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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Fourth-Grader Follows Through on Parents' Dare, Wears Hot Dog Costume in School Photo

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School photo days are annoying to some and stressful for others. Many kids simply don’t like having their photos taken let alone memorialized in yearbooks and on ID cards for the world to see, especially if it’s during an awkward phase.

But some, like this 9-year-old and his parents, can use picture day to humorous effect.

It started off — as many good stories do — with a dare. But unlike many cruel or dangerous dares that kids dole out to one another, this one was a parent-initiated challenge that would test young Jake Arsenault’s bravery.

“My wife and I dared our son to wear a hotdog costume for school pictures,” Craig Arsenault wrote in an Oct. 17 Facebook post. “The school let him do it, and I couldn’t be happier.”

Of course, it wasn’t as easy as those two sentences make it sound. First, they had to convince their son of the genius of their plan.

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“Jake was hesitant a first, but I was like, ‘No, it’s gonna be awesome; just trust me,’” Craig told “Today.” He even sweetened the deal by putting $10 on the table.

Next, they had to reach out to the school to let them know that they were fine with their son’s get-up.

“We are aware and OK with Jacob Arsenault’s intention to wear his hot dog costume for school pictures, if possible,” they hand-wrote in a note. The parents signed it, and Craig added, “Please let this happen!”

The final piece that had to settle into place was their son’s resolve. The stage was set, the note sent in — but the parents would be out vacationing while their kids went to school and stayed with a family member.

“My wife and I were on vacation at the time, and my mother was watching the kids,” Craig told Fox News. “We made the dare before we left, when we got home we asked him if they let him do it. He said yes, and then we just had to anxiously wait for the school photos to come back.”

Would Jake have the guts to carry through? The answer, printed on a bright orange school photo ID card, was yes.

“Everyone was like, ‘There’s hot dog boy,'” Craig said. “Jake’s outgoing and likes being in the spotlight, so it worked out.”

Still, the family didn’t expect the dare and its hilarious results to reach as far and wide as they have. The original post has been shared over 32,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon and Craig said he was “blown away” by the number of people who’ve enjoyed the family’s story.

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“All I can do is laugh about how far it’s gone,” he said.

“It is absolutely ridiculous how far and fast this hotdog thing has spread,” the incredulous dad wrote in an Oct. 22 Facebook post. “Anyone who shared it, I wanna thank you because it just has me laughing my ass off. CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, today show, good morning America, just so many places.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking