Erin Lounsberry and Jason Platt of Davenport, Iowa, have a dream: to ride in the Wienermobile to their wedding.
After all, their wedding is incorporating everything the two of them love, from a big band that plays music of the 30s and 40s to giving out Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joe's as favors. They're even serving crepes, because they enjoy eating them on Sundays after church. But how does the Oscar Mayer truck fit into all this?
From an early age, Lounsberry had an affection for the bright colored Wienermobile as many kids do. "To be quite honest, answering the question of 'Where was your first sighting?' is kind of like asking 'When was the first time you had pancakes?'" Lounsberry recently told the Chicago Hot Dog Examiner over email. "When something has been such a commonplace part of your psyche for so long, the early details are a little fuzzy. However, sightings of the Wienermobile itself didn’t occur until adulthood, and most likely the first time was at one of our area’s grocery stores." But Lounsberry is more than just a fan. She's downright become a brand ambassador for the Oscar Mayer hot dog truck, not because she's paid to do so, but simply because she loves the joy it brings to everyone she knows.
Lounsberry even has a phrase for the effect the hot dog truck has on people: "The Wienermobile Effect." "The reaction is automatic," she explains. "You smile. You cry out, ;Oh my gosh! It’s the Wienermobile!' You grab for your cell phone to snap a picture so you can text or upload it to your friends later. It’s practically like capturing a shot of the Loch Ness Monster."
All of Erin's friends know of her affection for the Wienermobile, which led to her "network of spotters." When one of her spotters see the truck caravan through town they take a picture and send it to her. As such, she has documentation of the Wienermobile everywhere from the St. Louis arch, to an Atlanta Falcons game, to vintage photos of it parked outside a grocery store in the 80s, to reflections in people's car mirrors as they're traveling down the interstate. Her fiancee Jason has even designed an icon for Erin to give to her spotters via Facebook or text whenever they send her a sighting.
That brings the story to Erin and Jason's love story. "People are used to figuring out compatibility using topics like religion, political views, taste in food, music, culture, etc.," Lounsberry says. "It might be the first time that one’s acceptance of the Wienermobile was considered a dealbreaker." After experiencing a rejection from a guy who didn't understand her affection for the Oscar Mayer truck, she nipped it in the bud with Jason, who she'd long been friends with long before they started dating. His response to her "quirk"? "I know who you are, remember? I’m fully aware of your personality, and that’s why I asked you out," Jason said, according to Erin.
So it was only natural for the two to decide on the Wienermobile as their transportation to the wedding. But it's not as easy as calling up Oscar Mayer headquarters and asking to rent it. Unfortunately too Erin and Jason missed the Wienermobile Run contest, which involved teams completing challenges, including taking a bride and groom to their wedding. The contest ended September 20 and their wedding isn't until December.
But the love birds haven't given up. "We’ve started a grassroots campaign via Facebook to gather online support and will tweet at Oscar Meyer and the Wienermobile periodically as well," Lounsberry says. "Just to stress, this isn’t a contest. We haven’t been promised anything by Oscar Meyer if we achieve a certain number of likes on the page. In fact, we haven’t heard from them at all. It’s simply a grassroots awareness campaign in the hopes they will make a bride and groom’s wedding wishes come true."
So how can you help? Spread the word. Like their "Just 'like' for 'just linked'" Facebook page. Follow them on Twitter (@plattberries), and help them tweet their plight to Oscar Mayer and Wienermobile with the hasthtag #WienermobileWedding.
To Erin and Jason, may all your Wienermobile Wedding dreams come true!
© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2013
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