Monday, July 16, 2012

the ketchup packet.

Sit back and relax a moment. I want to tell you the story of the ketchup packet.

About 15 years ago, our good friends Mark & Mary told us a funny story about a mutual acquaintance. This mutual person was well known for being... cheap.

Mary invited said cheapskate for a picnic at a lake. Now, I don't know about YOU, but when I am invited somewhere, I bring everything I can possibly think of to help the hostess out. Food, drink, whatever. To his credit, the cheapskate asked what he could bring. Mary told him 'bring something to drink and eat'.

He and his wife showed up with 2 wine coolers and a bottle of ketchup.

This story remains a running joke with the 4 of us, and the next time Mary invited us over, we brought one of those little packets of ketchup as a joke.  (along with all the other stuff). (I am not a cheapskate) (or an idiot).

Over the past 15 years, this ketchup packet has been passed back and forth between us. At some point, I wrapped the damn thing, and it has stayed that way - wrapped in brown mulberry paper and ribbon ever since.

We don't just GIVE it to each other, we HIDE it during our visit. And the rule is that if it is discovered before departing, tough. You keep it until the next visit.

Sometimes it's planted in a purse, a coat pocket, it depends on the situation. One time I found it in our mailbox after they pulled away... On our last visit to their house, I hid it in their medicine cabinet. (I broke all my own rules on that one - I NEVER open someone's medicine cabinet) (but this was for the ketchup, so it was ok)

Mark and Mary came over Saturday night for dinner and fireworks. We knew we were getting the ketchup back. Half the fun is trying to figure out where it's going to be found... After they left I did a quick search in all the usual places (including MY medicine cabinet). Nothing. Mary must have gotten VERY creative this time. I didn't find it until the next morning, when, as I set up breakfast and reached for napkins... I found it. Under the top 2 napkins, ensuring that I wouldn't see it until morning.

Well played, Flannery. Well played.