Friday, April 2, 2010


The following should be read as if Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes were speaking the words.

Did you ever wonder why some people collect odd things? My neighbor collects empty beer bottles and cans. Everyday he adds more bottles and cans to his mélange. If you were to look you could see his garage filling with his treasure. I just wish he would organize this hobby. Keeping everything in big plastic bags is not the proper way for displayment.

I had an aunt who collected elephant statues. She made a point to only save elephants whose trunks pointed up. She said that that was for good luck. She must have had over 500 figurines of the trumpeting creatures. You think with all that good luck she would still be alive. She isn't.

A friend of mine collects newspapers. He has every edition of the Detroit Free Press from 1968 to today. The papers are tied in foot thick bundles and have been stacked to fill most of his basement. What he calls his "Local History Archives," others call a fire hazard.

I collect condiment packets. Not intentionally, but anytime I have brought fast food home and have found packets of ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper, I loathe to throw away what I have not opened. I have a entire door shelf in my refrigerator dedicated to holding these packets. Most of them display the name of the establishment that handed out the packets, not the company that created them.  Although, on most you will find a small, almost minuscule logo for Heinz or Frenches or Vlasic.  I have ketchup and mustard packets advertising Burger King, McDonalds and Wendys. I have an assortment of taco sauces from Taco Bell and Del Taco. I have Bar-B-Q and horsey sauce from Arby's.  None of these establishments made the condiments.  They simply slapped their brand on them.

I will occasionally use a packet of taco sauce or horseradish sauce, but if I need ketchup, I go straight for the big bottle. Who wants to waste time opening all those small packets when there are french fries demanding to be devoured. It is the ketchup packets that has the majority of packets in my collection. I'd estimate that over 40% of packets are ketchup.  One day I plan to spend an afternoon emptying all those ketchup packs into a ketchup bottle. I wonder, does ketchup go bad? I am pretty sure some of those packets can be carbon dated sometime back in the last century.

Do you ever wonder why ketchup has different spellings? There is catsup and ketchup, yet they both have the same ingrediants and taste identical.  Same goes for catchup.  I could understand this if one was a brand name, but none are.

I prefer my ketchup to be "fancy." There is no different taste from ketchup that doesn't have the "fancy" claim, yet it's nice to see it on the label. Makes me feel like my condiment is special. When my condiment is special, so am I.

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