Ketchup-on-Hot-Dog Lovers, Here’s What Detective Harry Callahan Had to Say
BY JUSTIN CASE
The central issue of our time was raised in last month’s Starting Thoughts, in an editorial composed by the illustrious editor of this publication, that issue being the highly controversial practice of adorning hot dogs with ketchup, and then actually eating them. A representative of this publication having been approached by a reader taking issue with the editorial position expressed, we feel it appropriate to respond, reaffirming our position and adding to it.
To support that position, about which we are certain, that ketchup should never be placed on a hot dog, we offer the following corroborative quote, excerpted from that proponent of all things decent and law abiding in this country, Detective Harry Callahan, played by Clint Eastwood in Sudden Impact, sequel to Dirty Harry, that culturally astute motion picture franchise and exponent of social commentary (evidenced by the fact that San Francisco, where the films were set, and which Harry tried to clean up, has since the days of filming descended into an unrecognizable mutation of its once charming nature, characterized now by higher crime, a vast population of vagrants, and the resulting ubiquitous odors of biological functions upon that city’s once pleasurable streets that hovers like the fog enshrouding the Golden Gate Bridge. In other words, the city has hit new lows, and Harry had the good sense to read the handwriting on the wall).
Harry was right then, and he’s right now. So here’s what he said, ketchup-on-dog lovers, as he lambasted a colleague for doing the unthinkable with a hot dog, although they probably embrace that kind of behavior in San Francisco:
“No, this stuff isn’t getting to me,” Harry said, “the murders, the stabbings, the little old ladies being beat over the head for their social security checks, teachers thrown out of a fourth floor window—that stuff doesn’t bother me a bit…or having to wade through the scum of this city, bigger and bigger waves of corruption, apathy, and red tape. No, that doesn’t bother me. But you know what does bother me? Do you know what makes me really sick to my stomach? … It’s watching you stuff your face with those hot dogs. Nobody, I mean, nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog.”
Yet, and this is a foot long yet, there are still those locally, not even San Franciscans (a religious order?), who continue to believe that putting ketchup on hot dogs is somehow okay, which is to say, that it violates no primordial gustatory absolute rooted in the collective gene pool of humanity, of primates even (ever seen a monkey put ketchup on a hot dog?). In other words, yes, it’s okay for you, in the privacy of your home, to put ketchup on a hot dog, and then belch loudly, but that doesn’t mean the very thought of it does not evoke offense among more civilized people, or primates in general, in the way flossing at dinner might evoke a response, an example of bad taste that falls to a similar level of depravity.
There are those who will say, that it is simply a matter of taste, to each his own, that it’s all good, and that there is no accounting for taste (they got that right—remember all those people who bought Billy Ray Cyrus CDs? They probably put ketchup on hot dogs). We say phooey on that. Some things are right and some things are wrong. Putting ketchup on hot dogs is wrong, as are other crimes against nature. Would you, for example, put ketchup on any other cured meat—ham, salami, bologna, bacon? And what about proscuitto?
(Ketchup-on-dog lovers, be sure to pronounce it as you always have next time you dine at a fancy restaurant — PROSQWEETO).