On the Lack of Ketchup at My Local High-End Produce Market

“Did you find everything you were looking for, sir?”

“Everything except ketchup.”

“We don’t carry ketchup.”

“You don’t carry ketchup?”

“No, sir.”

“How can you not carry ketchup?”

“We just don’t.”

“Not even some fancy organic ketchup?”

“No, sir.”

“But you have five different kinds of premium mustard over there.”

“We don’t carry ketchup.”

“Do you carry catsup?”

“Are you messing with me, sir?”

“No. Not at all. I’m just trying to understand how you can have five different kinds of mustard and all those other condiments but somehow not carry ketchup.”

“We just don’t carry it, sir.”

“Even Trader Joe’s has ketchup.”

“We’re not Trader Joe’s.”

“You have tomatoes?”

“Yes, sir.”

“But no ketchup.”

“No, sir.”

“Seriously. How can you not carry ketchup?”

“I could get the manager, sir, and you could ask him.”

“No. Thank you. That’s all right. I’ll just stop at Vons on my way home and get some there.”

“That’s what they all say, sir.”

“I take it you’ve had this conversation before.”

“You have no idea.”

[Originally written in 2011, this essay also appears in I Would Like My Bailout in Bacon.]

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