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Mike Redmond Column

Please refer to the Mike Redmond Column main page for columns published in other issues.
Mike can be contacted via e-mail at mike@mikeredmondonline.com.

 

 

 

 New Ketchup Packet Fulfills Dreams

As further proof that there is no problem that cannot be solved by good old American (or, as is increasingly the case, outsourced) ingenuity, I give you:

The new and improved Heinz ketchup packet.

I shall pause to allow you all a few minutes of rejoicing.

All done? Confetti cleaned up and party horns put away? Good. Now let’s get back to the story.

What we have now is a ketchup packet that works two ways: You can either open at the end for squeezing, or peel back the top for dipping. Boy howdy. You have to love a condiment container that can multi-task.

(Actually, it looks a lot like the containers they hand out with an order of deep-fried reconstituted die-cut chicken scraps, also known as nuggets, but don’t tell Heinz. I wouldn’t want to rain on their parade.)

Now, you may be wondering why the world needed a new ketchup packet. Glad you asked. It is the result of a three-year research project that determined that the old packet was the number one thing people struggled with while eating French fries in the car.

Which brings me to MY question:

What are they doing eating fries with ketchup in the car?

I can understand driving down the road with a burger in your hand. I can even understand accompanying said burger with a serving of fries. But ketchup on the fries adds a dimension that takes it out of the realm of “side dish” and into that of “safety hazard.”

If you dump the ketchup on the fries, you wind up with soggy, ketchup-y fries that are going to leave your fingers all messy, which will require you to search for a napkin, which will lead you to dig around in the bottom of the fast food bag, which will divert your attention, which will cause you to drive into a culvert. The only upside I can see will be the happiness you get from finding the bonus fries in the bottom of the bag just before the car goes into the ditch.

If you use the new packet and dip, you’re going to have to look at what you’re doing. After all, you don’t want to go dipping your fries into the ashtray. Your eyes will have to guide you fry-holding fingers to the target, which means they are not going to be on the road. Again, culvert. And no bonus fries this time.

This is madness. Think about how many scores of drivers are out there right this minute weaving back and forth across the center line because they want ketchup on their fries. Which, of course, they often eat while talking on the phone and sending text messages. Also while driving.

So I’m not sure this new ketchup packet – marvel of engineering that it is – completely solves the problem, which is that people are lousy drivers to begin with and the last thing they need is a shiny new object to distract them further.

There you have it. We have scientifically proven that ketchup on French fries causes traffic disasters. My thinking is this: If you absolutely must have ketchup on your fries, you should probably skip the drive-through and just eat in the restaurant. It’s safer.

Unless, of course, you actually order one of the burgers, which is a disaster of another kind.

 

 

 

© 2011 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.