The $30 Hot Dog Man Is a New York City Hero

23 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

$30 hot dog man gets fired.

Ahmed Mohammed, who was caught on camera by NBCNewYork.com selling food and drinks for sometimes outrageous prices to customers with accents, has been fired, the son of the cart’s owner told the television station.Ahmed Mohammed — whose fluctuating frank prices ranged from $3 to $30 near the World Trade Center — was also fleecing owners of the food cart, his boss Abdelalim Abdelbaky, 22, told The Post.

Police have also issued three summonses — for being too close to a crosswalk, having items outside of his cart and failure to list prices, according to NYPost.com. Abdelalim Abdelbaky said he felt sorry for hot dog seller Ahmed Mohammed and gave him a job, but was broiled when he heard that he was scamming tourists. “I told him the prices and everything before he started,” Abdelbaky said about his $3.99 price for two hot dogs and a soda. “Then as soon as I saw what had happened I fired him.” His frankfurter flimflam practices were exposed by WNBC, who caught him on video charging a man with a French accent $15 for a hot dog and pretzel. New York City, once reputed to be a gritty urban hellhole where “only the strong survive,” has now become a vast playground for the wealthy, tourists, and wealthy tourists, particularly Europeans, who are always walking around gesturing rudely like “Wha? [in French].” The island of Manhattan is the epicenter of the rich/ tourist invasion which has rendered what was once the heart of NYC into a mere stage for commerce. Hot-dog guy Ahmed Mohammed — let’s be accurate and call him Hot Dog Hero — was simply exercising his right to sell stuff in the marketplace for whatever he can get for it.

It was not immediately revealed how much the summonses were for, but food cart violations can range anywhere from $200 to $1,000, according to the city’s website. “It’s the guy on the corner. But unlike many vendors, Mohammed does not post food prices on his cart, a practice which is not necessarily illegal but does constitute a violation of Department of Consumer Affairs regulations, according to NBC. “As I was watching it, I was outraged. It bothers me,” he said. “I’m trying to lead the vendors to do the right thing and obey the law.” “With 56 million tourists in the city, we want to protect them (from) all types of crime,” Bratton said. “Shame on him … on that hot dog vendor.”

Ron Wolfgang, vice president of operation for the Alliance of Downtown New York told NBC that since May 13, his organization has observed five altercations on the street over prices being charged on snack items like pretzels, water, soda and hot dogs. Without taking advantage of stupid people, how would the Franklin Mint have sold off millions of dollars worth of plastic copies of Jackie Onassis’ plastic pearls?

As for Mohammed, when NBC contacted his boss, they were told that this particular vendor was new on the job and the prices will be posted on the cart soon. These suckers will have a great “real” New York story to tell the folks back home. “We couldn’t find any three-card monte, but we did manage to find what the sign said was New York’s very best hot dog!” Everyone wins. If Ahmed Mohammed had built a shitty “prix-fixe” dinner restaurant charging $60 for a “pre-theater” meal, he would be a respected businessman. What your mother said when you were talked into doing something dumb still applies: “Did anyone hold a gun to your head?” At worst, HDH was guilty of a little nontransparency, but if that policy were consistently enforced the courts would be overloaded with restaurant operators who don’t publish their cocktail prices on the menu.

People complaining about Uber’s “gouging” don’t understand that the option to purchase a service at market price is better than not having that option because the service is simply unavailable. Anyone who didn’t like Hot Dog Hero’s price could have said, “Get the frank out of here” and handed over $3 — or handed back the wiener and walked away.

You got a) a tasty snack; b) enough bacteria to inoculate you against any number of diseases; c) a stellar anecdote about American capitalist depravity to take back to Düsseldorf or Lyon; d) a useful lesson that there’s a sucker born every minute — such as the minute listed on your birth certificate.

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