sauce. everyone likes sauce of some sort. chocolate sauce. barbecue sauce. hot wing sauce. cocktail sauce, picante sauce. nacho cheese sauce… you name the sauce and someone will like it. they’ll love it.

nacho cheese sauce

nacho cheese sauce

think of the first time you had ketchup… can’t remember?  for most kids, ketchup is that gateway drug… i mean first intro to what sauce is and what it can be.  ketchup was just the right mixture of tomato paste, high fructose corn syrup, vinegar, salt and partially hydrogenated soybean oil in just the right bottle, poured out just the right way to make EVERYTHING taste better–from eggs to french fries to hot dogs, burgers to broccoli to lamb, to meatloaf…doesn’t taste good? just add ketchup and everything tastes fine..

i say most kids, because i was not one of those who survived on ketchup–in fact, i hated it. hated it so much, that at one point i rated it on my top 3 hate list with bees and german shepherds (two things that had traumatized me… fodder for future blog posts).  for some reason, i just didn’t like it.

this is not weak sauce

this is not weak sauce (click pic to read more from the oatmeal)

one fateful day in second grade, we were in our classroom, eating lunch (my grade school didn’t have a lunch room – we’d just sit at our desks & eat). i was a “bring lunch from home” kind of guy, and the boy whose desk was facing mine was eating his hot dog or whatever piece of sodium nitrate goodness they passed out that day.  in the corner of my eye, i could tell the guy was struggling with something. he was yanking and pulling and pushing something to the point of groaning aloud.  then, just as i had turned and seen what it was he was wrestling with there was an audible short, “pfffft” sound and in slow motion i could see the entire contents of that ketchup packet hurtling across the space of our  two  desks –it all happened so fast…the struggle, the “pfffft,” the red blur speeding straight at me… i couldn’t move, like a deer caught in headlights… and BAM! it hit me in the left eye and splattered all across my face.  renee, the girl sitting next to me screamed as i’m sure it looked like i was bleeding profusely from my eye.

then the smell. and worse, the taste of ketchup — plain ketchup– in my mouth. it was okay on a burger every now & then, but plain? involuntarily cast into the taste buds on my tongue?  i gagged a couple of times but didn’t cry (which is a big deal in 2nd grade) and believe it or not, i survived. i went to the bathroom, rinsed my face & mouth — strangely, all the ketchup was contained upon my face – none on my shirt, nothing anywhere but on my face.  crazy. (incidentally i’ve seen this phenomenon one other time in my life – about 6-7 years after that, my family was in a m*donalds in lacey, wa where my brother was sitting at a table squeezing a ketchup packet and “pfffft” the entire contents projectiled onto one of the styrofoam ceiling tiles – i think –eric will have to correct me if i’m wrong– it even eluded a lower hanging ceiling fan…).

so, i share this story to say that my lack of blog entries over the past 8-9 months is completely “weak sauce.”  i have at least 8 maybe 9 drafts started, but nothing that i’ve finished.  i hope to do better from here on out… cheers!  (thanks to the for some sriracha humor)