Friday, November 25, 2005

Sneaky ketchup packet sucking (say that 3 times fast)

When little K opened up the front door, he was holding a bowl full of Ketchup packets from various fast food outlets. He quickly explained that his mother had gone to pick up his sister at the orthodontist's but they would be back soon. K is one of the Japanese boys I tutor each week and as I removed my shoes and winter garments, we made our way to his bedroom where we do the lesson. He placed the bowl of ketchup packets on his desk and said,

"I like these ones better than the McDonald's ones." He held an A&W ketchup packet, bright orange with black writing, and showed it to me.

"Do you like it better because of the package or because of the taste?" I asked

"The TASTE, why do I care about the package."

"Good point," chuckling, and then I added, "Say, are you stealing those every time you eat out?"

"No, we just save the ones we don't use."

So I got out his folder and started preparing the story we were about to read and I asked him about his weekend while I futzed with the papers. It was difficult to understand his mumbled answer so I looked up to see him sucking on one of the ketchup packets.

"What are you doing?"


"Why are you sucking on the ketchup?"

"Uh, because it's a snack." said as though it was perfectly obvious and normal.

"Ketchup is a snack?" and I started to laugh.

"Yeah." and then he tore open a second packet to suck on.

I was very amused and said, "K, do you know anyone else who snacks on ketchup packets? I mean in your whole life, have you ever known anyone who did that?"

"Well, no." pause "Except my sister."

The kid was snacking on a bowl of ketchup packets and perfectly oblivious to the oddity of this. Just then his mother arrived home with his sister. She came in to the room to greet us and the moment she spied the bowl of ketchup packets she said something that sounded cross in Japanese and whisked the bowl out of the room. She gave me the "what are you going to do with kids" look.

Of course the whole time it was happening, I was thinking "blog fodder, alert alert". So who is really the odd one here?


Lee said...

> So who is really the odd one here?

The ketchup!

No, wait - was it a trick question?

dantallion said...

What's wrong with sucking on Ketchup packets?


St. Dickeybird said...

I used to do the same thing with flavoured body paint. If i was single, I'd just eat it like jam.
I only stopped when Wifey got disgusted with me.

epicurist said...

I would say different customs for other groups, but that's too easy an answer. When I was a kid, I'm pretty sure my friends would rather have had a packet of ketchup to suck than the packet of dried squid, or prunes my mother proffered.

r said...

Huh. The kids that I work with would rather stomp on those packets and have a contest to see how far the ketchup (Catsup?) would squirt.

Adam said...

I did the same thing when I was a kid. I stopped immediately though when it was announced that Jim Henson died from flesh eating bacteria that was most likely on a ketchup packet. From that day on I never ever use a ketchup packet, i'd rather go without.

r said...

I thought Jim Henson died of "Walking Pneumonia"

Nicole said...

Eww, eww, eww. That gave me a stomachache.