Tuesday, September 21, 2010

So why doesn't Hot Dog on a Stick sell sliders?

This is a personal view, but in my opinion there are two women's restaurant uniforms that are extremely unsexy. One of those is the Hooters uniform; sorry, I just don't care for it. The other uniform that I find extremely unsexy is the Hot Dog on a Stick uniform. I couldn't find a Creative Commons picture of the uniform that I could include in this blog post, but you can see the uniform in all its inglory in this Minyanville item, Worst Work Uniforms: Hot Dog on a Stick.

But at least Hot Dog on a Stick has a reason for its uniform unsexiness - according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin's David Allen, the uniform is over 60 years old.

Hot Dog on a Stick's first Fair was in 1948. [Dave] Barham, an idea man, had trailers custom-built with big windows to show off both the food preparation - he called it "exhibition cooking" - and the uniformed young women.

"He invented `sex sells,' a little bit," Gary [Barham, his son] said.

But Allen's article wasn't about Hot Dog on a Stick per se. It was about the Giant Slide at the L.A. County Fair, a slide which will be torn down next month. It turns out that Dave Barham had a hand in that, too.

The Giant Slide was another way to draw attention to the stand. Barham saw a similar slide in San Bernardino and decided he should have one too, only bigger.

His brother, Jack, engineered it and a friend, Fred Pittroff, set up the scaffolding. (Pittroff went on to oversee more than 40 other Giant Slides across the country and in Australia.)

Gary Barham remembered a hitch the first year: The humps sped up riders so much, "they were probably zipping through the fence" at the bottom. He said the humps were fixed overnight.

Other than replacing the wooden steps with metal ones, the ride has stayed basically the same, Barham said.

And now I know why the slide is yellow.
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