Memories of JJ, 1 — Ketchup

We went to McDonald’s every time we were in the city. Dad didn’t like the food, but we kids all did. So he would sigh and pull in to the parking lot and we’d all cheer from the back seat.

The ketchup packets had just about enough in them for an order of fries. If you really squeezed it out, you could make do with a single packet. Two packets had way too much. Waste not, want not. So I got pretty good at squeezing every last molecule of ketchup onto my fries.

On one visit to the Golden Arches, I rolled the ketchup packet, starting carefully from one end, making sure every last drop went onto a fry. Finished, I discarded the tightly-wound tube on the side of the tray. Dad, who had been watching me without my really noticing, sighed and said, “And yet you can’t do that with the toothpaste.”

I’m in my forties now and I still think of this every time I’m getting to the end of a toothpaste tube. (Or a ketchup packet.)


My dad passed away recently. I’m going to be posting little memories of him for the next little while. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.