>> Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yesterday I berated the woeful inability of our human society to make a superglue dispenser that actually glued the target, not the fingers, and worked more than once without gluing the cap to the tube.

Today, along the same vein, I'm trying to figure out why no one has been able to come up with a better way to dispense fast food condiments. It seems we have two choices.

First, we can use plastic little packets. Lets take a look at this choice in more detail.

Like most plastic packets, condiments don't actually "tear here". Most of them don't even say, "tear here" anywhere, and good luck figuring out which part is the part you are supposed to tear. Unlike in my kitchen at home, I don't often have scissors handy to help myself, and I imagine you don't either. This situation leaves us with a few options, and none of them are any good. We could choose to go without ketchup/mustard/mayo/condiment of your choice. (Usually I pick this option.) We could continue fruitless attempts to tear said condiment packet until we finally manage to wrip the whole side off and splatter condiment fluid over our clothing, the bag, the car, and the person sitting next to us. Or, we could attempt to open the packet with our teeth. I don't even want to think about how messy this one can be. I have never opted for this method, but I have watched people try it. Personally, I just can't imagine how much condiment sauce I would be forced to swallow or spit out once the darn packet finally ruptured. Condiments in such high doses are not altogether pleasant. (Toddler agrees, having tried honey mustard sauce by spoon earlier today.) The last option I can think of for us to open the packet is to pick the "teenage boy" method, meaning that we just lay the packet on the nearest hard surface and punch it so the condiment splatters everywhere.

I'm fairly certain that it was the "teenage boy" method that led to some fast food restaurants removing condiment packets from their restaurants in favor of little plastic cups. We can dispense our condiments from a pump into these cups and snap on the little plastic lid. Well, we can provided that the pump is actually working, has condiment sauce in it, and it dispenses in the general direction of the cup and not elsewhere ... such as our shirts.

Sadly, I think I must rest my case at this point. There is no easy, mess-free way to obtain and use condiment sauces at a fast food restaurant.

In a space age society, I think there must be a better answer. After all, I don't have this problem with my mustard at home ... most of the time, that is. What do the astronauts use in space? Surely they don't use packets. Imagine what floating ketchup balls would do to the shuttle technology. I doubt that the payload of the shuttle carries tubs of sauce with a dispensing spout, either. So, what do they use? Can we try it here? I'm sure it must be an improvement.

At this point, I'm quite relieved that Toddler doesn't seem to like any condiments. I'm sure these days won't last.


Rene December 9, 2009 at 8:38 AM  

Excellent question! I would wager if someone came up with a great new way to dispense condiments that they'd make a mint!! Now I have something new to think about when I can't sleep at night.

Karin December 14, 2009 at 6:31 PM  

Well, if you solve the problem, I expect my cut! Or at least a lot of advertising on this blog. Or at least remember me to all your new rich friends once you are dining with the rich and famous. Or maybe just a "thank you."

On second thought, I'll take 10%.

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