My son and wife agreed to forgo their xmas gifts for this, they thought it was worth more to do something for someone than to get something.
What Wayne Has Done So Far
- been absolutely floored that the internet cares about him
- given us our own "Frog Dog" on the menu (we'll leave the details of that to the dog expert himself)
- committed to having all of our names (nearly six hundred as of this post) engraved on a plaque mounted on the wall of Doobie's Dog House (this may end up being simplified somewhat due to logistics.)
- clarified many things, namely that he will be using home-made chili and that he himself prefers shredded cheddar, but his customers prefer processed cheese
- found absolutely bitchin' local bargains on equipment he needs
- consulted with the property owner about landscaping issues
- agreed to a policy of "even if you forego your reward, if a member of Team Frogout ever shows up at the shack, they will get their free dog"
- apparently is a pretty good painter for someone without formal training, and loves watching Bob Ross on PBS
(I've worked out with Wayne that I'll be attempting to re-create his dogs at my house once I get a chance to go shopping, so if the media comes knocking on his door, as they're likely to, he has some really excellent photographs to show off his food. I've gotten extremely detailed instructions on how to make a Memphis-style BBQ dog.)
I think we've all been there, jobless with nothing but a bucket of hotdogs, a block of processed cheese, a van, an American flag, and a goddamn dream.
Or at least that was my initial impression. Since the campaign started, the guy has actually built his kitchen (look at the updates!), done some hotdog catering, set up his entire supply chain, and he appears to have his budget planned very well, albeit with the help of "How to Start a Hotdog Cart" eBooks. He's got a dream, man, and none of us and not even the devil himself is going to be able to stop him. Unlike a lot of crappy Kickstarters, I believe this is going to happen with or without our funding. This guy is Forrest Gump and his shrimping boat/hotdog stand might as well be built right next to the Field of Dreams. I don't mean to imply that he's an idiot, but that I admire his blind confidence and hotdog faith.
I come from Hipsterville where we only eat hotdogs ironically, as a joke, so that other people can look at us and say "Haha. That's hilarious. Let me take an Instagram of that. Imagine if you ate hotdogs and actually liked them." So this campaign touches me in ways both mystical and nostalgic. It makes me yearn for the days when I could eat bad food unironically and wear plaid because it's warm and because lumberjacks are cool, not because I'm trying to convey some dumb hidden message. Every time you eat a hotdog, you get to become a kid again for two minutes.
The hotdogs are hilarious, but I genuinely hate it when people get flak for "trying too hard." We badly need more people who try too hard. It's the most foolish insult to say, "I dislike you because I dislike effort." We are a generation of people who were told their entire lives by nurturing, caring, hippie parents they we are all geniuses. Every boy a wonderboy. Every child above average. But rare is a parent who doesn't care about test scores and IQs, but instead praises their kid only for trying and failing. Effort, man. Effort. That matters so much more than innate intelligence, than knowledge, than wit. You should try to do new things even when (hell, especially when) you think you will fail. This man is trying hard, with all his might, for an aspiration that isn't even lofty. It's humble man wanting for a reachable goal involving the most meager of foods in the tiniest of towns in the poorest of states.
Yeah, I'll be damned if I'm going to dislike a guy for trying too hard. It's apparent that he has turned to crowdfunding only because he has already put every spare dollar he owns into this business. I might not believe in the superior deliciousness of Doobie's hotdogs, but I want to believe in them. And I would eat one.
Another thing is that this appears to be a very small town where the median household income is 20 grand and the most prominent restaurant is a Subway. A hotdog stand, of all things, could affect real change there. It's a good story: The unfeeling internet hordes pulling together to fund a rural hotdog stand in Reform, Alabama. That is something I want to be part of. "Doobie's Dog House" is a name worthy of headlines. I want confused journalists to try to figure out what the fuck happened, why it happened, and how they can possibly convey the idea of crowdfunding to their readers. It'll be like when CNN tries to explain memes. At the very least, this has the potential to make an entire town wonder about Something Awful. Someday, I would like to drive to Doobie's Dog House, eat a hotdog, and think of goons.
To finally answer your question about our motivations, it's definitely the third option. We are good and bad meats processed together and extruded as 6 foot tall tubes, both cynical and kind, complicated and salty. Goons are actual hotdogs. I pledged $25 for both entertainment and charity. If this works and there's a hungry Alabama goon who wants my hotdogs, they can have them. Just please take pictures so it's like a child sponsorship charity, only for meat tubes instead of impoverished children. If the Kickstarter fails, then I will have paid nothing and told a guy that I admire his efforts and his gumption.
This is magical. I personally did a complete 180 on this Kickstarter. A few weeks ago, I absolutely tore into his hotdog pictures and then I gradually became entranced, curious, filled with nostalgia and warm fuzzy feelings for this Alabama Hotdog Man's humble project.
I think what we've all discovered is that it's representative of something much greater.
He's not a goon. Nobody here knows the hotdog guy. Heck, I don't even know if he has yet heard the name "Somethingawful." I suppose that is part of the beauty of this.
We haven't talked too much about the town where this Kickstarter is from, but I think that's part of the story: Reform, Alabama. Named apparently by an irate preacher. Population: 1675. Median household income: $15k. 45% African Americans. It has a a Dollar General, a Subway, a small grocery store, and some gas stations. Google maps comically labels nothing but three cemeteries and an airport.
It's like a place we all picture in our minds when we think of proverbial small town America. Heck, if you walk the town there are American flags down the entire stretch of the road. But this place has lost a fifth of its population in 10 years. Incomes, already poverty-line, have dropped 25% in a decade. Exactly a year ago, a storm wrecked the place. It decimated a thrift store (now rebuilt) that is right next to where Doobie's Dog House will be located. I tell you all of this just to make a round-about point: A humble hotdog stand, of all the things in the world, could help this town. It could affect real change.
Hotdogs are hilarious. They're also universal, a sort of basic meat currency. And they're edible time machines. They bring us back to child-like states of glee and energy. If you eat a hotdog, you get to travel back to an age when you thought that anything was possible, you could do anything, you could become anyone.
Reform, Alabama could probably use a few hotdog-shaped time machines.
I've been thinking about this from his perspective and it's loving incredible.
Here he is, a man with a dream. Owning and operating his own business. Showing his 3 sons what it's like to provide for your family and letting them know that if you work hard enough you too can make your own way. He did his research, took his time, got everything figured out and decided that where he's at the best thing to do would be a Hot Dog stand. But where he's at you can't really do a traditional stand, so he needed a proper kitchen and space and steam trays and...
Six thousand dollars. $6000 that he didn't have. $6000 that he can't scrape together because he's barely getting by with the money he's got.
Then he hears about this Kickstarter website, where people help dreams come true. So he gets it all set up and the woman he loves more than anything takes $60 out of her own check, money that could have gone to a new pair of pants for one of the boys or maybe to the electric bill that's a month past due. Money that could've, no SHOULD'VE been spent on the household to just get by. And she gave it to the man she loves most in the world to tell him that his dreams matter, and she believed in him.
With 1% funded and 30 days to go, he waited. Checked it every morning, noon, and night.
"Maybe it takes a few days" he probably thought at first.
A few days pass, with no change.
"No one knows, I have to spread the word!" So he goes to facebook and twitter, and starts trying to get the word out. Sure he's just one man, but he has a humble goal that's actually well thought out. If you build it, they will come.
21 days into his 30 day campaign: $60 of $6000 funded. No one noticed, no one cared, but he still held out hope. Maybe in the back of his mind he was trying desperately to figure out what he was going to do. Kickstarter was probably a hail mary. The bank had probably already said no. There's no real steady work around town, and that electric bill comes in a red envelope now.
Then a message in his inbox: "I'm from the internet, you can call us team frogout....."
in 48 hours he's overfunded.
Made chilli cheese dogs on Friday in celebration of Doubling the pledge target.
Genuine german bockwurst (we don't get 100% Alabama here, unfortunately), Chilli under the dog, grated mature English cheddar and caramelised shallots (scallions in the US?). They were fucking delicious.
My girlfriend nearly cried when I told her the full story and why we were having them.
As far as I recall, I am the only one who brought up Christmas stuff. Apparently some people just can not understand that people might actually prefer to give something to someone, or try to provide the means to a better life rather than get a new big screen TV, or the latest game console, whatever material item is your fancy.
I did not deprive my family of anything for Christmas, I make a good living and we made a CHOICE. We will still have a nice Christmas, even if it is just us sitting around building Lego sets. We don't tend to get wrapped up in the whole gift giving crap.
And I don't have little kids, my son is almost 20, he is quite capable of understanding and making the choice of donating what I would have spent on him to someone else.
Most of this response is not directed at Undead Unicorn, I'm just tired of the BS.
Part of the reason I gave as much to Wayne as I did, is because I grew up in Alabama, I lived about 20 minutes from Reform for while. I have lived in the big cities of Alabama and also some of the smallest. Little places like what his hot dog stand might become are important to those small towns. I've also been through a few tornadoes and know what it takes to rebuild from having a home and community blown away in the wind. At this point in time his hot dog dream only affects one family, if he can fulfill even half of the realistic things that have been brought up at one time or another in this thread it can be a lot more. High school kids might have a place to work and a chance to build up to something else, or it could be a hangout on Friday and Saturday nights. Or maybe, in a year or so the whole place will fold, but at least he tried to do something, and my egotistical, self congratulatory voice will know that we helped him try.
Agreed we fought in the fucking trenches for doobie threads. Watching our brothers get banned, taking probations on the chin, stepping over the bodies of shit autistic mods. Now doobie is ok again these fairweather froggers think they can waltz in and say "piled high" like it's all good? Sticks in my craw
Triticum Guzzler posted: (directed at SoundMonkey)
youll never sustain a sicker burn than the insane + brutal carpet-borne friction from backpedalling after the worm turned on your fucker moron hotdog altriusm. your legs flailed in ever gayer circles fred flintstone style as you raced from the lego den to the computer room to let people know that your self appointed ambassadorial duties plus the time and money you spent trying to take more professional photographs of ersatz retard hotdogs were all part of your incredible joke. you cannot save face or be even remotely not gay.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Black lady hackers attacking my Yelp reviews.. I watched cola onions glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like hot dogs in rain... Time to close. god bless
All that we ask is that, if Doobie's Dog House fails, it'll be spectacular, like a tire fire but with hotdogs. A trucker driving through town will stop to refill his rig with diesel and stare at the plume of brown smoke and ask the attendant, "What's with the popping noises." The gas man will reply, slowly, "Them are frog dogs."
The town will be revitalized from an unexpected number of people coming from miles around to inspect the curious, never-ending hotdog fire. "Why don't the flames go out?" They will ask. A grizzled old woman will hobble up, wave her cane at the fire and say, "Never got a proper vent hood. That was his first mistake." But the unseen truth will be that a busted sewage line and a town that eats nothing but food from a Dollar General makes for fantastic methane production.
Hotdog man will leave the town of Reform, run out by a horde of angry people. A young boy will ask, "Why's he running?" and the gas man will reply, "Because we have to chase him. Because he's the hero Reform deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because Doobie can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dog Knight."
I predicted this back in the kickstarter thread.
The vent hood got him. The vent hood gets everybody. A couple of updates later is him having to get a $2500 fire suppression system because the vent hood demands it. A warning to all first time restaurateurs: the vent hood hungers for you. The vent hood will ruin your life. You cannot install the vent hood yourself; only the vent hood's expensive minions may install the vent hood. Only the vent hood's elite roofers may cut a hole in the roof for the vent hood. The only mortals that the vent hood will speak to is inspectors, and these inspectors will not disclose the multitude of the vent hood's demands; instead they only pass one single commandment down to the restaurateur once very two weeks until the vent hood decides that it has properly dried you of funds to the point where you can open your business without enough money left for inventory.
There are some places I looked at, when starting my business, that were "hood ready", which as far as I can tell in hindsight means that there isn't 4 feet of solid steel in the ceiling or material vital to the structure of the building in the way. He was probably told something like this. With no experience, it's easy to be led to believe that there is simply a clear shaft up to the roof, and all you have to do is cut a hole in the ceiling to that size and stick the actual drop hood into it.
The problem with hoods is that you have too much government involved. Inspectors don't give a shit. They just come out, find one thing wrong, and tell you to fix it without looking to see if anything else is wrong also, which results in multiple calls to the only 2 people in the area who are authorized to work on vent hoods, and the only 2 people in the area who are authorized to work on fire suppression systems. None of these people have any competition so they have no reason to make the process cheap and easy for you.
And even if you were to install the fryer hood yourself, and completely up to code, it'll just have to be destroyed and re-installed by someone authorized to do so anyway.
A good overview of the funding period and the first signs of Doobie's ineptitude.
give a man a plum and you will feed him for a day
give a man $15000 and he will plum give out