Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


June 20, 2013

Slices of Life: Pass the ketchup


Most ketchup consumers fit into one of two categories: dippers or squeezers.

I am a dipper. I like to squirt a round puddle of the sassy sauce on my plate and dip my burger, hot dog or baloney sandwich right into the mix. This creates ample disbursement of the condiment and the flavor it imparts.

My husband is a squeezer. He lifts the bun off his sandwich and squeezes the desired amount of ketchup onto the bread in a zigzag pattern. The idea is to create an even layer of ketchup throughout the sandwich. Squeezers enjoy consistency in their condiment distribution; it’s all about control.

In order to dip or squeeze, you’ve got to keep a supply of the red spread in your fridge. We were plum out. At our house, running out of ketchup is serious business. Not as serious as a car wreck or broken bone; more along the lines of running out of toilet paper or losing the TV remote. Serious enough to warrant a trip to the store.

Once there, I made an appalling discovery. The shelves where my preferred brand sits were empty. This forced me to do the unthinkable. I grabbed a bottle from the company containing less than 57 varieties and put it in my cart, knowing I’d most likely regret such roguish actions in the morning.

I arrived home just in time for a lunch of brats (sausages, not kids). I dipped. My husband squeezed. We both took a bite and lovingly caught each other’s eye like a married couple does when bonding over the birth of a child, 25-year wedding anniversary or new type of ketchup. The other brand tasted – good – tangy and flavorful and completely ketchuptastic. I didn’t know what to think. Every idea and hypothesis I’d formulated about ketchup (or catsup) was thrown out with the brat-water.

Maybe, just maybe, ketchup on French fries isn’t such a bad idea after all. And the whole pancake thing? It definitely deserves reconsideration.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of “The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication” You can read more columns at the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

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