Slen's Dot Hogs

Here's a little history lesson on Mo for all of you to enjoy...

When I celebrated the summer of my 10th year, my cousins Lauren and Nancy came to the house to visit. Peggy was a baby and they were there to "lend a hand." This is a monumental time in the Tarpey household that will never be forgotten, or lived down. So many absolutely ridiculous things happened that it would literally take a book to tell about them. I've often thought of writing one, but even now just trying to introduce this story I am having memories that push me into fits of laughter...that book might take twenty years to write and I would have to wear Depends for the entire writing process. That being said, my cousins are a constant source of comedy for me...they drive me to be creative because essentially I just wanted to be like them. Just days ago I got a phone call from Lauren talking about a random encounter with Meredith Baxter Birney in the "Pirate's Booty" aisle of the Whole Foods Market in Cambridge. It's these happy accidents that give us material to find joy...or to enjoy a laugh at Elyse Keaton's expense.

At any rate, my original happy memory was sparked by my insanely long commute to work in the morning. A few months ago I drove by this ramshackle building that literally looks like a card house. Someone has assembled plywood and put it together all shodden and just sad and now, get ready, operates a business out of it. Allegedly they can "Fixx" anything. That's awesome...start by "fixxing" your issue with spelling...then move on to fixing your roof...then we can have a chat about me giving you my business. At any rate, this individual has one of those legendary signs out front, kind of like the movie theater where small businesses can advertise specials and post different messages. One of the church's by Saint A's used to have one with different religious messages, one of my favorites was "You think you got it bad? HE died on a cross!" This is not an exaggeration...I was in the car with a friend when we saw it and she had to pull over because we were laughing so hard. At any rate, I noticed this sign a few months ago, with the message "Southern Maine ORRL Sucks." Immediately recalling that infamous summer when my cousins came to help destroy York. In the village (or "The Ville" as we have come to call it) there is a tiny movie theater we used to frequent with some small businesses outside of it. Just understand, we're barely teenagers, we're in York where all you can do is shop or visit the Colonial Houses (which is another story in an of itself), and we're bored and looking for more than a trolley ride to entertain us. One of the businesses is a little food stand called "Len's Hot Dogs." It has one of those signs I mentioned earlier, but smaller as it's the menu board. One day standing in line to purchase tickets, probably for Back To the Future or E.T., one of my cousin's asks me if I ever had "one of these?" Her hand, I notice, is pointing to the sign that now advertises a featured menu of "dot hogs" and "crap on a stick." Eventually the name of the stand was "Slen's Dot Hogs," unsuspecting tourists thought it was some new cuisine they could try only here in York. This action, of course, became a ritual every time we went to the movies until the owner finally caught on and brought the menu board inside. What a shame. It was not long after that "Slen's" lost it's appeal and went out of business. I've heard word that he re-located to Venice Beach and opened a dot hog stand, but he lost business by calling them hot dogs. Too bad, so sad.

Now, this morning I was driving by the "Fixx it" shop and saw the sign again, "Southern Maine ORRL Sucks." Honestly, when I first saw it months ago I was convinced that some "up to no good bored kids" had messed with Mr. Fixx-it's sign, but apparently I was wrong and Mr. Fixx it has a message for all of Windham about Maine Oral. And as troubled as I am that the message is still haunting the side of the road, as disturbed as I am that the proprietor still cannot spell, as confused as I am about the double entendre the message sends...I couldn't help but smile while the memories of Slen's came forth this morning.


At 10:39 PM, Blogger lms129 said...

There used to be a sign in Boston that I would drive by on occasion. It was outside a bakery in a not so desirable section of town. The sign read "Coffee and Muffings". I have seen that sign over and over and everytime I saw it, I would laugh my ass off as if it were the first time.


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