Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Begging For Ketchup

Okay. The bad weather during the growing season effected produce. Fruit and vegetables are more expensive and, in my opinion, not as flavorful. I don't like spinach, but it looks less tasty. Cause and effect. Supply and demand. Ben and Jerry. Got it. Why is it called produce anyway? Lettuce doesn't "produce" anything. Mine sits in the refrigerator missing spinach and waiting for me to make a salad. I hate cooking. It's boring. Of course, I may be doing it wrong. That's happened before. I'd be happy to observe you cooking anytime. That's the best way to learn.

Anyway, I can live with bland apples; America, we have a more pressing issue! Can anyone tell me the origin of the current condiment crisis? What in heck happened to the salt and pepper supply? Do we need to drill for ketchup? It's pandemic. (I never get to use that word. I don't even know what it means.)

Real Conversation:A garbled voice greets me through a weathered speaker.
"Hello, welcome to Burgerama. May I take your order?"
"Yes,I'd like a double cheeseburger, large fry, and a diet Pepsi. Oh, and a slice of chocolate pie. Hmmm, make that diet Pepsi a water instead."
"Okay, you want a chicken sandwich, onion rings, and lemonade."
"No, I said a double cheeseburger, large fry, chocolate pie, and cup of water."
There's a pause, static, then, "Okay. Your total is $19.95. Please drive to the second window."
I pull forward while digging 80 quarters from my ashtray. I sit at the window for 20 minutes while the employees giggle and do a very raunchy version of the Electric Slide by the shake machine. I pay the drive-through lady. She frowns at the coins, but seems comforted by the knowledge that I'm probably not an exotic dancer. While she slowly counts five pennies over and over, I examine my order. To my surprise, it's correct. The fries are cold but I console myself with the fact I wasn't given onion rings like last time.
"Ma'am, may I have some ketchup and salt and pepper?" I ask as she throws my change on the ground, missing my hand by two feet.
She frowns again and asks, "Are you going home?"
"Don't you have salt and pepper?"
"I do but it doesn't cost $40.00 per pound like this hamburger. I paid for minerals and liquid tomatoes. I want my salt, pepper, and ketchup."
"Fine. Here's one package of salt and one package of pepper. How many packets of ketchup do you want?"
"I have seven fries. I want seven packets of ketchup."
Burger lady trembles and whispers, "That's too many. I'll get fired if I give you more than two."
"Okay. Give me two ketchup, a napkin, and a straw."
"Straws are a dime each. I need a manager's approval for napkins. Will you pull forward? I'll send him to your car and you can ask him."
America. Stock up now. Soon, we'll be rationing relish.

Copyright 2007 Monica Frazier Anderson