The news apps mention there is another shortage, this time not of toilet paper but of ketchup. Due to circumstances I didn’t read, ketchup – at least Heinz ketchup – is either scarce or about to become so. Suddenly those ubiquitous worthless white and red foil packets, plumb with ketchup, given out by the handful at fast food joints, are now hot commodities, coveted and even being auctioned to the highest bidder.

Oh the pain.

People get awfully queer about their ketchup. I wouldn’t be surprised to visit Uncle Albertsons to see the ketchup shelf barren as the toilet paper aisle was last March. I wonder if other types like Hunts will be gone as people desperate for ketchup buy any type available. Or will the non-Heinz types sit there unwanted?* I am not found of ketchup anymore and they taste enough the same it doesn’t matter what type I buy.** Someone feels otherwise. He is a “Heinz man’ or nothing. However we both prefer salsa so there it is.

I recall a report stating salsa had surpassed ketchup in sales as the condiment of choice in the USA. Here in the Southwest, conservatives lost their minds, seeing this as an ominous sign ‘they’ were taking over. Folks that didn’t care tuppence for ketchup were suddenly putting it on everything to boost sales and reverse the report. I once saw a man refuse salsa and demand ‘American ketchup” which he got and put on his burrito, which has some irony, no?

If I actually read the ketchup shortage articles maybe I would have learned how long this ominous condiment shortage is projected to last. At the office in the kitchen drawer sit countless packages of condiments left over from numerous pharm rep lunches. I could scoop up the lot and go out in public and sell them to the zanies going through Heinz withdrawal. Unlike toilet paper, this shortage I don’t need to fret over. I can sit back and watch the lunacy and not know whether I should laugh or cry.

Meanwhile, I am fine with hot sauce. Albertsons has heaps.

*I remember last spring when people were snatching all the flour, pasta, rice, and peanut butter they could find what remained on the shelves were gourmet/organic section types. There were plenty of these. Price trumped all.

**When I was younger I preferred Hunts. Now it tastes cloying.