the condiment-yeti conundrum

one day, bored at work, i was cleaning out my e-mail inbox and came across something peter had written me when he was in a show i was directing (wanton joy) in which he played elijah, a gay movie theatre manager. when i first read the beginning of the e-mail i just about had an aneurysm. you’ll see for yourself. anyway, as previously stated, i was quite bored and decided to get some payback, albeit several months later. i fired something off, and it hasn’t stopped yet. enjoy.

peter’s initial e-mail:

OK, Cara, ready to hate me?  I (sic) quitting the show.  I’m just not comfortable playing a gay guy.  JUST KIDDING.  Um, but seriously….(continues with non-essential material).

my reply (and the subsequent aftermath):

i must confess.

this is hard for me to do, as i am a very private person. but i feel that in order for us to continue in our friendship, you should know something about me. something that has plagued me throughout my life; something that has sundered friendships and caused temporary periods of estrangement between my family and me. something that i’m not proud of, but have learned to live with.

please do not judge me too harshly. i tell you this only so you can better understand.

god, this is hard. but here it is.

i hate condiments.

salsa. relish. mustard. ketchup. chip dip. sour cream. guacamole. hot sauce. salad dressing. anything that you’ve gotta dip, drizzle, spread or scoop gives me hives. not real ones, i mean metaphorically.

my family tried for years to fill my sparse plates and bare buns with colorful dollops comprised of foodstuffs of unknown origin. nothing worked. and although they no longer ply me with squeezable bottles full of (as they say) “chunky/creamy goodness,” i still catch their eyes on me when we’re gathered for a meal, full of confusion and incredulity, wondering if i am genetically related to them, and, for that matter, to the rest of the species.

mind you, my definition of condiments only applies to the dip, drizzle, spread or scoop items; sauces and seasonings are just fine, thank you very much. i’m not sure how i could survive without a nice alfredo sauce with pasta, or a little pinch of garlic on a thick slice of buttered toast. so, i guess you could say i’m still a sucker for the simmer or shake.

okay, so there it is. my big secret. while i realize that this might change things between us, i hope that things can go on as they’ve been, well, going on. if you need some time away from me to deal with this, i understand. but please, keep an open mind. know that i don’t want to be this way, but for some reason known only to the gods, i am.

thanks for listening.

p.s. – clarification: although you spread peanut butter, it is not on my list of “condiments.”


Ms. Peterson (if that is your real name) –

We regret to inform you that due to your intolerance of condiments, your friendship with one R(onald) Peter Hunt has been terminated. This behavior is inexcusable, and it baffles us that you are able to exist on the same plane as the rest of humanity. Condiment Intolerance is a disease and should be treated as such through extensive counseling and workshopping with our intern Helga. We expect a phone call within ten (10) business days to schedule an appointment. We are here to help you. Have no fear: you will be eating ketchup and ranch veggie dip before long, like the rest of us honest Americans. And you will be loving it! Failure to comply will result in further loss of friendship privileges and the burden of taking care of an Andes mountain yeti for two (2) hundred (00) years. Yes, they live that long. And they eat upholstery. Lots of it. Thank you, and have a great day!

– Jethro Oppenheimer


Mr. Oppenheimer:

First, let me congratulate you on your nifty bomb. Wow! What an instrument of peace! I had no idea you had entered the field of personal injury law. Forgive me for being so behind the times. Please allow me to posit some postulations and query some questions on behalf of my client, Ms. Peterson (hereafter referred to as “Cutiepie”) towards your client, Mr. Hunt (hereafter referred to as “Tex”). They are as follows, including but not limited to and in no particular order:

1. Please be aware that the information contained in Cutiepie’s correspondence to Tex was of a sensitive and personal nature, and as such, she considers the breach of such confidence in extremely bad taste. Shame on you. Shame. Further abuses of trust will, unfortunately but undoubtedly, result in litigation. Seriously.

2. Due to traumatic childhood events, which Cutiepie is understandably reluctant to share due to Tex’s recent blabber-mouthing, she is restricted from being within 20 feet of anyone named “Helga.” Please find a replacement intern. Preferably male, with a name like “Jericho” or “Rafael.” “Dante” would do in a pinch.

3. Cutiepie fully understands that her intolerance for condiments is a little, shall we say, “abnormal.” However, she feels that Tex’s obsessive/compulsive relationship with his cat, “Susie” (aka Booze, Cruise, Cat) should be considered when allegations of abnormality arise. I mean seriously, have you seen the way Tex treats his cat? It’s frightening.

In conclusion, and to conclude, Cutiepie is more than willing to undergo treatment for being a Condiment-Hating Intolerant Person Deficient In Partaking of Salsa (hereafter referred to as “CHIP DIPS”). If you think you can help her where others have failed, go for it. Quite frankly, I hope you succeed, cause this lady’s a real whack-job. Seriously.

Give us a call when “Rafael” is in your employ. We’ll come over post-haste.

Penelope Sassenfrass

P.S. – As to your assertion in which yetis eat upholstery? Now that’s just plain silly. Everyone knows that their staple diet is comprised of garden rakes and Cadbury Creme Eggs.


Mr. Hunt (by way of Mr. Oppenheimer):

Please accept my apologies on behalf of our firm, Attorneys-R-Us, for correspondence dated March 7th written by a certain Ms. Penelope Sassenfrass.

Ms. Sassenfrass has long had a history of paranoid delusions, and when coupled with her recent bout of gout, she turned to “alcohol” and “pills” in a vain attempt to get rid of the aliens in her head and the pain in her big toe. Needless to say, this was not the most effective remedy. As such, Ms. Sassenfrass is currently undergoing treatment at an exclusive “spa” in Croatia (southern region, of course). Rest assured she will no longer be bothering you with such vile and hateful missives. If you like, we can expedite the process of bringing harassment and stalker charges pressed against her. God knows we already have. Better safe than cut up in a garbage can, eh?

Hopefully this letter can also serve as closure in the case of Hunt vs. Peterson (Condiment Intolerance Case #4,529). We believe that no amount of mustard can enhance Ms. Peterson’s already winning smile, sparkling wit and genius level IQ. She adamantly refutes any accusation of attempts to deny others their rightful access to condiments, so I ask you; as her actions hurt no one, can she not be allowed to live her life plainly and without relish? I think so. Or not. Damnation. You get my drift.

If you insist on following through with legal action, be aware that we’re ready for a fight. We’re not called Attorneys-R-Us for no reason, you know. We are attorneys and we fight for the common man. Or common woman, as it were. Oh bother, we’ll fight for whoever pays us the most moola. So if you would like to make a counter-offer, pay-off or bribe, just let us know.

Yours Very Truly And In Complete Friendliness,
Horace J. Picklefeather


Alright, Cara. I think I’m finally ready to come to terms with our problems. Well, actually, your problem, as it were. I am, in fact, ready (against the advice of my attorneys, mind you) to forgive your unwillingness to slop ketchup on your burger, slather your turkey sandwich with copious amounts of mayonnaise, or drown your bratwurst in sweet, sweet relish like any normal person. I’m over it. And although it’ll take some getting used to, I am willing to help you through this troubling time as you are ushered back into respectable society.

Oh, you know, fuck it – this is stupid. This is a sham, a fake! My life up to this point is a lie! The only reason I subjected you to the lashing tongue of Jethro is because I was desperately tryng to cover up my own sick fetish. With yetis. Yes, yetis.

I love yetis. Seriously love them.

Oh, god. Now you understand why I was pushing so hard for your yeti punishment to go through.

Irma the Andes Mountain Yeti and I have been “carrying on” for 29 years now, pretty much since I quit the minors as a star second baseman back in ’68. I’m really 143 years old. I know, I know, I don’t look it. I eat a lot of turnips.  And as much as I’ve tried to come to terms with this vile illness through countless cycles through the Yeti Infatuation Clinic in northern Mesopotamia, I just can’t stop. Every time my roommate Debbie gets a new issue of Randy Yeti Monthly, I relapse tenfold, and the yearning starts anew.

Luckily for us, I just let this guy Jesus into my life, and he’s offered to welcome us into his fold in order to help us with our respective ailments. He’s really helped me to sort through some of this stuff, and has gotten me started on the road to wellness. My life has new meaning, and I feel as though I just got re-shot out of my mommy’s vagerino! And, he lives right upstairs in apartment 6d! He’s new in town, just in from some place called “Meh-hee-ko” or something. I’ve never heard of it. I think it’s near Toronto. It’s hard to understand him because I think he speaks Japanese.

He loves it when you call him “Haaaaaaaaay-Sooooooous!” as though he were just selected to be on the Price is Right, and he smokes some mean hash, man.

I think this is the answer we’ve been waiting for, CP. Lemme know, post haste.



peter –

as grateful as i am that you are willing to overlook my barbaric tendencies towards unadorned food, i must bring up a point that could potentially blow this whole thing open.

you have stated your “serious love” of yetis (by “serious,” i can only infer that you mean “in a non-platonic manner”). you have stated that you have slid down the slippery slope of “yeti addiction” for years. you have stated that this fetish of yours is a “vile illness.”

you must know something, peter. i am also “seriously” “ill” with “addiction” to yetis. one yeti in particular.

his name was boober harrington the third.

what you might not know (indeed, if irma has chosen to remain mum until this point) is that she and i were rivals for his affections while attending sasquatch high back in the late 80’s. yes, i know of this irma of whom you speak. and i hate her more than any other non-human being on this planet. for it was she, your lady love, who stole boober from me during our school’s annual mountain trek, “big feet, big dreams.”

it was all very sordid, and i won’t rehash all the details here, but suffice it to say that when boober was looking for some relish for his wiener, irma provided it. hence, my aversion to condiments. in fact, i often have dreams of pickles waltzing around to the tune of “some enchanted evening,” but replacing the words with “boober’s relish wiener.”

the ironic thing is, irma and i were once very close. i can still remember our sleepovers, her braiding my hair and me picking lice out of hers. she would give me a facial and paint my toenails, and i would pluck out her ingrown hairs and treat her feet with anti-fungal cream. you know, typical girl stuff. but that all changed when boober came on the scene.

star running back, yearbook photographer and “math-lete,” he was every girl’s dream. and it seemed like we were hitting it off, too. but when we went to the “shedding spring fling” dance, it was clear something was up. irma was stunning in her floor-length ivy-green gown, and boober only had eyes for her. shortly thereafter came the hike, and the rest is yeti legend.

so i’m not too kindly disposed towards irma. it’s taken me a long time to get over the feelings of hurt and betrayal. but i think as long as we don’t attend any social functions together, we’ll be fine. just let me know when irma will be expected at an event, and i’ll beat a hasty retreat. the pain is still too deep.

as to this “jesus” character, i’ve never heard of him. we need to be careful now, peter, because we are at a very vulnerable time in our lives. okay, maybe you’re more vulnerable than me, but still. it seems very convenient that he’s moved in right upstairs, and this “speaking in tongues” (japanese) seems fishy too. not to be whiney, but it sounds like it could be a cult. do large groups gather to worship? is there some “holy text” that only the “father” can interpret? are there snacks (most importantly, kool-aid)? i just think we should be careful. do some more research on this guy, and let me know what you find out. if he’s the real thing, it just might be what we need.

but i don’t want to smoke mean hash. i only want the friendly stuff.

yours in hope,

ps – turnips are icky.