What, might you ask, the hell is a Coney Dog Bowl? It's a time honored tradition in our home. Given that Pa is from Michigan and prides himself as a lover of Coneys-- which, if you don't want to take the time to read the article (and I wouldn't blame you but it is a good one), is a hot dog loaded with beanless chili mustard and onions. These are, thank God, only eaten in our household once a year, when Pa arranges to have two blocks of "Coney Sauce" imported from the Midwest. This year, Grandpa and Grandma have been our Coney mules, which saved us a boatload in Fed Ex costs and the blocks are thawing nicely--ready to be gobbled up by the 2nd.
Part of the preparation of the Coney Dog Bowl is the design of the invitation, which Pa does entirely on his own. The first Coney invitation featured our pal Moofie as a pup--to serve, not only as the Coney mascot, but as an interpreter of sorts--to provide a clear definition of the event.
Year after year, Moofie modeled in some more adventurous scenes, including posing with Audrey Hepburn or as a bandito
Moof was able to take a break this year when Pa produced a flyer designed as an invite to an art gallery opening. Titled "THE CONEY IN MODERN ART" the invite features artwork presented by the fictitious "Oscar and Cheryl Mayer Traveling Collection" with "closely held masterpieces never before seen in public including de Kooning’s One with Everything, Ellsworth Kellly’s Beige, Brown, Yellow, Maroon, Warhol’s Chili Cans, Stuart Davis’s Detroit, and Max Ernst’s tormented Zehn Frankfurter -Acht Brötchen! (Ten Hot Dogs-Eight Buns!)
The highlight of the flyer is the infamous "Fountain" by Marcel Duchamp which had been defiled by his brother, who threw a Coney in the urinal and wrote "U.R. Stupid" and titled it "Wiener" in mustard as explained in the text below:
"In 1917, under the pseudonym 'R. Mutt', Marcel Duchamp entered Fountain (a urinal laid on its backside) in a show promoting avant-garde art.
The prank was intended to challenge conventional thinking on the use of found objects and taunted artists and critics alike.
Duchamp’s brother Raymond Duchamp-Villon was in attendance and was not amused. Immediately recognizing Fountain as his brother’s doing, Raymond responded in anger by placing his lunch, a coney dog, inside Fountain. Entitled Wiener! and signed 'U.R. Stupid' in mustard, Duchamp-Villon’s sophomoric message to his brother is widely recognized as the first appearance of the coney in modern art."
One would think, after reading the invite, that Pa has a lot of free time on his hands. Well, he does, since he's decided that sleep is for the weak.
In any event, the party will be free flowing with laughter and Coneys. And new this year (since we haven't thrown a Coney Dog Bowl since Na's been home) is that "the wet wipes will be plentiful and the sippy cups bottomless."
Of course, the first thing that comes to my mind is Mr. Mom (you gave a baby chili?) But thank goodness Na won't go near the stuff!