By Grace Arneberg —
Imagine trudging through the snow in the dead of winter: wind chill below -20 degrees, you’re freezing, you can hear the wind howling, but you still keep going— you’ve made it this far and you’re not going to quit. You’re determined. You want that hot dog from Teddy’s Tubesteaks.
University of Wisconsin–Stout senior Tyler Eul has that determination. When he was a freshman he was introduced by his brother, who was a senior at the time, to the late-night weekend hot dog joint between The Flame and The Den during his first weekend in Menomonie.
“Me, my roommate and one of my friends met up with my brother and he took us to Teddy’s for the first time,” said Eul. “It was weird to be out that late and getting food, but it was definitely interesting. It was a different atmosphere, but it was a nice way to start off college.”
Since then, Eul has made the decision to go to Teddy’s every weekend during his four years of college. Teddy, the owner, knows Eul’s order by heart— one regular and one with cheese— and four years later, amounting to roughly 256 hot dogs and approximately $576, he has practically met his goal.
“Freshman and sophomore year, we kind of just went for the fun of it,” said Eul. “We figured if we’re all here, we might as well all go to Teddy’s. Eventually we realized, ‘Hey, we’ve done this every week so far,’ and just decided to keep it going.”
In the beginning, Eul would gather groups of seven or eight to join him. However, as people got busier and winter got colder, the numbers dwindled. While Eul usually has at least one or two friends with him when he goes, he has had to make the trek alone three or four times so far.
“It was always fun the first couple of years, with huge groups of people,” said Eul. “Everyone knew that was our thing. Eventually people were like ‘Oh, you’re still doing that?’”
“This year has been harder because it’s only open on Saturdays now, so sometimes I’ll almost forget,” added Eul, who used to make Teddy’s his regular Thursday night thing. “I’ve gone in my pajamas before, when it’s 1 a.m. and I suddenly remember: crap, I have to get to Teddy’s.”
While some may think he’s crazy, Eul has made countless memories centered around the midnight hot dogs: snowball fights, a friend breaking his arm and amusing interactions with bar-hoppers, to name a few.
“It’s not all about the hot dogs themselves. It’s the process of getting there,” said Eul. “There are so many memories we have of walking to and from Teddy’s— so many stories start with ‘Remember that time we went to Teddy’s and….’ It’s all the little things that make Teddy’s so special.”
Eul has only missed three Teddy’s outings so far, the first time being during sophomore year when he had to go home early for the weekend.
“I was a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t keep the streak going, but I didn’t quit,” said Eul. “My parents felt bad that I had to miss it, because it was their idea. They were definitely concerned and wanted to be sure I was okay with it.”
Eul has had the support of his parents, girlfriend and close friends in his endeavors.
“Whenever I call my parents, they ask if I went to Teddy’s this week and who went with me,” said Eul. He has even taken his parents on a midnight outing to Teddy’s when they visited for the weekend.
“Everyone should check it out at least once before they graduate,” said Eul. “Even if you don’t get anything, just meet Teddy. You’ll definitely walk away with a story, that’s for sure.”
Eul will graduate in May 2015, but has already set another goal for himself: he plans to come back to Teddy’s at least once a year to revisit some of his favorite college memories.
“It’s kind of like Pavlov’s dogs,” said Eul, “at some point during the weekend, I’ll suddenly crave a hot dog and think yep, it’s midnight.”