Anna Bradfield Writes

Discovering the extraordinary in everyday life

The Case of the Ketchup Mystery

Okay, I’m sitting at McDonald’s the other morning (I know, big surprise), and I’m getting ready to leave.

I had basically opened the place that morning. Since I hadn’t slept well the night before, I’d gotten up early and thought I could begin my day with reading and planning – something constructive. Very quickly I realized, my thinking was muddled and my decisions were slow and disjointed.

Abandoning my initial plan, I decided to head into work. As I reached into a purse pocket to search for my keys, my fingers found something wet and kind of oozy instead. I quickly pulled my hand back and found ketchup all over it.

What is going on?!? How did ketchup get into my purse?

My first assumption was that a ketchup packet had exploded or gotten squished in there or something. But the amount of ketchup was probably two or three packets’ worth.

After I used about a half-dozen napkins cleaning the ketchup from my fingers, I removed all of the contents of that purse pocket, being very careful not to disturb the ketchup. I then went to work on wiping the lining, pulling it out so I could make a thorough job of it. Strange thing is, I found no ketchup packet, just a huge glob of ketchup. And not like all over the lining but just in one area. Hmm…

  • Was I so tired that I emptied ketchup packets into my purse for my hash browns? No, I distinctly remember dipping the hash browns into the ketchup on my tray. And there were just two used packets on my tray so…
  • My purse was with me the entire time, save for about a minute when I took my wallet up to order and pay, leaving the rest of it in the booth. Did some stranger think it would be funny to unload two or three packets of ketchup into my purse when I wasn’t looking? I mean, wouldn’t strangers – if they were going to do anything with my purse – take it rather than put ketchup in it?
  • I don’t use the ketchup pump…the ketchup comes out too fast…I think it’s all that extra air that makes the ketchup orange instead of red so…hmm, not that either.

This whole scenario has me baffled still. Isn’t it odd?

When I told my daughter about it, she didn’t see this as odd at all. She thought it was odd that I found it odd, considering I was in McDonalds and there’s lots of ketchup there. I think it’s odd that she doesn’t find this odd.

Lean into the mysteries of life. Find comfort in the reality that you don’t have to know everything. Take a deep breath. And smile.

Your Inspiration Prompt: Until next time, tell us about about the last time life completely baffled you.

Share your thoughts in the Comments section.

photo credit: aquigabo! <a href=”″>The last muse</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

About Anna Bradfield

Anna Bradfield has been spinning tales, exaggerating the truth, and flat-out lying almost as long as she could talk. Nowadays, though, she calls it fiction. Buy her ebooks, Hey Grampa! or Barnyard Babies today. Join the online community and receive a free copy of her ebook, Boy Crazy.

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