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The Times
  • Jeff Vrabel: The wonder of ketchup

  • It's Memorial Day weekend (or it recently was Memorial Day weekend — I'm really not sure when they knock out these newspapers, and of course time has no meaning on the Internet, where you can knock out six hours of staring at kitten videos and angry cattle memes and it'll feel like about nine minutes). So...
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  • It's Memorial Day weekend (or it recently was Memorial Day weekend — I'm really not sure when they knock out these newspapers, and of course time has no meaning on the Internet, where you can knock out six hours of staring at kitten videos and angry cattle memes and it'll feel like about nine minutes). So it stands to reason that you, along with your friends, family and assorted condiment aficionados, will be consuming sizable quantities of ketchup. 
    This is natural. People like to put ketchup on all sorts of things, especially when those things are former food objects that have been mortally wounded by terrible cooks. It is also the worst news imaginable to my friend Matt, who, in college, possessed a fear of ketchup so pervasive and entertaining that you could literally chase him around the living room with a bottle going "COME ON, MATT, DON'T YOU WANT A LITTLE EXTRA ZING ON THAT HOT DOG?" and he would flail around like you were wipe his face with a sopping wet diaper. Come to think of it, that wasn't very nice of us to do, was it? Jeez, sorry Matt, but in our defense, it's rare that one gets such an energetic reaction to the deployment of a common condiment.
    Anyway, as any human on Earth, as well as Mitt Romney, will tell you, the worst part of ketchup is — say it with me — how you can't get it to pour out of the bottle without whapping the bottle against the counter, smacking the bottom of the bottle with your fist, threatening the bottle with a headlock, driving over the bottle with your van or tank, sawing the bottle open with a professional-grade blade or throwing the bottle into the midst of a pack of starved and violent wildebeests. This last one is actually a pretty serious logistical nightmare, so we highly recommend against it.
    But fear not, as researchers at MIT, and yes I mean MIT like MIT like I'm starting to think maybe my kids could get in there after all, have announced what can only be described as the single best piece of ketchup-related news you will probably hear in your entire life, at least until Mark Zuckerberg buys Heinz: They invented a non-stick ketchup bottle. Yeah. A NON-STICK KETCHUP BOTTLE. And you thought when NASA ran out of space-shuttle money that was it for notable American scientific breakthroughs.
    So what's MIT's trick to getting ketchup to come out and play so quickly and painlessly? Simple: They lined the bottles out of butter. No, actually the magic ingredient is something called LiquiGlide, a spray that coaxes the ketchup (or dressing, or mustard, or pudding, whatever) out of the bottle as if it were water. There's a YouTube video for you condiment conspiracy theorists; just go to YouTube, search for "fast pouring ketchup bottle" and then marvel that searching for condiment videos on the Internet has become an actual part of your day, and probably go ahead and start making some serious lifestyle adjustments.
    Page 2 of 2 - But it's not just slipperiness: LiquiGlide is apparently thick with benefits; its website goes on to say that it'll not only prevent wasted food clinging for dear life to the sides and bottoms of ketchup bottles, but will allow for smaller caps, which is good for the environment somehow! 
    But mostly, LiquiGlide is also, according to the nerds on the website, 100 percent safe. "We found a way to make the coating from edible, FDA-approved food materials that won't mix or leach into the contents of the bottle," boasts the FAQ page on the LiquiGlide page. If this assertion is true, a chemical designed solely for the increased convenience of ketchup dispersement is officially healthier than most of your kids' school lunches, so maybe we can just start making LiquiGlide burritos or something? 
    Jeff Vrabel wonders if LiquiGlide can be used to assist in the applying of pants. He can be reached at http://jeffvrabel.com and/or followed at http://twitter.com/jeffvrabel.
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