I loathe condiments. All of them. Yep, even ketchup. Why? Partly because they’re repulsive. But mainly because they’re just plain wrong—psychologically wrong, environmentally wrong, even biblically wrong… Question: After Jesus busted out all those loaves and fishes to feed the multitude, did he ask if anybody wants tartar sauce on their cod hoagies? (No.)
I have this theory about people who feel compelled to eat their food with condiments: They’re a bunch of prudes. They can’t stand the sight of nude food. Growing up, they were taught that food must always be covered up with a chaste layer of ketchup, mayonnaise, or mustard. Call me a voyeur; call me a pervert—wait, are you calling the police?—but I can think of nothing more beautiful to behold than a buck-naked crinkle-cut French fry, all tanned golden brown and glistening with hot grease.
My abstinence from condiments requires constant vigilance. They’re lurking everywhere—under buns, inside wraps, on that guy’s sweatpants. By default, most sandwiches come slathered in the stuff. It never fails: I order a “plain” cheeseburger, taking care to enunciate—“puh-lain.” I take a big, lusty bite—BLECK! The burger bite comes sliding right back out of my mouth like a newborn calf, landing on the tabletop with a plop. Something is seriously wrong. “Please God, please God, please God,” I whisper. Hands shaking, I throw open the bun to reveal this nightmarish mishmash of ketchup and mustard. I try to scream, but no sound comes out. It’s like opening my shower curtain and finding some guy in a ski mask crouching in the tub.
Ranch dressing deserves special treatment. This stuff has all but ruined one my favorite foods: pizza. It used to be such a fun, spontaneous meal. The beauty of pizza is that it requires no plates or utensils, just a pair of pants to wipe your hands on. You scoop up a slice, erect a little scaffold of fingers under the crust, and insert the pointy part in your pie-hole. Repeat until ill. Nothing could be simpler or more delicious.
The ranch addict, however, has turned eating pizza into a perverse ritual. Before we can even pop the hood on the pizza box, she must dash to the fridge and fumble around in that ghastly menagerie of jars and bottles jam-packed in the door rack. “I know there’s some in here,” she says in a panic-stricken voice. “Found it!” she cries fifteen minutes later, holding up a spattered, collapsed bottle of Hidden Valley. Time to eat, right?
Wrong. Now she must spend another seven minutes searching for a suitable dish to serve as a dipping station. “This Thanksgiving turkey platter should do the trick,” she says. By the time she returns to the table, the pizza is cold. No matter. Snatching up a slice, she balls it up and swabs it in ranch like she’s going to wax her Volkswagen.
Mark my words: Ranch dressing will bring about the downfall of mankind. Perhaps it will begin with two lovers curled up on the futon for their weekly viewing of The Notebook. (Aww, it’s my favorite scene!—the part where those two old folks spoon each other to death.) Kyle and Katie, we shall dub our lovers for the sake of alliteration, are sharing a snack of carrot sticks and, of course, ranch dressing. Katie dips a carrot stick in ranch and playfully dabs Kyle’s nose with it. Feigning anger, he frowns and waggles his finger at her. “You look like a lifeguard!” she says, giggling. “Adult swim!” he bellows, cupping his hands to his mouth. We reach the pivotal moment.
Katie leans in and licks the ranch off Kyle’s nose. She recoils like she’s received an electric shock. Her pupils dilate, spreading like drops of ink until her eyeballs are completely black. Her lips twitch. An ancient hormone, slumbering for millenniums in a forgotten gland, awakens inside our sweet, innocent Katie.
Instinctively, she seizes the bottle of ranch and dumps the contents on Kyle’s head. Before he can protest, she’s on him like a piranha. In nine seconds flat, nothing remains of poor Kyle, except for a tattered pair of tighty-whities. Up the wall and across the ceiling scampers Katie, like one of those demonic double-jointed kids in Japanese horror movies.
Once Katie and Kyle’s tragic story becomes a trending topic on Twitter, cases of ranch-induced cannibalism will start popping up all over the globe. The world will devour itself.
Welcome to the apocalypse…