There’s a great little local restaurant where we have breakfast on most Sunday mornings before we do our weekly grocery shopping. We’re regulars there, been going for years, the seven or eight waiters and waitresses know us. I’m also boring and order the same thing about 99% of the time. My usual is a club sandwich with steak fries and a Diet Coke.
This morning our wonderful and friendly waitress Connie brought a brand new, never before opened bottle of ketchup out of some refrigerator. By the time I got around to opening it there was a sheen of condensation on it from the humidity. I wiped it dry with my napkin to get a good grip on it and twisted the top off.
Well, at least that was the plan.
This bottle top was having none of that. No joy. No motion on the twist-off cap. No ketchup.
I tried the other hand. Same results.
I wiped it off again, switched back to the first hand, concentrated, leaned into it. The ketchup reward would be mine!
Okay, I’m serious now! Another wipe to make sure it wasn’t slipping, back to the right hand, think THROUGH the lid and VISUALIZE it coming loose…
I’m told I turned about the same color as the ketchup with my effort – but the lid never budged.
By this point Connie was back, asking if everything was okay. I gave her the ketchup bottle and politely asked for one that I could open.
She gave me a curious look, took the bottle, and twisted the top off in one motion.
People at adjoining tables guffawed and chortled.
Connie did a fist pumping victory dance in aisle.
There may have been applause from the crowd – I’m not sure and might have missed it as I was greying out in astonishment.
Of course, at that point I still had to get the ketchup out of the bottle and onto the fries, but my spirit had been crushed and my ego bruised to the point where I found no shame in sticking the knife into the bottle and pulling it out rather than turning the bottle upside down and shaking it for a half hour to get the condiment flowing.
I found a brief moment of redemption later in the day when a pickle jar needed opening for our holiday BBQ, but I go to bed tonight knowing that that ketchup jar kicked my ass and I would have had to eat my fries sans condiments if it hadn’t been for the almost nonchalant flick of Connie’s wrists.
Thus ends the Tale of the Great Ketchup Debacle of 2018!