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.