August 21st, 2008

Wassup With Catsup?

I’ve briefly mentioned my puzzlement at this issue before when I showed you this picture of the soft play area at our local mall.

See that little dollop of ketchup/catsup? I don’t get it.

Who puts ketchup on their steak? I wondered.

Well, I had a little chat with a neighbor down the street who I’ll call “Joanne.”

Now I know.

Joanne’s ENTIRE FAMILY puts ketchup on their steaks.

I had so many questions for her I didn’t know where to begin.

Me:  Why?

Joanne:  Why not?

Me:  Well . . .

Joanne:  Look, it brings out the flavor of the steak. And we like our steaks well done so without the ketchup it’s too dry.

Me:  My kids put ketchup on everything so I can understand the kids doing that. . . but you and Hector?

Joanne:  Are you implying that the ketchup is not good enough for the steak?

Me:  Uh, ah, um . . .

Joanne:  Well, missy, what do you put on your steaks?  A-1?  Huh?  How’s that better?

Me:  Well, I don’t, but my husband . . .

Joanne:  Yeah, I thought so.  Your kind makes me sick.  You’re all judgemental with your fancy sauces and such.

Me:  But, Joanne, I just want to understand . . .

Joanne:  Understand??!!  Understand??!!  Until you’ve lived in my house and walked in my shoes you will never UNDERSTAND why we do what we do.

Me:  Uh. . .

Joanne:  So why don’t you go back to your little sheltered, closed-minded kitchen and whip you up something that’s “acceptable by society,” okay? 

(She used actual air quotes here.  Then she stomped off.)

I really wasn’t sure what happened out there on the street. But I had a feeling it had nothing to do with ketchup. Someone has a chip on her shoulder the size of Mount Rushmore.

And I was not any closer to understanding the ketchup-smeared-all-over-steak thing.

So I did go back to my little kitchen, got out my Teriyaki sauce and took a big swig — right out of the bottle.

Stay classy, Joanne, I thought. Stay classy.

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