RSS Feed
Feb 25

Searching for a Ketchup tree

Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 in Little known facts, Rantings, Strange and Unusual

While squidgeing a popular brand of Tomato Ketchup into my cereal this morning I was reminded of a phenomenon that confuses me deeply.

That phenomenon is this*.

(At this point you’re conscious that there’s something to be expected in small print at the bottom of this post aren’t you?  Word treasure… some inside information or a disclaimer maybe?  You scan the page and find nothing and start to feel like you’ve been robbed of something, made to look like a fool perhaps.  You’ve just wasted several valuable seconds of your life searching for the damn thing, but it isn’t there.  It’s either an absent footnote, or it’s written in letters 0.15 pixels high.)

The ketchup bottle in question states the following on the front:


And on the back, it says this:

It’s our* sun ripened tomatoes, along with our… etc

And I’ve searched the entire bottle for the footnote that says something along the lines of:  “*cough – Bullshit! – cough”

… but I’m at a total loss to find it and that, for some reason, pisses me off no end.


Has anyone else seen this secret footnote phenomenon before?  What’s it all about?  Do I need to be a Stonemason to find out the full truth about ketchup, or what?

P.S. This link is not a footnote reference and it’s most definitely not ketchup either.

Bring on the comments

  1. susan says:

    I’d call the customer service telephone number on the bottle and ask. If they admit there’s a purposeless asterisk on the bottle, I’d tell them I was phoning from the Advertising Ethics Committee (or the Asterisk Liberation Front) and improvise from there.

    Infuriating, hunting for something that isn’t there.

  2. Vicki says:

    I just have to ask….what kind of cereal are you squidgeing ketchup into?

    Just curious.

    And yes I do have a problem with an asterisk without an answering one explaining the meaning.

  3. Kirk M says:

    Ketchup on cereal? And I can honestly say that I’ve never ‘made’ a tomato. Always grew ’em first.

  4. I’ve noticed the very thing. Bloody annoying, that. Recently spent hours doing the very same thing on the back of a Walker’s crisps packet – Builders Breakfast flavour are disgusting by the way, although they do recreate the exact same burps you get after a real fry – I would send a ‘Disgusted of Dundee’ type letter.

    PS: Yes, what cereal??

  5. Hails says:

    Crisps were the other example I was going to give. Or confectionery products running competitions to WIN A GRAND*!, with the rules in tiny print which, even if you use a magnifying glass and manage to read them, still don’t include an asterisk explaining that the grand is a small model of a piano or something.

    And what’s all this about cereal* with ketchup, eh? ;)

  6. Nick says:

    It’s probably a marketing ploy. The footnote is only printed on 1 in 10 labels, so you have to buy several more before you can satisfy your curiosity. The footnote is of course *Gotcha!

  7. Jack McMad says:

    Cereal and Ketchup?! Bleurrghhh! It’s like something LadyMc would do, she has a ketchup fetish.
    A huge congratulations on your win at the Blog Awards!!
    Have you tried looking at the reverse of the label, not the bottle?

  8. Natalie says:

    Um…all I can focus on is Ketchup on cereal…(Shudder) sorry.

  9. Baino says:

    We used to put asterisks on things that linked to the fine print relating to trade marks. Perhaps that’s it. Sun ripened tomatoes indeed. It’s called Ketchup cos it’s mostly apples or chokos with a couple of marty’s waved over the top for flavour. Trust me, you don’t want to read the fine print.

  10. K8 says:

    Susan; Oooh confrontation… eep. I’d rather find the CEO’s Merc and squeeze a bottle of ketchup into his fuel tank.

    Vicki; Thanks for commenting :) The cereal thing seems to have touched a nerve, too!

    Kirk; I planted a ketchup bottle this morning to see what would happen. Answer: nothing.

    English Mum; ‘Builders Breakfast’ brings arse cleavage to mind…ugh. Good advice, thanks, I’ll dodge that one.

    Hails; ‘the grand is a small model of a piano or something’ – hahaha that’s hilarious! I must try that one out at the bank later :)

    Nick; I wonder if it has something to do with the labelling scandal? Apparently they’ve done away with the pickle and replaced it with a tomato, and thousands of people are up in arms. I found a Facebook group of protesters with 2,000 members, all wanting the pickle back. I’d say they were sad, but then again they’re not the ones pulling their hairs out trying to find tiny stars.

  11. K8 says:

    Oh, about the cereal/ketchup thing… next time you run out of milk, try cornflakes, ketchup and grated cheese. There is absolutely no reason why this shouldn’t work, if you think about it*.

  12. K8 says:

    Jack Mc Mad; Thanks buddy!!! Yep luckily the bottle was half full, enabling a proper examination of the inside label. Nothing there, or inside the lid, or engraved into the plasticky bits. It’s most definitely a rogue asterisk.

    Natalie; You should try HP sauce in tea! Apparently it’s bleedin’ gorgeous.

    Baino; You’re bang on there. But, curiosity has it that it’s BECAUSE I don’t want to know that I want to know if that makes any sense at all?

  13. Maxi Cane says:

    Ketchup was invented in 1944 as an answer to the Nazis, so popular and strong was the invention that the company put a Z in the name to remind the world that they should never fuck with ketchup lest you feel the wrath.

    P Diddy now carries bottles of it with him everywhere as he has heard it also defends from people realising he has no real talent to speak of.

    Funny, I saw right through that one.

  14. It’s like one of Ireland’s county councils, signposting division, has moved into ketchup labelling as a sideline or something.

  15. K8 says:

    Maxi; Apparently ketchup was around before tomatoes, and was made from pickled fish. Yum. I wouldn’t fuck with pickled fish either.

    Moodog; Ha! You may be on to something there. ‘Dublin 24km*’… (smallprint: *82km if you include the roadworks detours.)

  16. holemaster says:

    That ketchup has issues man.

  17. Rua says:

    I live footnotes*, no really, I do


  18. K8 says:

    I’ve given up on ketchup. It’s Ballymaloo relish from here on in.

Leave a Reply

Gravityscan Badge