Personal Narrative-Celebrating Koetchup On Your Dog

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Celebrating the simple pleasures. Never put ketchup on your dog. It 's something I learned around the same time I was taught the concepts of "us versus them," and "good and evil"; that the Green Bay Packers were both "them" and "evil." Though I 'm technically Jewish, I was raised with the knowledge that the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs—and hot dogs—were my true religions. I was supposed to work hard, try to be a good person, and never, ever put ketchup on my hot dog. That was my indoctrination, my Torah portion, my core set of beliefs. That 's what every older and wiser person told me. And it was more a fact than a rule. Start with that, my elders said, and the other toppings would come later. I would figure them out for myself. And, eventually, I did. Those toppings, I have come to realize, work together like the Wu-Tang Clan: Solo, they 're great, but together they 're nothing to fuck with. Older now, and living in New York, it 's still vital for me to make a pilgrimage back home for a Chicago dog at least once a year. To me, it 's as important as anything Louis Sullivan ever designed, any riff Muddy Waters ever played, or any championship Michael Jordan ever won. And I must pay tribute. Sure, you can get decent…show more content…
I have a mental map of the hot dog places I 'm most committed to. While Portillo 's is my standby—you can find one in almost every direction within 30 minutes of driving out of the Loop—my heart truly belongs to another. I genuinely love Gene & Jude 's, on the west side, for its strict "No ketchup" rule; Mustard 's Last Stand in Evanston, where my friends and I would rush after going to punk shows in the city, or while stoned and driving aimlessly around the suburbs; Wolfy 's in Rogers Park, right near my childhood home, where I had my first true Chicago-style dog after a Little League game; and Murphy 's on Belmont, which still serves up a prime example of the city 's dog, not to mention a damn fine Italian beef (if you still

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