Sunday, May 31, 2009

The ketchup mishap at Broadway Cafe.

Saturdays are always nice, but this one was extra special as it marks our 17th wedding anniversary. Which means we've really been together for 20 years and two days.

!!! That can't be possible. I'm not that old, AND I still like the guy. Go figure.

We started the day off with breakfast at Broadway Cafe, one of our favorite low key breakfast choices. Great diner food; we've tried a thing or two and you can't go wrong. We always get the #4 anymore: eggs any style, hash browns or home fries, chicken fried steak, and your choice of toast or biscuit. It's usually covered entirely in gravy, but I ask for mine on the side. More than once they've mistaken my request and given me gravy on the plate AND an extra cup of it on the site. So I go to great lengths to explain that I don't want any gravy anywhere on the plate or on the food, ONLY a cup of gravy on the side.

I can't stand it when things get soggy. And there's only so much gravy I can eat, and I tell you it isn't much!

Upon request, Scot hands me the ketchup, and as it appears to be a new, completely full bottle I figure it'll run slow, so I hold the bottle upright and shake it back and forth trying to get things moving. My hand is moving like a paint can shaker, when suddenly...

The cap flies off.

A thick ribbon of ketchup goes up the wall, into the booth behind me (thankfully unoccupied), and comes back around leaving a thick ribbon of it on me from the top of my head, down the side of my face, all the way across my shirt and down into my lap. Most of the bottle vacated in the split second it took me to realize what happened.

I sat there, speechless, holding completely still -- still holding the bottle of ketchup. What DOES one do in a situation such as this? I had no idea, my mind was blank, I just couldn't quite get past, "WTF just happened!?" Scot stares at me with wide, unbelieving eyes and then slowly says, "Oh shit..."

He keeps trying to flag down our server, as I begin the cleanup. The tables have napkin dispensers, but the flimsy little things were no match for the globs of sweet tomato goodness that had found themselves in places even this ketchup lover never imagined: my ear, my hair, my cleavage. Finally someone at another table pointed at us and told our server, "I think they need some help."

She quickly helped to clean up the wall, and gave me a clean wet towel. By this time Scot and I are both laughing so hard we almost fall out of the booth. It wasn't long before the smart-assery began. "You know what I should have done? I should have stood up and yelled, 'GIMME SOME FRIES, STAT!'"

After sufficiently cleaning up to finish our meal, we drove straight home so I could shower; our original intended destination had been the farmer's market. In the car we had to roll down the windows, for the smell of ketchup was so strong it was gagging us. "Smell my hair, is it still in there?"

Yes, it was.

After doing the morning routine all over again, I asked how I looked. "I would like to condiment you on your appearance," he replied.



  1. Classic! There's only two ways out of that situation. The first is to sneak out immediately. Kind of like the scene in the Godfather where Michael Corleone shoots the police chief and the mobster in the restaurant. Just do what you have to do and walk out the front door, don't forget to drop the ketchup bottle. The other way is to do exactly what you did. Act like you just did the coolest thing around. Stand up, laugh hysterically, and not be in the least bit ashamed of the situation. This could be a teaching moment for ketchup etiquette and your experience is an example of what can go wrong. Happy anniversary.

  2. I had a similar experience with a mustard bottle a few years ago. I had that same moment of disbelief. I think I my hand even continued to shake the bottle even as my brain, suddenly aware of the mishap, shouted STOP! WTF, indeed!

  3. LOL! Good story, nicely told. I especially love the part where the car reeked of ketchup.