Would you wait in a line all night for a hot dog?
Chicago's hippest hot dog stand helped turn the lowly sausage into a culinary superstar. Customers even could order hot dogs stuffed with exotic ingredients. Like rattlesnake.
So when the owner announced the gourmet shop was closing, everyone expected hot dog fans to line up for one last taste.
But no one could have predicted what happened. Customers brought lawn chairs, card tables and poker chips. Anything to help pass the wait of up to eight hours. A spot in line popped up on Craigslist for $300.
As Hot Doug's prepares to close Friday, the line outside Doug Sohn's "sausage superstore" has become as big a sensation as the stand itself.
Christopher Sanders and his buddy David Kudla became Wednesday's first customers at 12:45 a.m. They unfolded lawn chairs to wait for the doors to open at 10:30 a.m.
Sanders, 29, had never been to Doug's before. He'd been put off by the sight of constant lines. None were as long as these, however.
"I've driven past it, seen the lines and said, 'I'm not waiting that long, it's crazy.'" But, he said, "I will never get a chance to do it ever again."
Sergio Deleon arrived at 3 a.m. He knew that if he was not in his college classroom by 11, it could cost him a full grade in class.
"Gonna be worth it," said the 24-year-old Deleon. He had a plan for salvaging an A, however. He would buy a hot dog for the professor.
Bartender Dani Ploszaj thought it nice to learn the names of the other people in line, all of them.
"I was like, 'Hey, what's your name, what's your name?'" she said, pointing to the 48th, 49th and 50th people in line Michelle, Annie and Patrick.
"Now they're all my friends."
Critical thinking challenge: Hot dogs are an All-American food. How does adding exotic ingredients reflect the culture of the U.S.?