Area Man Unsure What To Do With All The Extra Ketchup Packets

In This Section

Vol 37 Issue 08

Guidance Counselor Prefaces SAT Results By Talking About Test's Flaws

MAHWAH, NJ–In a preamble that boded poorly for the academic future of Mahwah High School senior Kevin Stember, guidance counselor Elvin Cross prefaced Stember's SAT scores by downplaying the test's reliability and worth Monday. "You know, the SAT is a flawed, inexact measure of one's abilities," a grim-faced Cross told Stember. "It measures what you know rather than what you're capable of doing." Cross added that there are many essential real-life skills the SAT fails to gauge, like punching in on time and maintaining a clean uniform.

Eminem Releases Single About Hugging Elton John At Grammys Then Ripping His Dick Off With Pliers

LOS ANGELES–With the nation still buzzing over his Feb. 21 Grammy Awards duet with Elton John, Eminem released a single Tuesday inspired by the performance. Among the song's lyrics: "I was at the Grammys and Elton John gave me a hug / So I got out my pliers and ripped his little faggot dick off with a tug / Shoved it down the throats of Britney, then Christina A. / Probably gave both of the bitches AIDS." John praised the song as "brave" and "coming from a very pure place."

Greenspan Considering Role In Ocean's Eleven Remake

WASHINGTON, DC–Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan confirmed Monday that he is considering a role in the upcoming remake of the 1960 Rat Pack heist caper Ocean's Eleven. "Tell [director Steven] Soderbergh I get the Dean Martin part, or he can take a flying hike," Greenspan, already in character, was overheard telling his manager at the posh D.C. eatery La Gondola. "I'm not canceling three weeks at Caesar's for the Lawford part. I can act rings around that fairy boy Brad Pitt and still satisfy five dames before his pants are off. Bada bing."

Television Executive's Baby Cancelled In Development Stage

LOS ANGELES–Deeming the fetus "not viable at this time," ABC vice-president of programming Lew Schaffer pulled the plug Monday on his unborn child after 11 weeks in development. "The baby was making impressive progress," Schaffer said. "But, unfortunately, it did not meet the needs of this network's vice-president of programming at this time." Schaffer expressed sympathy for Liz Harris, his former personal assistant and the fetus' co-creator, saying: "This was a hard decision, because I know this thing was really Liz's baby."

Improving NASCAR Safety

NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18 has prompted widespread calls for tougher safety measures. What steps is NASCAR taking?

Twister Party Fails To Get Dirty

LOUISVILLE, KY–Despite expectations that a group of adults playing the physically demanding Milton Bradley game would degenerate into a sexual free-for-all, University of Louisville graduate student Amanda Corcoran's invite-only Twister party failed to get dirty, a disappointed party attendee reported Saturday.

Layoffs And The R-Word

Every day, another major company announces thousands of layoffs, stoking fears of an economic recession. What do you think?

Government Report On Illiteracy Copied Straight From Encyclopedia

WASHINGTON, DC–Scandal erupted Monday, when it was discovered that a recent Department of Education report on illiteracy was copied directly from the 1982 Encyclopedia Britannica. "Illiteracy is the inability to read," the plagiarized report read in part. "It affects many nations, including the United States." Responding to the controversy, Education Secretary Rod Paige argued that the department was told it could use Library of Congress materials in reports.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Business

Healthy Eating

Area Man Unsure What To Do With All The Extra Ketchup Packets

ERIE, PA–After finishing his Big Bacon Classic Combo, area resident and Wendy's patron Don Turnbee, 38, expressed uncertainty Monday regarding what to do with all the extra ketchup packets.

Turnbee during a September 2000 visit to Wendy's.

"I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with all these," said Turnbee, gesturing toward the pile of seven to ten ketchup packets on his tray. "I guess I could give them back to the guy at the counter, but I don't know if he'd take them. They'd probably be considered used."

Added Turnbee: "I touched them, but they're not opened or anything."

Turnbee said he requested the extra packets upon placing his order, which included a ketchup-necessitating Biggie Fries. The cashier, Ricky Nunez, 41, responded by reaching below the counter and tossing a large fistful of packets onto Turnbee's tray.

"I knew it was too many ketchups, because I usually only need three or four for my Biggie Fries," Turnbee said. "But I just took them anyway."

Compounding his sense of guilt is the fact that the condiment bar at the Buffalo Road Wendy's features a ketchup pump, eliminating the need for packets altogether.

"I didn't see the pump thing, so I just asked for ketchup with my order," Turnbee said. "Pretty much all the fast-food places have the pumps; the packets are usually just for drive-thru and to-go orders."

Turnbee said he is leaning toward bringing the packets home with him. He noted, however, that he would have little use for them.

"I could bring them home, but there's already a ton of them there," said Turnbee, who has an estimated 350 packets of Heinz, Hunt's, and generic "fancy"-grade ketchup in his kitchen pantry. "Somehow, wherever I go, I always wind up with lots of extra ketchup packets."

Over the past year, Turnbee has made numerous attempts to avail himself of the excess ketchup, including making it available to colleagues at his place of work.

"I once tried to put them in the breakroom so people eating lunch could help themselves," Turnbee said. "But a couple weeks later, I noticed hardly any had been taken. When I asked people why they weren't taking any, they said they didn't need ketchup or had ketchups from their own fast-food meals."

As for returning the kitchen-pantry packets to their various restaurants of origin, Turnbee demurred. "I was going to do it, but I thought it would look weird handing a big box of ketchups to a manager," Turnbee said. "Maybe I could leave them at someplace's drive-up after they close. But then they'd just throw them away."

A drawer in Turnbee's refrigerator overflows with excess restaurant condiments.

"I wish someone would take these off my hands," Turnbee continued. "A few fell out of my glove compartment onto the floor of my car the other day, and [Turnbee's son] Devin stepped on them and mushed them into the carpet."

The situation was exacerbated last Thursday, when Turnbee purchased an 18-ounce bottle of Heinz ketchup while grocery shopping. Having temporarily forgotten that he possessed a three-year-plus supply of the condiment in the form of single-serving packets, Turnbee invoked the wrath of his wife Shelly.

"I said to him not two days ago, 'Don, don't you dare bring home any more ketchup, because it's practically coming out of our ears,'" Shelly Turnbee said. "So what does he do? He buys more ketchup! He said the bottle in the fridge was almost empty. Well, of course it was almost empty: There was no need to replace it, since we had half a million ketchup packets overflowing our pantry. And we couldn't return the new bottle, either, because he'd already opened it."

Though the ketchup collection shows no signs of diminishing, Turnbee said he feels simply discarding the packets would be wasteful.

"I guess I'll just have to bring ketchups with me whenever I go to a fast-food place," Turnbee said. "And I'll need to make sure the employees don't sneak any into my bag. I just hope I can remember to do that; otherwise, I'll wind up with even more."

In addition to ketchup packets, the Turnbee pantry is crammed with hundreds of other restaurant condiments. Among them are single-serving packets of Taco Bell "Mild" sauce, Arby's Horsey sauce, soy sauce from the Wok 'N' Roll at Millcreek Mall, McDonald's Chicken McNuggets hot-mustard sauce, pats of Shedd's Spread Country Crock from Ponderosa Steakhouse, and a selection of Smuckers jellies and jams from several Erie-area diners.

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More