Thursday, September 09, 2010

Extra Mustard

I read a book once that told the tale of a man who was injured in a far away land. He crawled through the wilderness on his hands and knees for something like 200 miles before he reached a populated harbor and aid. When he was finally rescued, he was so famished that he suffered from delirium and various mental ailments.

Once hospitalized, his health returned and he came back unto himself. After a time he was pronounced healthy by the local physician and began making plans to travel – taking berth on a ship sailing for home.

He boarded the ship and pitched in with the sailors as a normal man would, but over time they began to notice a difference in him; he became withdrawn. Especially at mealtimes they noticed he carefully nibbled at his food, barely eating anything at all and greedily eyeing the other sailors’ meals. He finally took to his bed; suffering from severe delirium and raving bouts of lunacy.

The ship eventually reached land and, once in sight, the man recovered from his insanity. The sailors, who couldn’t have been more relieved to get rid of him – sent him ahead in a dinghy for shore and offered to pack up his belongings and send them in behind.

When they entered his room to gather up his things they were astonished to find that every nook and cranny of this room including his mattress, cracks in his bunk, and all of his baggage had been stuffed completely full of hardtack – the ship’s biscuits.

He had slowly pilfered the ship’s kitchen and garbage, and had even rationed his own meals to prepare against the coming starvation his fevered mind imagined.

So, with that in mind; today when I opened my cabinet at work and found this:

I had to briefly question my sanity. Note that its sauce packages hidden underneath a stack of paper AND a facedown picture.

Why do I hoard rip-off-top-type fast food sauces? I don’t hoard the food itself, and I don’t hoard packets like ketchup (ok, sometimes Horsey Sauce) - generally just the little box things like honey mustard and barbecue sauce.

I’d cross I-75 on a tricycle for an extra Chic-Fil-A Honey Mustard to stash away. I found a packet of Chick-Fil-A Honey Mustard sauce hidden in a box of 12ga shotgun shells (I hoard those too) in my truck last year. I even stooped so low as to come up with a clever ruse to get more than I really need from the drive-through Scrooge; just to make sure I don’t “run out.”

Like “running out” would be a major tragedy.

And why not ketchups? Talk about useful! White people absolutely drown themselves in ketchup. If you can think of a common food in the South – some white person somewhere is skeeting ketchup all over it right this second.

I guess I hoard the little sauce boxes because of the tiny Tupperware – it looks more valuable. Ketchup is just that little foil packet – not much value there, but somebody went to some trouble to squeeze that Polynesian Sauce stuff in that tiny box, then seal the little box with a sticky lid. Of course, nobody ever seems to think about how much glue got down in the sauce in the process.

I know I wonder about it.

And what kind of glue is it? If it’s like Elmer’s – no problem. We’re good there. I know for a fact eating Elmer’s glue won’t kill me - I practically sustained life with it until newborn Margaret was 2 and Mom started fixing lunch again.

I’m going to get better about hoarding one of these days though. I promise. In the meantime if you need a little dime bag of Honey Mustard to get you through (McDonalds, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, or even Publix brand) you know where to find me.

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