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Just Joe: A corn dog connoisseur

Holidays really are a unique time of the year. They always get here sooner than we expected.  They are more expensive than we planned. They are over quicker than we anticipated.  And suddenly we find ourselves in January. No wonder January is one of the sadder months.

One of the good things about January is all of that holiday cooking has either been consumed or discarded or sent home with unsuspecting guests who discarded it. Either way, January means we can get back to our regular eating habits.

A bologna sandwich is always good, but it is particularly tasty after the holidays. Of course, a fried Spam sandwich will put even the best bologna sandwich to shame. They are particularly good with some of that Spam jelly that’s in the bottom of the can smeared on the bread.

But the all-time favorite food after the holidays has to be the corn dog. After all, any time you can get a complete meal on a stick it has to be a favorite: pre-holidays, post-holidays, or right in the big middle of the holidays. It is hard to beat a good corn dog.

A corn dog is a favorite for different reasons. For some, it is the hot dog itself which is usually made from a variety of meat selections. Some folks prefer the all-beef franks, but a real corn dog connoisseur (And, yes, that is a thing) will always tell you an all-beef frank just takes the mystery completely out of it. There is just something about pig parts and chicken lips that make a hot dog extra special.

Others think the best part of the corn dog is the fried bread that covers the hot dog. That fried bread is a particular favorite if it has a little hint of sweetness to it to offset the tanginess of the yellow mustard. As good as the hot dog and the bread are, they are not my favorite part of the corn dog.

What is my favorite part of the corn dog you may ask? My favorite part of the corn dog is that little crunchy piece that connects the corn dog to the stick. I call that piece the corn dog connector.

The corn dog connector is an incredible invention. After all, without that connector, your corn dog would just slide right off the stick. The guy that invented that was an absolute genius. But more importantly, the corn dog connector is undoubtedly the tastiest part of the corn dog.

Let’s be honest. We have all eaten the corn dog only to go after that little crunchy piece like a rabid beaver gnawing at a willow tree. We have turned that stick in every direction making sure there was no connector left. And if we were ever eating corn dogs with children who were uninitiated in the finer points of eating corn dogs, we have slid the corn dog off the stick and given that to the kids while we shamelessly crunched the corn dog connector off of their sticks. A corn dog has not been officially consumed unless the connector has been bitten off the stick.

I have often wondered why restaurants didn’t just offer corn dog connectors on their menus. I would certainly order the family size portion of corn dog connectors with a side of yellow mustard and a diet Coke every time. You have to save calories where you can. I might even take an order home with me.

By now you are wondering if this is really about corn dog connectors. The answer is a resounding yes. They are the absolute best part of the corn dog. But this is also about the little things in life that have a way of just making life better.

After all, a corn dog connector is a really small part of the corn dog, but a corn dog wouldn’t be a corn dog without a connector. And life wouldn’t be life without an occasional quick hug from someone that we love. Life wouldn’t be life without hearing a small child giggle.  Life wouldn’t be life without catching a glimpse of a falling star. Life wouldn’t be life without the person we always sit next to in church telling us she missed us last Sunday. Life wouldn’t be life without accidentally catching a favorite episode of Andy Griffith on TV. Life wouldn’t be life without a cup of hot coffee on a cold morning. Life wouldn’t be life without hearing that we are loved.

It really is the small things in life that make such a big difference in our lives. Don’t ignore them. Don’t overlook them. Instead enjoy every corn dog connector that comes your way.

Author: Joe Ligon

View more articles by Joe Ligon.

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