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.