Writing & Artwork by Chip Zdarsky
Chef’s Note: It’s National Hot Dog Day! As you can probably guess from the header image for this blog, Spider-Man eating hot dogs was one of the original inspirations for this super scholarly and very official endeavor. So it only seems appropriate to feature yet another scene of him doing just that (he does it a lot).
The particular scene presented here offers up a host of ethical and philosophical questions: What is the responsibility of those with power? Is meaning a matter of essence or form? What is a human life worth? What are the limits of gratitude? Can you call a cake a cake without icing?
It’s important to note that Carl acknowledges the fact that he offered free hot dogs for life to Spider-Man. He owns that responsibility. But the limits of hospitality can be very delicate things.
I think many can identify with his frustration that Peter is taking more than full advantage of said offer. When someone tells you “feel free to stop by any time” you don’t then show up at their house at any hour and every day. This is an unspoken understanding.
It’d be one thing even if Peter just swung by now & again and grabbed a dog and went on his way.
But instead: Carl not only has to dish up a free lunch, he also has to stand there and listen to Pete’s monologues – which, as you know, can go on a little long.
Even so! Are you going to be the guy who says “shut up already” to the superhero who saved your life? Carl’s in a legitimate ethical conundrum!
Pete, seriously – give Carl a break or you’re going to run him right out of business!