Revenge is a dish best served wienery. - 20th century proverb
This was supposed to be a very different story.
This blog, to be frank, was supposed to be a plea for me to get my hands on a couple massive cars shaped as wieners and, as my editor said in a Slack message, include the line: “I need this weinermobile (sic) because I'm a weiner (sic) boy.”
But nothing in life is good anymore.
It turns out an ad on Kijiji featuring two pristine wienermobiles with only 69,000 kilometres on them going for the low, low price of $12,000 isn’t real.
Worse yet, the wienermobiles are being used in an attempt to make someone’s life miserable by sending hordes of prospective wienermobile owners—like moi—his way.
It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out that the ad is bogus. If you look at the fine print, it includes the line: “No emails please call matt ANYTIME at [redacted] ask about the big wiener for sale” and “NO THE PEANUT IS NOT FOR SALE ! STOP ASKING” (hiding in the back of the ad’s image is an oversized peanut car). That and the odometer reading are kinda big tells.
Before this giveaway, the ad seems relatively legitimate. So you can’t fault the people, or local news outlets, taken in by the ad too much—all of us could use a big hog in our lives.
“The company in charge of operating these vehicles has gone bankrupt. Parent company of Oscer (sic) Mayer Canada has commissioned us to sell these wienermobile,” it reads. “Any logo will be removed before vehicle is picked up. Local Calgary pick up only.”
Matt Dennie, a 30-year-old B.C. man, was the target of this troll job. He told VICE that, since the ad went up two days ago, he has been inundated with hundreds of calls.
At first, he didn’t know what in the blue blazes was going on.
“People started asking me about my big wiener...and I was like, ‘What the fuck?’” said Dennie. “I just kept getting phone calls and phone calls—like so many phone calls I couldn't answer them in time without somebody else calling.”
Eventually, his friend was able to track down the ad—which at the time of reporting has been seen 288,151 times. He found it by searching for Dennie’s number online.
Dennie said he doesn’t fully know who is behind the fake ad, but suspects it’s either over a Facebook fight about Alberta separatism...or from one of his friends. One of the two numbers listed is his work number and not publicly available, so he’s leaning towards the ad being from someone he knows.
To add to the mystery the photo in the ad seems legit—a reverse image search doesn’t bring up any matches. The wienermobiles and the peanutmobile pictured next to it are together in Dayton, Ohio this weekend and it was enough of an occasion to warrant local coverage so it’s possible the photo was taken there.
Regardless of the advertisement’s origin, Dennie said most people have been very professional when they call about his imaginary wieners and are making legitimate inquiries. I mean, $12,000 for two wienermobiles is a great price and I was fully prepared to make a solid-ass pitch about why VICE needed to purchase these beauties. So I’m not surprised.
The prospective wiener buyers included the Discovery Channel show The Diesel Brothers, Dennie said, who contacted him to see if they could purchase and restore the wienermobiles for an episode.
“It’s usually pretty professional and they're actually interested in buying the wienermobile for some sort of business like food truck or whatever,” said Dennie.
He said he does get the odd call, though. “I got one guy who called yesterday and he did the thing Jonah Hill did in that one movie.”
(The one movie was Accepted and Hill's line was “Ask me about my wiener.”)
In the end, Dennie is trying to take the wiener inquiries with a brave face but does think he’ll eventually need to change his number.
“I've been trying to like take it in stride and, you know, see the humour in it and answer as many phone calls as I can,” said Dennie. “And you know, sometimes you get to talk to some pretty cool people.”
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