Of all my hometown restaurants, I think I will have the most difficulty replacing Ted’s Hot Dogs. I started going there as a kid and over the years came to appreciate it for more than just hot dogs. Ted’s is the kind of place where you walk in, get in line, see your food on the grill, pay and go grab a seat. No one serves you there. So I found Ted’s to be an ideal place to send people who were selling rifles and shotguns through classified ads. The call involved the owner answering a few questions and I would express interest in buying their weapon. I went on to explain that I was the manager of Ted’s and the best thing would be for the seller to bring the gun to my work. I told them that I worked the grill behind the counter and that my restaurant was always busy. So the best thing to do was bring in the gun, hold it up so I could see it and then just go sit down. “That way”, I instructed to the gun owner, “I’ll know you’re here and I’ll just take a break.” I always agreed to throw in a free lunch to ensure that the people would hold up the gun upon entering the place.

While I was never there to witness any gun sellers I was often charmed by the image of terrified Ted’s diners as a man with a shotgun walked into their friendly hot dog stand, ordered nothing and then took a seat in a booth near them. Now who wants onion rings?

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