Jason Deal

There apparently is no shortage of ketchup.

It hasn’t been all that long ago that folks were hoarding all sorts of basic necessities. Toilet paper was hard to find. Cleaning supplies were cleared out. Bottled water shortages also apparently affected a few people. I just kept drinking water from my tap.

But, there is no shortage of ketchup.

After the hoarding, then everyone had to stay at home in a shelter in place and after that they were slow to go back to work and that disrupted the supply chain.

Why, land sakes, people, it even affected the efficient, timely delivery of ranch dressing.

I couldn’t get ranch dressing for my chicken fingers at a local restaurant the other day.

And, one of them ran out of both Doritos® and chocolate chip cookies on the same day at the same time, namely when I was hungry and stopped in for lunch.

Why isn’t someone doing something about that?

All of these politicians that are making the rounds trying to see who can dress, act and sound like Donald Trump don’t impress me much. Ditto for the one brand that promises me they are going to give me everything I want for free and eliminate all order and for the other brand that is going to cut my taxes for the umpteenth time and implement a state church. I don’t want any of those things. I would settle for some problem solving and some decency for starters.

Then, tell me what you are going to do about getting the supply chains back in order, stop people from hoarding and insuring adequate supplies of ranch dressing, Doritos® and chocolate chip cookies and I might  — I said I might — consider voting for you.

Just in case you didn’t know, though, we have plenty of ketchup. There is no ketchup shortage.

My Grandma Jones, God rest her soul, had stumbled upon the over-abundance of ketchup long ago.

The bloodiest movies she probably ever watched were the Westerns John Wayne was in. Incidentally, she preferred him for president over Ronald Reagan, but that’s another story.

No, she had heard on the news that movies were getting to be more violent, gory and gruesome.

She knew the answer.

While the truth is we are callous and have gotten jaded and numb to such violence, Grandma’s answer was simpler.

“The ketchup factories are making more ketchup,” she said matter-of-factly. “The Hollywood Studios can buy ketchup in bulk.”

She always had a way of explaining things.

Maybe that does explain it. The ketchup factories put in an express lane.

When I went up to the talking box the other day in the drive thru, I ordered some cholesterol laden fries because I didn’t want to eat lettuce.

I decided maybe ketchup would make my fries yummier. That advice came from my good friend, fellow journalist and current Homerville mayoral candidate Len Robbins.

I asked the nice lady in the talking box for two packs of ketchup for my fries.

I rolled up to the window and received my order.

When I got to the office to enjoy my fries, I was in for a surprise.

I’m not good at math, but I had more than two packs of ketchup. I am sure of that. It was more than two and less than a co-billion, but it was somewhere in between. I lost count after I got beyond counting my fingers and toes.

But, one thing is for sure, and it goes without saying, but I am going to say it anyway.

There is no shortage of ketchup.

• Jason Deal is the news editor for The Blackshear Times. Reach him at jdeal@blacksheartimes.news.