Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Hot Dog Quandary

The Hot Dog Quandary and The Law of Diminishing Returns

I run into this issue all the time...especially with food. I think you can tell a lot about a person by their choices in such a situation. Lets take my following real world example -

I haven't eaten anything all day. By the time I get home and am able to make something to eat, I am starving. Hot dogs sound delicious. I love a good hot dog from time to time and this day they sound awesome. I am hungry enough to eat two hot dogs, so I throw a couple on the grill. One hot dog comes out perfectly cooked, slightly crispy but still intact and juicy, the bun perfectly toasted, just the right amount of mustard, a pickle spear, a touch of diced tomatoes and onions, a jalapeno pepper, and finally a light sprinkling of celery salt. It is the Chicago Dog of your dreams, the Cadillac of hot dogs. It is the perfect hot dog. The second hot dog is prepared the exact same way but maybe the bun and the dog were cooked a little too long and will have a slight burn, the proportions of toppings are slightly off making it sloppy and messy to eat. It is an edible but mediocre hot dog which would stand fine on its own but when pales in comparison when next to the other Perfect Hot Dog.

Here is the problem - the first hot dog you eat will have its taste enhanced by your hunger, while the second hot dog will be dimmed by lessen appetite.

  • Do you eat the Perfect Hot Dog first, knowing that since you are starving that it will taste even better? But the second not great hot dog will be that much worse because your appetite has been partially fulfilled.

  • Do you eat the Bad Hot Dog first, because its faults will not be as evident in your hunger? Plus the Perfect Hot Dog will still taste good (being perfect) but just not as good as it could have.

I have always been the eat the bad hot dog first type person...because it gives a more consistent overall experience I think. The bad dog is elevated and the perfect dog is diminished leaving both in the middle ground area.

I hate myself for this. I think it is the safe way to live. It is the boring, risk-free way to live. Sure you don't get the lows but you also don't get the extraordinary highs. I am trying harder to reach for perfect dog first to experience the more ultimate life experience.


Anonymous said...

I always eat the thing that I know will be the best, last. I want it to be he last flavor in my mouth. This way, the meal gets increasingly better. If you watch me, I'll always eat all of my fries/onion rings before I touch my burger. I'm also a one-at-a-time guy. I only eat one food at a time. Just always been that way.


Dixon said...

Your last bulleted point intrigues me. From my experience, eating the inferior hot dog first sets the stage for a new appreciation for the consumtion of the perfect hot dog, whether it be the very next thing I eat, or the next time said perfection presents itself....5 minutes of 5 months from now. I'll know what mediocre is, and I'll have a better experience for it.

fauschanator said...

Throw the bad hot dog away, it sucks and must be punished for its suckitude. Now make a new one, to see if you can make another perfect one or if it was just beginner's luck.