Even before John Mellencamp sang a little ditty about Jack and Diane "suckin' on a chili dog outside the Tastee Freeze," the last Thursday of July has seen hot dog lovers across America participating in National Chili Dog Day.

Also known as chili con carne and Coney dogs, chili dogs indeed deserve their own day.

The humble chili dog, as unassuming as it may be, has the ability to spark debates about the right or wrong ways to top your dog. Tim Weisberg, chili dog connoisseur, asked me how I make my chili dogs. I said, the small amount of diced onions go into the bun first, then the hot dog (with casing), topped with chili sauce.

Tim smiled and said there's a better way. He takes the hot dog roll and gently massages the inside of the roll with his finger tips until it's sides are deeper so the chili doesn't dribble over. Tim will start by spooning the chili sauce first into the widened roll, then adding chopped onions and finally, like king of the mountain, the hot dog goes over it all. Tim learned this was the best way to drive and eat without the chili sauce making a mess. He's right!

I wonder where the nearest Tastee Freeze is?

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos.