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  • Writer's pictureDana Starr

Ketchup is the Salsa of My People

I've only recently been made aware that other people do not think of ketchup as a major food group. Also, other people spell ketchup like this: catsup. I don't know who these other people are, but I hope to never meet them because, obviously, they are sick and disturbed. I don't ordinarily sit around and think about ketchup. Ordinarily, I sit around and think about chocolate, peanut butter, cookies, chili cheese dogs, pizza and Channing Tatum, but not ketchup. I'm thinking about it now only because a dear lady, and reader of this blog, commented on some dumb post I put on Facebook about how much I love Allsup's burritos with ketchup. She responded by stating that she doesn't eat ketchup on her burrito. I was aghast at this silly notion, and I'm seriously reconsidering if we can remain friends. Burritos and ketchup go together like biscuits and gravy, beans and cornbread, Fritos and bean dip. How can you not know this?

Of course, I realize that not everyone is as emotionally invested in the burrito as yours truly. My obsession with the delicate fried goodness led to my first, but not only, brush with the law at the tender age of 12. I'd decided to eschew the school cafeteria for the more gastronomically appealing Burger Barn. The little gang of thugs I hung around with wouldn't be caught dead in the school cafeteria, and being the natural follower that I was, and still am, I happily tagged along. The only problem was that I had a giant school lunch ticket; it was good for a solid month, and each day the lunch lady would poke one hole in it. There was only a couple of holes poked in it when I decided to stop using it, and join the cool kids at the Burger Barn.

I had neglected to inform my mother of my plan because I knew she'd disapprove. I had also neglected to figure out exactly how I was going to pay for my burrito, Hershey's chocolate bar, and Coke, but happily the lady behind the counter helpfully suggested that I could start a tab. What a brilliant concept. Buy it now; eat it now; pay for it later. Problem solved. I was in heaven. I was no longer forced to eat a sloppy joe and cold tater tots with the booger pickers. I was part of the elite; The In Crowd; the future movers and shakers of the world. I ate a burrito, Hershey's chocolate bar, and Coke every single day for a month. It's a wonder I didn't get rickets. What I got was a bill at the end of the month.

I had no money, but I had the ability to come up with a pretty good story on the spot. I managed to stall the management of the Burger Barn by explaining that my parents were missionaries in Africa, and just as soon as they returned home I would be able to pay my mounting debt. This worked for several weeks before they cut me off. I had racked up quite a bill, and they were no longer buying my BS.

This is where most kids would've called it quits, but I'm no quitter. I'd watched my mom write checks at the grocery store and the beauty shop and whatnot. I knew how to write a check, and I practiced forging her signature till I had it down cold. Stealing a blank check out of her purse was a piece of cake. I waited till she dropped me off at my piano teacher's house, and I hastily filled out the check while my teacher finished up with one of the booger pickers. I distinctly remember the rush of relief I felt as I signed my mom's name with a flourish. Problem solved.

The next day I presented the check to the Burger Barn, and was able to continue eating burritos with the cool kids for several weeks until the damn check bounced and the jig was up. I got yelled at and grounded, and I was forced to miss Lisa's slumber party which I'm still mad about, but my mom let me continue eating at the Burger Barn after I made restitution and the brouhaha died down. So, I guess crime does pay.

I've always loved Allsup's burritos because they taste exactly like a Burger Barn burrito, and they are world famous; it says so right on the sack. For my international followers, I understand that you may not know what a world famous Allsup's burrito is; that's why I included a picture of me holding one in my fat fist. Allsup's is a convenience store, and the only reason to go in one is to buy their delicious burrito. You will smell like burrito for the rest of the day, but I don't consider that to be a bad thing. Also, I get that you may not have ketchup in your country, but just know that ketchup is to a redneck, like me, what salsa is to the people of Mexico. Ketchup is the salsa of my people.

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