Will the condiment cops be coming after me?

I don’t think of myself as a “little packet condiment hog or hoarder,” but sometimes I probably am — not necessarily by choice or my own action.

Sometimes I’m a victim.

This accumulation/overabundance just happens, much like the weather.

I did a little gasp earlier this week when I read a few accounts about individual ketchup packets possibly being the next COVID-19 shortage at some chains.

I wondered if a neon sign was above my head, the word “guilty” blinking on and off, on and off for all the world around me to see and point.

Are the condiment cops coming after me?

The gasp was actually for two reasons, based on how my brain works. My memory was jogged. My first thought was, “Uh oh — how’s the Kiaski toilet paper stash?” given the pandemic had us scrambling for something that we had up to that point taken for granted — except when you’re in a public restroom stall and discover the only thing on the roll next to you is a jagged shred of a square.

And except when, well, it’s not on store shelves as it normally is, always is.

The other reason was because Better Half and I had been to a fast-food place recently where we had asked for some ketchup and salt.

The well meaning, trying-to-please-and-be-efficient waitress returned with a boatload of both, leaving a mountain in the center of the table.

OK. Me doth exaggerate. It was a little mound of them, her parting words, “Is that enough?” Dumbfounded, we shook our heads in the affirmative.

It was plenty — way more than we needed, even as professed, practicing saltaholics.

We Kiaskis need our sodium fixes to stay the course of daily living and daily eating. No secret there.

I toss all the extras in my purse in anticipation of any sodium shortages we might experience elsewhere, say at a picnic or someone’s home where “Dash” is all there is. Heaven help us.

Too much can be too much, and this goes for individual packets of ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, horseradish sauce, honey mustard, etc., etc., that we seem to effortlessly accumulate, because there’s always a lot of it — until there’s a shortage.

Once it’s in front of you, you can’t throw it away, especially if your mother grew up in Depression times and taught you not to waste. Soap slivers are molded into the makings for another Saturday bath. A toothpaste tube that seemed empty enough was cut open and scraped for one more battle with Mr. Tooth Decay.

So, I don’t throw any condiment packets away.

They go in the refrigerator where they have lots of company.

And when somebody dares to say, “We’re out of ketchup,” I beg to differ. Not on my individual ketchup packet watch.

And please help yourself to everything else in there.

One thing we don’t have excess of is little coffee creamers from restaurants. That all gets used up on the spot when we order coffee, accompanied by the appeal for “extra creamers, please.”

Better Half and I like our coffee a certain shade of beige.

And with the creamers we get, that just happens, much like the weather.


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