Ceci N'est Pas Un Hot Dog
Stress testing the 'Silicon Valley' hot dog app.
May 23, 2017 ● 2 min read
By Richie Nakano
I've done some dark, regrettable things in my life.
Choices that I made that had consequences I had to deal with for years to follow. Life moments where if I had made a better decision, the entire course of my life would've been different. Like the time I downloaded the Not Hotdog app.
In case you don't have HBO, or your ex told you to stop using their HBO Go login or whatever, I’ll catch you up:
• There’s a show called Silicon Valley on HBO. It's kind of funny, but also a little nausea-inducing because its attempt at parody is so well-executed that it hits a little too close to home for those of us trapped in its reality every day. Am I rooting for these tech nerds or am I laughing at them? I digress—
• In a recent episode, a character named Jian Yang pitches an Octopus Recipe App to investors. (Who doesn't want this? This sounds fucking awesome. Do you realize how few octopus recipes there are out there?) His opportunistic landlord/nemesis thinks he's pitching something for Oculus VR and wants in. In the meeting when Jian Yang says it's a “seafood” app, the investors think they mean “SeeFood,” and assume it's a Shazam for food—aka, take a picture and receive info about what the food is.
• Under pressure, they make a working version of SeeFood. The problem is, it can only tell you if something is a hot dog or not a hot dog.
• Someone in the real world made the app.
Let's do this thing.
TEST 1: Picture of sushi.
It worked! Not a hot dog.
TEST 2: Picture of Guy Fieri.
Huh. Says it's not a hot dog, but I'm pretty sure Guy Fieri is mostly made of hot dog meat, so idk.
TEST 3: Picture of 4505 Hot Dogs.
It worked again! I don't live near 4505 so I got a pack of hot dogs from Walgreens and now I'm mad at myself.
TEST 4: Picture of a dachshund.
Not a hot dog. But it is a wiener dog. Maybe version 1.1 will have an update.
TEST 5. Picture of a dog wearing a hot dog costume.
Not a hot dog. Fuck this rude-ass app.
TEST 6. Picture of a hot dog dressed up as Ariel from The Little Mermaid
How in hell did it know that was a hot dog? Technology is incredible.
TEST 7: Cover of the extreme skiing/ski bunny/90’s sex romp movie “Hot Dog”
Not a hot dog. But how have I never seen this movie tho
TEST 8: A hot dog in a taco shell
Not a hot dog. YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT IT’S NOT
TEST 9: Hot dogs cut up to look like a family of octopi
Recognized this as a hot dog, which, frankly, freaked me out. Pun intended.
TEST 10: A person wearing a hot dog costume.
Said it’s a hot dog, which made me irrationally angry.
TEST 11: The KFC Double Down Hot Dog
I didn't even know KFC made a double down hot dog, but the app recognized it, and now I feel like I need to try this thing.
TEST 12: A dachshund puppy in a hot dog bun.
Not a hot dog. That image *is* the wallpaper on my phone now though.
TEST 13: A nativity scene made of hot dogs.
I don’t deserve to call myself a culinary professional after going this deep.
TEST 14: A $2300 hot dog covered in caviar and boiled in Dom P.
Not a hot dog. See? America already IS great.