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How to Grow Ketchup

A knowledgeable government agency has recently discovered that ketchup is a vegetable, capable of providing valuable nutrients to the nation’s schoolchildren.

To assist the public in taking advantage of this new information, we are offering the following instructions for home cultivation:

  1. Pick up a few extra ketchup packets with your next quarter-pounder.
  2. Prepare a large plot, tilling the soil and breaking up the larger clods.
  3. Plant the packets in rows, six inches apart.
  4. Irrigate daily with a mixture of water, vinegar, and sugar.
  5. As vines grow, keep them free of weeds and small animals. With patience and faith, your young plants should produce.
  6. Bottles will be red and firm when ripe; they will pour with infuriating slowness. (If left too long on the vine, the ketchup will graduate into full-scale picnic-table vats, complete with pumping spouts.) Pick a ripe bottle, remove top, slather over your favorite junk food, and enjoy.

Remember: Every serving of ketchup means one less serving of lima beans.

First Prize, Humor, Foster City Writers’ Contest

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