University is tough academically, but also in terms of living. You’re tired, you miss home, and you realise you really should’ve listened to your mum when she offered you some cooking lessons before leaving. You end up cooking plain carbohydrate meals every day. You look in the fridge for a small squirt of taste. There it is. The glorious bottle.
You know ketchup – you probably love it! The tomato sauce goes with so many meals, can completely transform a boring, tasteless dinner, and it reminds you of childhood. Well, some people have regressed, and some people have become… addicted.
One UoS student said ‘When I die, I want my body to be submerged in ketchup, or perhaps my ashes to be made into a limited edition ketchup bottle. Or even better, I could be buried in a gigantic bottle of ketchup! Just as long as I can depart to the other realm with the love of my life then I’m happy. Maybe if I have children, I’ll ditch a Christening, and instead go for the much more religious and holy Tomato-saucening, where a descendant of Henry J. Heinz will draw a little tomato on the baby’s head out of ketchup. I just really love ketchup!’
It’s the new pandemic!
This is an issue very close to my heart; I watched my housemate turn into an absolute ketchup fiend over lockdown, and she has since struggled to recover. I will keep her anonymous to protect her privacy, but these are the warning signs I dismissed, so, reader, if you can relate to any, then please intervene immediately.
- Do they have ketchup with their roast dinner?
This was the first instance in which I noticed the patient’s odd behaviour. In all honesty I thought she was quite the maverick rejecting society’s norms, but I should have known when she didn’t put a normal pile in the corner, but squirted ketchup EVERYWHERE! Imagine going through all the effort to make a roast, and then adding ketchup to it.
- Do they scream ‘MORE KETCHUP’ at McDonald’s?
Depending on hand size, the Maccies workers will give you 2-3 ketchup pots with your order. Well, the patient found this incredibly offensive, throwing fits on the dirty floor screaming ‘more’! The only way we can now take her to McDonald’s is hidden under a blanket at the drive-thru. Ketchup addiction affects everyone.
- Do they keep emergency ketchup in their room?
In the early days, this was a godsend for us all when we ran out and needed to spice up our nuggies, back in the good old days when she would keep it in the cupboard for everyone. But as the addiction developed, the patient began to keep piles and piles in her bedroom, locked away from our ‘thieving hands’.
- Do they even care about the fridge vs. cupboard debate?
Something we all experience when coming to uni is being mocked as housemates discover you do something differently to them. I personally believe ketchup should be refrigerated, and I will not go near a warm tomato sauce, but others are staunch cupboard-ers. The patient, well she was ambivalent. She would eat it at any temperature. Nothing would stop her.
- Are they nonchalant at the thought of eating a glass of pure ketchup for a dare?
Once we discovered there was something wrong with Cerys, *ahem*, the patient, we dared her to eat a whole glass of ketchup in return for a drink. She got a spoon and munched up. She didn’t even care about the free drink, this was a treat to her. Be aware that this can be a very upsetting thing to watch.
Be careful out there guys, and think before you dip!