Vs. Glass Ketchup Bottles

Posted: June 1, 2011 in Reader's Suggestion
Tags: , , , ,

Here’s the deal.  This week’s reader’s suggestion comes from my friend, Danny.  And, while many restaurants have switched to plastic, who among us hasn’t experienced his frustration with the futility of the glass ketchup bottle?  Of course, it’s not that we’ve got something against ketchup, quite the opposite.  We so adore this condiment that we rue the day this vexing container was designed.

In 1687, Newton published his Law of Universal Gravitation.  A hundred and fifty years later, this law was disproved when the first ketchup bottle was turned upside down…and nothing came out.  It’s not that a new bottle of ketchup pours slowly – you can actually hold it over your fries indefinitely and not an iota will exit.  Each individual drop of ketchup will link arms with its pasty friends in the ultimate act of flavor defiance.  What’s wrong ketchup?  Don’t you want to be on the fries?  Don’t you want to make our food delicious?  It is your destiny.

State fruit - Tomato

Image via Wikipedia

Then again, tomatoes have always been confounding.  Biologically, they’re fruits.  But, in Nix V. Hedden, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that tomatoes were to be classified as a vegetable (it’s good to know that our nation’s highest judicial institution utilizes their collective legal minds to tackle the important issues of the day).  It’s pretty cool, actually.  The tomato is simultaneously a fruit and a vegetable.  Can you imagine?  That would be like being biologically a human, but legally a monkey (I think I just described most of the cast of Jersey Shore).  The tomato is the state vegetable of New Jersey and Arkansas and the state fruit of Ohio – this fruitable is out of control!

Then there’s the whole ketchup/catsup issue.  Catsup?  Please.  I won’t even dignify this feline spelling of our most popular condiment with a full paragraph.

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I get this red river of goodness out and onto my plate?  Over the years, people have invented various solutions to the ketchup bottle problem, with increasing levels of violence.  It starts with an aggressive shake.  This typically has no results, save to anger the ketchup, therefore solidifying its resolve to never move.  As one’s frustration increases, they will move on to the bottle spank – physically assaulting the backside of the glass container as if this punishment will make the ketchup think twice about defying gravity (sometimes, getting spanked makes the ketchup cry…as evidenced by the fact that the first few drops out of the ketchup bottle are just water/tomato tears).  Fed up (because they are still unfed), the diner will now resort to the ultimate act of violence – actually stabbing the ketchup.  Thrusting the knife upward into the ketchup bottle in a disturbing act of tomato homicide is the consumer’s last option.  And it often works.  The bottle, concerned that this could escalate to gun play, will force the ketchup out, fearing for its own safety.

The current United States Supreme Court, the h...

Image via Wikipedia

Still, it seems like a lot of work.  One would expect the ketchup to flow of its own accord.  No matter how many times I see it, it’s still a marvel that one can turn the bottle upside down and its fluid contents can simply refuse to move.  It’s as if tomatoes skipped school the day they taught gravity, as if the condiments all called in sick when the teacher reviewed the difference between a liquid and a solid, as if ketchup is simply taking the “up” part of its name a little bit too literally.   

And now, of course, we have a whole new set of problems with the squeeze bottles.  Not the least of which is the remarkably rude sound the ketchup makes upon its exit.  Fortunately, I understand this important issue will, this fall, finally reach the Supreme Court.

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Comments
  1. Elizabeth Dodd says:

    Here’s my ketchup story:

    Back when I was young (NO–she didn’t just say that!!), my cousin from Georgia would spend a few weeks in the summer with my family. One night for supper my mother made hamburgers and served ketchup and mustard for condiments. My cousin selected ketchup to put on his hamburger. Well, the ketchup wouldn’t budge. After fighting with the bottle for a while, he did the ketchup-bottle-spank method but he forgot to point the opening of the bottle down at the hamburger. There was suddenly a big burp from the ketchup bottle and guess what landed on the wall paper!! My mother was not happy!

  2. Danny says:

    Thanks for posting this Makya! So good!

  3. Purple Chimp says:

    Knowledge ia knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. Or at the very least that is what I have been told.

    I agree that ketchup in plastic bottles are more convenient, but glass bottles some how makes it taste better. Like how beer in plastic bottles is worse than beer in cans which is inferior to beer in bottles which itself is trumped by draught beer. Ultimately beer is at its very best when in my belly.

    • Makya McBee says:

      Elizabeth – Good tip for the kids out there – point and spank, point and spank.
      Danny – You’re quite welcome. Thanks for the suggestion…would you like some fries with that?
      Purple Chimp – Is that your real name? What isn’t ultimately better in one’s belly? All good points, my simian friend, now sober up, it’s time to make the fruit salad.

  4. angelina says:

    I vote for “tub o’ ketchup”. Butter and its arch rival margerine come in a tub. Veggie and chip dip comes in a tub. Why not ketchup??? You can get out as much as u want without the hassel of glass or squeeze bottles. They would be made in a variety of sizes from small to those industrial strength sizes you get at those shoppers clubs.

    • Purple Chimp says:

      Blasphemy! Ketchup in a tub? Somehow that thought genuinely scared me.

      It is interesting though because at McDonalds all the savoury sauces are in those tiny plastic tubs except ketchup. Maybe there are legitimate reasons that it is not put in tubs (maim reason being blasphemy)

  5. heathersnyder1 says:

    I agree with Angelina…Tub o’ Ketchup is better than Plastic Packs o’ ketchup. They never give you enough in those packets anyway. You have to struggle with them and be a body builder just to open those ridiculous packets. Also the packets, if dropped on the ground can be quite messy underfoot.
    Or were you thinking Tubs o’ Ketchup like as in Bathtubs Full of Ketchup? That would be fun.
    I also agree with Purple Chimp…anything in glass bottles tastes better. Just drink a Coke from a glass bottle. Tastes better in glass than plastic.

    • Makya McBee says:

      It’s great to see my blog inspiring important debates about ketchup delivery systems. Again, this is great fodder for the upcoming Supreme Court case. Plus it leads to something I love in life – the creation of sentences that have never before been uttered, written, or thought, such as, “Mom, Angelina, Heather and Purple Chimp are fighting over the tub of ketchup again!” Perfect.

  6. Josha says:

    oh the fruity paste of it all.
    of all.
    is that all?
    ketchup.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I don’t know what is in Catsup. Maybe Cats and a 7-Up mixture? Scarier still is Heinz 57 Sauce. Why do you need 57 Varieties? Can’t you just love 1?

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