The Great Ketchup War

Marriage is a wonderful institution. You always have someone around to scratch your back, you get to wear a super cool ring without feeling like a fag and the sex can last up to five minutes. It’s also great for turning two people into stubborn, childish idiots who cannot let even the smallest matter go without a fight. What follows is my description of one of my more recent confrontations which I shall refer to as “The Great Ketchup War”.

A little background on the situation and my state of mind. I’m very obsessive when it comes to cleaning up and discarding anything I can’t use. I have enough shit to sort through already and most of it just needs to go. In my opinion you shouldn’t own more than what you can fit into a small minivan in case the apocalypse comes and you need to get the fuck out of dodge fast. Conversely I also despise wasting anything since I was brought up in a household where to not finish your plate or throw something useful out was right up there with theft and genocide on the list of shit you should never do. This basically means that it takes a lot for me to just throw something in the garbage if it has any use. Usually I prefer to give stuff away or even better sell it so I can start saving up for a one way ticket to Belize if I ever get too frustrated with my life in general.

Now that the foreplay is finished I can begin the penetrative tale of the kaustic ketchup kontainer. I don’t care much for the condiment in general. If it’s already on a burger that I order or someone has it on some fries they’re sharing with me I’ll eat it but that’s just because I’m not a picky eater. You will never see me putting ketchup on anything myself. My wife is very similar to me in this except that she will only put ketchup on a burger. It of course follows that any ketchup in our fridge gets about as much use as that delicious box of baking soda that’s been slowly disintegrating since Biggie was shot by the CIA. As a result the ketchup bottle that started this whole skirmish belonged in a museum rather than being stuck in the back of our fridge.

It reminds me of Miami Vice

It reminds me of Miami Vice

As you can see the labelling on the bottle itself looks rather retro. If one were to try to date it would probably fit nicely in with the late 90’s era of product packing developments. The actual date of purchase on the bottle is unknown since careful inspection revealed no date information whatsoever. Not even an expiry date which as you’ll see was part of the problem. By the most conservative estimates the bottle is at least 7 years old since it comes from a time when my wife moved out of her mother’s house and took the ketchup bottle with her. How old the bottle was before that I cannot being to speculate.

Since most people don’t enjoy keeping old disgusting relics in their fridges unless they’re trying to hide something from the authorities I decided to clean out everything we didn’t use or that looked gross. Now I can clean like a fucking meth addict at 4am on a Tuesday; getting rid of everything in sight that I deem unworthy. This time however my wife yelled out a stern “No” when I was about to throw away the wretched bottle of red sadness. When I gave her all of the logical arguments for removing such a biohazard from our lives she was unmoved and would not change her mind.

These were all great arguments on my part by the way. Here’s a list of some of my better points:

1. Our average ketchup consumption is less that a tablespoon a month.

2. Ketchup is similar to a food.

3. Food doesn’t last forever which is why it needs to be refrigerated after opening.

4. Even in the fridge food will eventually go bad.

5. Food that does last forever is not really food and thus doesn’t belong in the fridge at all.

6. Ketchup sucks.

7. Glass is a much safer way to store food as it does not leech chemicals like plastic does.

8. The cost of a small replacement glass bottle of ketchup is about $2.

9. The cost of getting sick from bad ketchup is much greater than $2.

In the spirit of fairness here are some of her points:

1. It’s still good.

There are many confrontations in our marriage that I choose to let go of mostly because they aren’t worth the trouble. When it comes down to it you can’t be picky about everything and fighting over something as pants-shittingly retarded as the fate of a condiment really isn’t worth more than 5 seconds of my life. In this case I used my powers of awesome to concede and let the bottle stay in the fridge. Better to focus my energy on paying the rent and dealing with my crippling depression. So I guess you could say my wife won.

Of course that was just the first battle in a war that spanned years. Every few months I would start on another mad cleaning spree and again pick up the ketchup bottle and present it to the little lady. Every time this was brought up I received the same answer. I even started plotting a way to get rid of the bottle without her knowing. I could have simply thrown the whole thing out and the issue would be resolved except that knowing my luck the very next day she would want the ketchup for something and I would have to explain to her what happened to the bottle which at this point I was starting to resemble the Ark of the Covenant both in age and Nazi-killing power. I could have just bought a new bottle first but I never remember to buy it for the same reason I don’t buy adult diapers.

Some of you might be thinking that I’m some kind of stereotypical neutered male like you see in every fucking television commercial. Well you’re fucking stupid. I can handle my own as a man but as any great warrior knows you have to choose your battles.

After careful consideration I decided to conduct my plan of attack like the siege of Constantinople(history!). My plan of slowly cracking her outside walls with cannon and starving her until she had to give up seems like the best plan of attack. All that was required was a bit of patience and some light jabbing. After four years of pummeling the castle walls she herself would admit how disgusting this entire ordeal was and promptly end it by buying a new bottle and saying those magical words that really deserve to be said more often than they are.

“Tony, you were right.”

Turned out that a half filled bottle of ketchup of an indeterminate age doesn’t really taste too great. Of course she later explained to me that if I hadn’t made such a big deal about hating the ketchup bottle she would have thrown it out years ago. Spite is a very important part of marriage and if you’re not acting out of spite 70% of the time your marriage is surely doomed. Spite keeps us aware and ready to strike at the first sign of some invading military force trying to steal our carefully stockpiled warehouse full of ammunition and fleshlights. Evolution has given us spite and we should embrace it just as we embrace our natural fear of anything that’s different.

So what can we learn from the Great Ketchup War? For me it solidified my long held belief that when you know you’re right you should just shut up and wait for the world to evolve around you. Any intervention on your part will simply delay the process of enlightenment and make people think of you as a dickish know-it-all. People, much like the crotches of my pants, can be worn down over time when treated with just the right amount of friction.  

I could also say that my wife has learned that in most circumstances I’m usually right and disagreeing with me just for the fuck of it will only bring sadness and mild symptoms of food poisoning. I know better than that. In the end nothing was learned and we’ll both just continue on with the many other campaigns that are already well under way.

Neither of us would have it any other way.