travel movie.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alison Robinson

    Very interesting to hear about all the tribulations that went into the Wienermobile program.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carole Clmt

    Favorite book of the year !

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Ochotorena

    An interesting read if want a view of what life driving the wienermobile is like.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Thoroughly entertaining, not too long, and replete with the author's self-deprecating humor, this is the story of a college graduate faced with finding a 'real' job, and who elects to spend a year driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile around the U.S. (and briefly, at a US military base in Germany), and his adventures that ensue. Ihlenfeld's description of the various travel partners he is assigned (he has changed names and combined personalities of some of the players for privacy's sake) were very Thoroughly entertaining, not too long, and replete with the author's self-deprecating humor, this is the story of a college graduate faced with finding a 'real' job, and who elects to spend a year driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile around the U.S. (and briefly, at a US military base in Germany), and his adventures that ensue. Ihlenfeld's description of the various travel partners he is assigned (he has changed names and combined personalities of some of the players for privacy's sake) were very witty and the one-liners they were taught at "Hot Dog High", a two-week training program for all the 'hotdoggers' as they were known, are hilarious. The suggested answers they learn to give when people ask questions consist of bad puns. Examples: "What does it run on?" Answer: "High-octane mustard." "Does it have air conditioning?" Answer: "It's not a chili dog." I enjoyed the book thoroughly for the light entertainment that it was. I also saw the Wienermobile driving through my town about 10 years ago, crossing the Columbia River Bridge, but nobody believes me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Therese

    Read for non-fiction book club at CLPL (Real World Reads) January 2015. The style is memoir. This is a summer job plus coming of age story, but in an unusual car. It is a fun lighthearted read that will give you a nice dose of nostalgia, you'll learn a bit about the history of Oscar Meyer (and if you live near Chicago it is a little hometown interest as well), and you'll see the joy and challenges they had driving these crazy cars. I learned that you always take "weenie whistles" with you when g Read for non-fiction book club at CLPL (Real World Reads) January 2015. The style is memoir. This is a summer job plus coming of age story, but in an unusual car. It is a fun lighthearted read that will give you a nice dose of nostalgia, you'll learn a bit about the history of Oscar Meyer (and if you live near Chicago it is a little hometown interest as well), and you'll see the joy and challenges they had driving these crazy cars. I learned that you always take "weenie whistles" with you when going to Walmart because everybody will stop you for one, how outdated these cars still are, and if I know a young person looking for something fun to do the summer after they finish college, I know where to tell them to apply. Although we read this in January, I would recommend this more as a summer read, since it is a bubbly travel journal of a young man with a playful attitude.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Dog Days: A Year in the Oscar Mayer Wiener mobile by Dave Ihlenfeld Like many people after graduating from college, Dave Ihlenfeld had no idea what he wanted or was going to do for the summer much less the rest of his life. A Naperville native, Dave graduated from the University of Missouri’s journalism school and applied to become a “Hotdogger” driving a “Weinermobile” for Oscar Mayer. I remember seeing the Weinermobile as a kid and just last year saw one with my daughter at a suburban event, so Dog Days: A Year in the Oscar Mayer Wiener mobile by Dave Ihlenfeld Like many people after graduating from college, Dave Ihlenfeld had no idea what he wanted or was going to do for the summer much less the rest of his life. A Naperville native, Dave graduated from the University of Missouri’s journalism school and applied to become a “Hotdogger” driving a “Weinermobile” for Oscar Mayer. I remember seeing the Weinermobile as a kid and just last year saw one with my daughter at a suburban event, so I was interested to read about someone who actually drove one. This is a fun, quick read that includes chapters about the history of Oscar Mayer and the Weinermobile program as well as the year the author spent driving around the U.S. and even Europe in a 27 foot long hot dog.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Summer Nettleman

    I gave this book 5 stars not because it is the best piece of literature ever written but that I love it anyway. It is incredibly quirky and incredibly interesting. I entered this giveaway on a whim because who isn't at least a little bit curious about that fiberglass monstrosity on wheels? Ihlenfeld does a great job of bringing you along for the ride and what a great ride it must have been. I love the scenes at the fair and the Wal-mart parking lots. I love how Ihlenfeld is able to really expres I gave this book 5 stars not because it is the best piece of literature ever written but that I love it anyway. It is incredibly quirky and incredibly interesting. I entered this giveaway on a whim because who isn't at least a little bit curious about that fiberglass monstrosity on wheels? Ihlenfeld does a great job of bringing you along for the ride and what a great ride it must have been. I love the scenes at the fair and the Wal-mart parking lots. I love how Ihlenfeld is able to really express the camaraderie between the Hotdoggers and make you want to go to HotDog High. Thumbs-up to such a fun read!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matt Chisling (MattyandtheBooks)

    An adorable coming-of-age story inside a giant Hot Dog - Certainly unique! Ihlenfeld's recount of his year on the road driving an Oscar Mayer Weinermobile is as dorky as it is charming. Ihlenfeld's book is fun and easy to read. The book skips from incident to incident on the road a bit too quickly, never pausing to process the impact of the event. As such, it misses out on an opportunity to elevate the message of the book. When Ihlenfeld does go for philosophical statements, they are very much ap An adorable coming-of-age story inside a giant Hot Dog - Certainly unique! Ihlenfeld's recount of his year on the road driving an Oscar Mayer Weinermobile is as dorky as it is charming. Ihlenfeld's book is fun and easy to read. The book skips from incident to incident on the road a bit too quickly, never pausing to process the impact of the event. As such, it misses out on an opportunity to elevate the message of the book. When Ihlenfeld does go for philosophical statements, they are very much appreciated. This is a solid read for any recent graduate, or someone who is at a crossroads in life - no matter where the road takes you, you're bound to have wonderful memories to share.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Lanahan

    You need to read this book. Young college senior with no prospects lands a job driving the Weinermobile for a year. That's a year to find himself, figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, and try to get laid in a Weinermobile. Hilarious and a little sentimental, it's obvious that the author had a great time that year, despite mechanical breakdowns, emotional meltdowns and drunken Mardi Gras revelers. He learned what a good boss is like, how to work in a team, and how to think on You need to read this book. Young college senior with no prospects lands a job driving the Weinermobile for a year. That's a year to find himself, figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life, and try to get laid in a Weinermobile. Hilarious and a little sentimental, it's obvious that the author had a great time that year, despite mechanical breakdowns, emotional meltdowns and drunken Mardi Gras revelers. He learned what a good boss is like, how to work in a team, and how to think on his feet.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I have an original Wiener whistle and I won this book on First Reads....... so why wouldn't I want to read this? Dave Ihlenfeld is quite funny and I found myself laughing out loud. It's a good book for a light, funny read. Just like the Hotdoggers who didn't want their year to end, I didn't want this book to end. A bit of interesting Oscar Mayer history and a lot of Dave's fun and honest times on the road. I have an original Wiener whistle and I won this book on First Reads....... so why wouldn't I want to read this? Dave Ihlenfeld is quite funny and I found myself laughing out loud. It's a good book for a light, funny read. Just like the Hotdoggers who didn't want their year to end, I didn't want this book to end. A bit of interesting Oscar Mayer history and a lot of Dave's fun and honest times on the road.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    Dave is one of my very close friends, so, while I found myself laughing out loud in parts, it's hard to know whether I was laughing because I knew Dave and I could picture him in the event or whether I would have laughed anyway. Regardless, I think it's great that he wrote a book about his Wienermobile days and got a book published. Way to go, Dave! (Although I think I could have done without the Edinburgh visual!) :)) Dave is one of my very close friends, so, while I found myself laughing out loud in parts, it's hard to know whether I was laughing because I knew Dave and I could picture him in the event or whether I would have laughed anyway. Regardless, I think it's great that he wrote a book about his Wienermobile days and got a book published. Way to go, Dave! (Although I think I could have done without the Edinburgh visual!) :))

  26. 5 out of 5

    Itasca Community Library

    Jeff says: I remember seeing the Weinermobile as a kid and just last year saw one with my daughter at a suburban event, so I was interested to read about someone who actually drove one. This is a fun, quick read that includes chapters about the history of Oscar Mayer and the Weinermobile program, as well as the year the author spent driving around the U.S. and even Europe in a 27-foot long hot dog.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lori Tatar

    This is a cute autobiography of a young adult coming of age and learning how to deal with the curveballs life throws at us sometimes. Its humor runs a bit short of being truly comedic but would still make a fun gift for many high school and college graduates, especially with a few dollars tucked in!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the year in the life of a "Hotdogger". I guarantee when you finish this book you will feel like it was you that had just spent the past year in the Wienermobile. Dave Ihlenfeld makes you feel as if you are riding "shotbun" wih him and seeing the country! A very fun book to read! I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the year in the life of a "Hotdogger". I guarantee when you finish this book you will feel like it was you that had just spent the past year in the Wienermobile. Dave Ihlenfeld makes you feel as if you are riding "shotbun" wih him and seeing the country! A very fun book to read!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bookstax

    This book should have been so much better than it was. Although the author asserts that spending a year driving the weinermobile would be one of the best jobs ever, he doesn't really show this in the book. That said, this is the perfect book for mindless vacation reading. I read it during a round trip bus ride to and from Chicago. Some books are just good for that-- this is one of them. This book should have been so much better than it was. Although the author asserts that spending a year driving the weinermobile would be one of the best jobs ever, he doesn't really show this in the book. That said, this is the perfect book for mindless vacation reading. I read it during a round trip bus ride to and from Chicago. Some books are just good for that-- this is one of them.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

    Pro: Stories of life on the road, dealing with Oscar Meyer corporate culture, etc. Con: The reality teevee aspect of the narrative, especially regarding the author's (fantasies of a) romantic life. Also, seemed a bit dated more than a decade later. One of those "I wish there were a 2.5 rating" as two stars feels a bit dismissive, yet three stars implies I liked it (overall) more than I did. Pro: Stories of life on the road, dealing with Oscar Meyer corporate culture, etc. Con: The reality teevee aspect of the narrative, especially regarding the author's (fantasies of a) romantic life. Also, seemed a bit dated more than a decade later. One of those "I wish there were a 2.5 rating" as two stars feels a bit dismissive, yet three stars implies I liked it (overall) more than I did.

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