The Condiment Queen by Becca Dextraze
Story by Becca Dextraze | Illustration by Brittany Nelson
I am the Condiment Queen. I love mustard. I love mayonnaise. But most of all I love ketchup.
One Saturday morning, as usual, my father asked me if I would like to go to Tim Horton’s for breakfast. Immediately my mind traveled to the past visits we had to Timmy’s.
We would walk in, order two sausage breakfast sandwiches, a medium black coffee and a small ice cap. Occasionally we order a hash brown or two and lots of ketchup. We collect the food and sit down in my favorite section in the coffee shop. My father will take a few packages of ketchup from me before I use them all. I apply a packet of ketchup to every layer in the sandwich and place a bit of ketchup on the napkin to dip into. By this time my father is already half finished his sandwich. It is not that he is a fast eater, I am just quite slow in preparing mine. I begin to eat. All too soon all the ketchup is gone. I smile at dad and he smiles back knowingly as I stand up and take a few steps toward the pick up counter.
The reason I have a favorite section in the shop is because it is so close to the counter. I stand there till one of the employees notice me and ask me what I would like. I ask them for about five more ketchups.
Usually I don’t have to do so because on Saturdays our favorite employee is there, Elaine. When she sees me at the counter she immediately goes to the ketchup stash located at the sandwich table and brings me a good 10 ketchup. Finally, after my father begins commenting on how we should be leaving, I finish, dispose of the garbage and wave at Elaine.
My mind returned to the present. I smiled at my dad and said we should take Elise. I thought about how there never really seemed to be enough ketchup as I was getting ready to leave. And then it came to me.
I ran down the stairs past my dad and opened the fridge. And there it was. Shining, beautifully full to the brim and radiating joy. I reached in and carefully took it out. I was going to bring my own bottle of ketchup so there wouldn’t be any need to get up and ask for more.
My father notices the bottle once we are in the truck and laughs his deep, contagious laugh. Elise and I join in. We reach Timmy’s and order the usual. Elaine spots me and the ketchup bottle and begins to laugh. We go sit at our table and find Uncle David and his boss at the table next to us. He also begins to tease me when he sees what I have brought. For the first time in all my history with Tim Horton’s there was enough ketchup on my beloved breakfast sandwich. Still Elaine teases me about it and Uncle David too.
Rebecca “Joe” Dextraze (story) resides in The Awesome Town, more commonly known as Wetaskiwin. She is thirteen and in grade 8 with the School Of Hope CyberSchool. She dances at DanceFX (aka the most amazing dance studio on earth), and wrote this epic story in grade 7. She was born on an island, Grand Cayman, and likes pickles. Consequently, she is one of the most amazing children on earth.
Brittany Nelson (illustration) is an aspiring artist slash massage therapist slash banker living in Wetaskiwin, Alberta.