What Are Hot Dogs Made Of?
Morrissey was a vegetarian Neopet. And he was a proud vegetarian neopet. He ate fresh fruit for breakfast, organic vegetables and meatless meatballs for dinner, and for lunch....
He didn't eat much. Every day since he'd enrolled Neoschool, the school served hot dogs. Hot dogs with meaty chilli, bacon strips, greasy onion rings, mushy tuna, and barbecue sauce covered beans. It all sickened him. So Morrissey, looking as sullen as a red Xweetok could get, survived on side dishes of salad and plain fruit.
His younger cousin, Posey, was a pretty little blue Gnorbu who could eat meat without a second thought like most Neopians. She lunched on hot dogs, breakfasted on omelettes with pepperoni, and snacked unapologetically on jerky. Posey never grew chubby because she was a hardworking dancer and a pretty good Battledome brawler too.
The two family friends differed in diet but still remained steadfast friends. Only during lunchtime did the two ever found fault with each other. Posey could hardly take any more of her cousin's bemoaning about hot dogs.
This however changed one lunchtime during a bleak autumn afternoon.
“What is this?” Morrissey asked rhetorically in exasperation, picking at the plate of meat his cousin had shoved at him. The school kitchens didn't have any vegetarian choice at all that day and he was quite hungry but under no circumstances would he be eating this.
Posey looked up from her steaming lunch. “Franks and beans, Morrissey. I thought a genius like you would know.”
Morrissey pushed his lunch away with a look of disgust. “It's vile. Meat is murder! This could be made of Mazzews or Myncies or worse!”
“For Fyora's sake, Morrissey! It's a pile of beans and hot dogs! Don't make such a big deal of it,” Posey said, annoyed (though Morrissey noticed that now Posey had pushed her lunch away now too).
“But come on. No one knows what kind of meat is in these hot dogs anyway! Like I said, it could be made out of-”
“Yeah, yeah, Morrissey. I heard,” interrupted his cousin, “It could be made of Jetsams and Warfs, whatever! If you're so interested, just go down to Hubert's and ask him what he makes his hot dogs out of all.”
Morrissey's ears perked up. “Eureka! There you go, Posey! We'll go see Hubert right after school!”
“I wasn't serious!” Posey said but Morrissey was already cheerily getting up to throw away his uneaten platter of hot dogs.
After school both neopets made their way to Hubert's Hot Dog shop. They went in and stood in the long long line of eager and hungry neopets, a lot of them standing on tiptoe, trying to see if how many more pets were in front of them.
Posey tapped her little polished hoof impatiently. She rolled her eyes at Morrissey who was happily humming a Jazzmosis song to himself, his nose scrunched up a bit from unpleasant aroma of hot dogs. He'd get his answer soon enough; he just needed to be patient.
Dozens of orders later, the two found themselves in the front of the line, facing the rather short Hubert the Mynci, from the other side of the counter.
“What can I get you two?” he asked happily.
Posey stayed quiet but Morrissey answered, “Nothing sir. I just wanted to know what your hot dogs were made of.”
Hubert paled. He gulped and turned around to start fixing up a couple plain hot dogs. “Coming right up!” he said his voice cracking on the last few syllables.
“No, sir!” the red Xweetok said. “I said I wanted to know what hot dogs were made of.”
Hubert shoved two hot dogs at Morrissey who didn't take them, but backed away. “Sir, are you-”
“NEXT!” Hubert yelled and a bustling Lenny behind Morrissey and Posey pushed the two away.
Morrissey looked crestfallen but his cousin just looked bored. As the two walked out of the shop, Posey said, “Well, he certainly looked shifty. I guess we'll just never know.”
“No!” Morrissey said stopping suddenly. “We're coming back tonight after closing and figuring this out once and for all!”
Posey was slightly amused and slightly horrified. “Well, Morrissey, what are you going to do? Break into the shop?”
Posey rolled her eyes. “Oh boy...”
Later that night, Posey and Morrissey were outside Hubert's Hot Dogs again but this time under the cover of night. The night air was heavy and quiet. Morrissey pulled the handle of the shop door. It remained steadfastly locked.
“Alright, Posey. Do your stuff.”
“Fine. But I'm not condoning this little mission of yours.”
Posey took a little knife from the belt she wore. Upon closer inspection, Morrissey noticed it was just a plastic butter knife. “How is that going to help-” Morrissey started to say but Posey shushed him. Posey stuck the knife into the large lock and jiggled it around a bit. The door made a clicking sound and swung open.
“The magic of a few neopoints and some excellent lock picking skills,” Posey muttered.
The shop was dark and quiet except for a single light that came from a door in the back, that stood slightly ajar. The Gnorbu and the Xweetok carefully walked over to the counter and climbed over it. The approached the door carefully. Morrissey felt his heart beat skip up. He signaled to his cousin that he was about to open the door. Posey rolled her eyes at his seriousness. Morrissey pulled the door just a tad bit more open and peeked inside. Hubert had his back turned and was chopping something next to a big vat that was atop a large stove.
His courage failed him. He closed the door again and let out a soft squeal. “I can't do it, Posey! You'll have to look!”
Morrissey shut his eyes and covered them with his paws.
Posey was growing more and more curious and less patient. She opened the door one last time, this time wider and looked inside.
“Morrissey! Open your eyes!” she more breathed than whispered.
Morrissey reluctantly opened his eyes. Hubert was adding the chopped contents to the large vat. He opened his eyes wider and saw they were...
Celery sticks. And carrots and tomatoes and potatoes. Harmless vegetables. Not petpets or pets. Just veggies, garden grown veggies.
Morrissey gave a loud gasp. Posey nudged and hissed, “Quiet! You'll blow our cover!”
But it was too late. Hubert whipped around and opened his mouth in shock.
“What, what... what are you kids doing here?!” Hubert said, his eyes wide with terror. “You b-better leave now! I-I'll call the Defenders on you!”
Morrissey dashed past his cousin and wretched open the nearest refrigerator. Vegetables lined the instead. He ran past Hubert who was still shell shocked, and opened a cupboard. Vegetables!
Posey whipped out her plastic butter knife and brandished at Hubert. (Morrissey noted that plastic has never looked so terrifying.)
“All this time,” she shrieked, “hot dogs have been made of VEGETABLES?!!”
Morrissey opened more cupboards and another refrigerator. All vegetables!
Hubert backed away from the angry little Gnorbu, his face full of anguish. “No, that's just some v-v-veggie chili for tomorrow. I-”
“Admit it!” Posey yelled. “Or I'll call all of Neopia Central to witness this, right now!”
“Is it true, Mr. Hubert?” Morrissey asked. “Are your hot dogs, the ones sent all over Neopia.... made of vegetables?!”
Hubert hung his head in defeat. “Yes.”
“How do you make them, sir?” asked Morrissey happily, turning to face the sad shopkeeper. “How do you turn veggies... you know, 'hot dog' shaped?!”
Hubert looked surprised “It was a... recipe that has been passed down through my family from the Island Faerie Jhuidah,” he explained. “And you're not angry like your, erm, friend here?”
“What?! How could I be angry! All the hot dogs in Neopia are made of healthy, hurt-free vegetables!” Morrissey exclaimed happily. “That's great! Isn't that great, Posey?”
Posey just growled.
“Oh Posey, put that knife down. It couldn't hurt a Mootix!” Morrissey said, walking over to comfort the Mynci.
“It'll be okay, Hubert, sir,” he said soothingly.
Hubert straightened his form and tried to regain his composure. “Well, I know it will be okay. But it won't be if I can't keep my secret a secret! No one will want to eat hot dogs made of celery. I'll be ruined if I can't keep this a secret! You two, swear to me you won't tell no more than a Meepit!”
Silenced with many bottle of ketchup and mustard (the two figured they could use them with a water, ahem, condiment balloon slingshot), a promise for unlimited hot dogs for life, and T-shirts that said “EAT AT HUBERT'S!” in loud letters, Morrissey and Posey walked out of Hubert's Hot Dogs, both slightly dazed.
“All this time... we'd just been eating vegetables!” the blue Gnorbu said almost angrily.
“Not “we,” you, Posey. And besides, I'm much happier now, knowing no Snorkles or Rukis or anything were harmed!” Morrissey gushed. “And I won't have to live off sack lunches now! I can actually eat school food!”
“I can't. How could I eat knowing that I'm eating healthy?!”
“Just put the food in your mouth and chew, cuz!”
Posey made a indignant sound. “So how are you going to keep your vegetarian reputation if you start eating hot dogs.”
Morrissey thought for a second. “Well. You're right. So I'll still live without, I guess...” His face broke into a smile. “I'll live! No worries.”
“I guess your cheer can't be stopped tonight, huh?” Posey said, sighing and shaking her head.
Morrissey just grinned.
For lunch next week the school didn't serve hot dogs like usual. They served burgers.
Morrissey opened his mouth to say something but Posey interrupted.
“Shut up and eat your burger, Morrissey.”
Special thanks to Ilovethesmiths and rsking25 (my cousins!) for letting me use Steven_P_Morrissey the cool Xweetok and Reposes the Gnorbu.