Many years ago, our high school class took a field trip to Wilson’s Packing Company. We saw them cut and pack many things: roasts, steaks, pork chops, as well as tripe and other stuff things I can not force myself to eat. Most of that activity is now in the misty past, one now indistinguishable from the other. However, there is one that stands out bright and crisp, untarnished with the passage of time. It was hotdogs. And for good reason.

I can still see the pile of finely ground meat – ears, eyeballs, snouts, lips – in a corner. Two men arrived from somewhere, both wearing gum boots. One carried a shovel while the other pushed a wheelbarrow. I watched them take turns shoveling the meat into the wheelbarrow and then take to a hopper. From there an auger carried it to a place where it became hotdogs. What a turnoff.

For uncounted years I couldn’t touch hotdogs, sausage, anything of which I could not identify the source from where it came. However, shortages, inflation, and whatnot caused me to rethink this insane attitude, especially when I found link sausage for one dollar per package at Walmart. I took an armload home.

I’m not sure if it was dining on the second or third batch when my teeth crunched on a piece of grit!


I stopped chewing. The image of the two men with the shovel and wheelbarrow jumped into my mind’s eye in less than a nanosecond. I glanced at what remained of my link sausage and there, staring back at me was what looked like a blood vessel.

I was finished!

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