Hot dog

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Jones (starts-turns again; attempts to be facetious). Tell Miss A. the early bird catches the worm.

Exit Jones

Telephone Girl: The early worm gets caught

Adding Clerk: He's caught

Telephone Girl: Hooked.

Adding Girl: In the pan.

Filing Clerk: Hot dog

I always liked the phrase "the early bird catches the worm." The people in this conversation really are confusing. They repeat each other and work off each others statements. They awkwardly complete each others sentences. One question that really bothered me when i was reading this play was.. HOT DOG.I tried to do an internet search looking up any meanings. I couldnt find anything hitting towards the meaning. During the play the Filing Clerk is always the person the says "hot dog". I have a feeling that the term hot dog is an insult or something rude. Does anyone have any answers or suggestions? I am really curious

Link back to class site

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/EL267/2009/02/treadwell_machinal/

3 Comments

I think the whole use of the word "hot dog" back then was used to express suprise or disapproval. Kind of how we say "Oh my God!" or "Holy crap!" or something like that. I guess I could see it as insulting in way. I think they used it to express their shock and awe when talking about the young woman and Jones. They just couldn't believe that he wanted to marry him. What do you think? I think I've heard it used in other things, particularly (please don't laugh) this preschool show called Mickey Mouse Club House (I have a four year old little brother...) They always sing a song and say "hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity-dog!" like they are excited or worked up about something. Maybe it's to express excitement? I really wondered about that word too, particularly because it was you SO much in the first episode of the play. hmm.

I agree that "hot dog" is just a general interjection like "holy cow!" or "what do ya know about that?!", something like that. The fact that the Filing Clerk keeps on repeating it ad nauseum takes it beyond the level of normal conversation, though. I think it kind of reinforces the idea that these people are very mechanical, like the machines they are working at. The Filing Clerk just has one expression that he applies to practically everything until the phrase becomes meaningless, like bells or whistles or any other noise that you'd hear coming from a machine.

Julianne Banda said:

I agree with what Matt and Sara both have said. "Hot Dog" is an old expression of delight or enthusiasm. It can also be an expression that can mean show off, but in this play it was not used in that way. In the quote that you pulled out of the text "Hot dog" simply means holy crap, like he can't believe that he wants to marry her. Also, the fact that the Filing Clerk is the only one who says the expression can day a lot about the character. Although he is not in the play for very long he sort of sets the mood of the office and creates atmosphere to and office which really would be boring without background noise or somewhat random outbursts of "Hot Dog" because other than that expression his only lines are him calls out letters of files and words associated with those letters.

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