The Dogmatic Convergence
When the heads got together
Published January 3, 2000 in Whoa!

Once upon a time, dozens of grinning giant dachshund heads wearing chef's caps festooned the San Francisco Bay Area. The beloved 10-foot tall fiberglass Doggies were the mascot of the Doggie Diner, once a fast food chain some 30-locations strong. Perhaps the most important moment in Doggie Diner history came in 1976 when, after shooting San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, Dan White called his wife from the Diner's Civic Center restaurant.

See also...
... by John Marr
... in the Whoa! section
... from January 3, 2000

Then came the dark days of the Doggie Diaspora. With public tastes turning from the Doggie specialties (copious amounts of saturated fats coupled with slug-killing quantities of salt), the chain shut down in 1986. One by one the Doggies came down, bound for (sob!) the scrap heap or visionary private collectors. Only one remains on public display, mounted above the Carousel hamburger stand across from the San Francisco Zoo, and even this last stand is threatened by the neighboring nursery's expansion plans.

But the Doggie has not been forsaken. In a gesture of support late last year, The Dogminican Order of the First Church of the Last Laugh parked their trio of cherished Doggies (fresh from services at Burning Man) in front of the Carousel. It was the Dogmatic Convergence -- perhaps the largest gathering of Doggies in one place.

The quartet's power was undeniable. Traffic slowed. Passersby grinned and scribes scribbled. Cameras snapped and video cams whirred as people fulfilled a universal childhood fantasy -- touching, if not embracing, a Doggie. Everyone reeled happily in the aura of a veritable orgy of American advertising iconography. Even a cameo by the nursery owner's evil landlord couldn't dampen the Doggie-induced euphoria. Hamburger stands and nurseries may come and go, but the Doggies are forever.

John Marr is a freelance writer and the editor of Murder Can Be Fun.