Ketchup always makes me angry

I wrote this one for a friend. Thanks for the inspiration, D.


cpp20216-heinz-ketchup-door-posterSundays we go to brunch, the three of us. Sunday morning’s our new date night now that Joey’s here.

I finally get Joey all settled with his French toast, cut into six pieces how he likes it, all in a little circle around his puddle of syrup, just so, and I take a sip of my coffee. Still hot. Hot coffee is better than sex these days. I turn my scattered mind to my Swiss omelette with whole wheat toast. I find myself in the first creamy bite.

Things are good for a moment and I close my eyes. Made it, I think, and give myself a mental high five for getting through the week. Then I open my eyes. Big mistake. Sam’s trying to get the ketchup out of the bottle, smacking it on the 57, you know? It’s like Andy Warhol met Monty Python. I love this guy but I can’t help laughing.

Sam looks up like he’s surprised—or hurt—could he really be hurt? He frowns and keeps smashing the bottle with a fierce downward motion. He’s probably wringing my neck in his head. I hazard another bite of my omelette and wash it down with some coffee when I feel the cold thick glop of ketchup hit my arm. Joey laughs, spewing syrup out of his mouth.

Disgusting, I think. “Don’t, honey,” I say to no one in particular. I grab a napkin and start wiping the table. The ketchup on my arm begins to drip towards the table and I glare at the hideous trail.

“Mommy, more syrup,” Joey drips crumbs out of his mouth while he talks. I look at Sam, chewing lazily on his freshly ketchupped potatoes and all of a sudden I can’t stand it anymore. I put my mouth to his ear. “I fucking hate you,” I say with a smile.Then, louder, to Joey, “More syrup, please, honey.”

“No, mommy, no honey. Syrup,” Joey pounds the table with his little fist. I pour syrup on his plate, still smiling, and then I hand Joey the ketchup.

“Joey, help Daddy get some more ketchup, okay? Like this,” I mimic Sam’s thrusting movements.

Maybe I’m doing the imitation a little too well because the pimply teenagers at the next table start laughing like crazy. I lean over and in a whisper I ask, “What, you’ve never seen a girl give a hand job before?” I love how the smiles kind of freeze on their faces.

Joey smacks the upside-down bottle of already loosened ketchup over his dad’s plate, drenching his potatoes and splashing ketchup on Sam’s face and glasses.

I burst out laughing along with Joey. I was wrong, this is my moment. After two years without sleep, ketchup on Sam’s glasses is hysterical. I take a napkin, dab my eyes, wipe my arm, and calmly take another bite of my omelette.

After swallowing I look up at Sam, who’s still cleaning his glasses. “Take me out on a real date,” I smile.