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Discussing politics and ketchup

Brian Wolfe



Why can’t we discuss politics on the GMIC? It all has to do with ketchup.

Today my dear wife, Linda, wanted me to go into the City to exchange something or other; I wasn’t listening because I didn’t really want to go. Knowing this she suggested that we stop for breakfast in our small town first. She is a wise woman as she knows my fondness for breakfast meat, not to mention over-easy eggs. This would make me both cheap and easy. I would have been the most popular girl in school had I been born a female.

During breakfast I decided I required a small bit of ketchup for the sausages and in picking up the full bottle I realized that talking politics on the forum was just like what was about to take place. To be clear I am not clairvoyant, just a creature of habit and one who will repeat mistakes with an alarming regularity. The ketchup (or catsup if you prefer) bottles are always full at our local restaurant, the “Old Country Restaurant†or O.C. as we locals refer to it. We live in New Hamburg so we often meet up with friends at the O.C in N.H. It’s a small town thing.

Now for the political discussion comparison; one starts out gently patting the bottom of the bottle in an exercise in futility hopping that by some miracle the contents will flow out easily. When that doesn’t happen we all do the same thing, hit the bottle harder. Perhaps you bounce the neck of the bottle on your finger but the next step is always the same – apply more force. You might see if there is a knife by your plate, which has yet to be used and therefore clean, in order to insert in into the bottle. Thus producing an air space allowing the ketchup’s release from the effects of the bottle’s vacuum. Once in a while this works but most of the time all you end up with for your efforts is a knife covered with the red sauce all the way up the blade and well onto the handle. Now you’re getting a little hot under the collar, but still in control of your inner rage against the physics of a vacuum and Mother Nature herself fort having invented the dammed tomato in the first place. The bottle is now firmly grasped in your left hand and you start to strike the bottom of the bottle with the heel of your clenched right hand. Still nothing! At this point with your spouse showing signs of somewhere between embarrassment and disgust you lose all control. Beating the hell out of the bottle, uttering muffled statements that may or may not cross the line into blasphemy, while everyone in the restaurant looks on wide eyed. “Yes lady you heard me correctly now get over it and piss off!†you think as you notice that kindly eighty year old lady looking your way in shock. You’ve come to the point where you are committed, you will be the master of this bottle and its contents; this is the hill upon which you are will to die! You committed all of your resources and now it is you or the bottle, “No quarter, you’re going down you glass vessel from the lowest bowels of Hell itself!!!!!†RAGE, unadulterated rage!

Then without warning it happens, like some sort of demonic orgasm or an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the red thick sauce finally burst forward covering the largest area of your plate with half an inch of ketchup. The whole place is looking on witnessing your triumph yet missing the point entirely that you were victorious and your manhood is once again verified. Needless to say the trip, to the city and back, was very quiet indeed. Oh yes, here’s tip. If you find yourself in one of these situations where the silence emulating from your significant other is almost “deafening†do not; I repeat, do not, turn on the radio.

And this, my friends, is why we can’t discuss politics on the forum.




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An excellent and impressive analogy.  I think this may be your best work yet, Brian.  Seriously, this could be published.


Nonetheless, I have a few questions:


1) Did you get ketchup on your shirt?

2) Did the half inch of ketchup on your plate make your eggs inedible?

3) Does the OC charge additional for ketchup?


If the answer to these questions is "No" - then I say: No harm, no foul.  Discussing politics can be equally "energetic" as dispensing condiments, but in the end, could result in no real harm, yet adding considerable flavor to the effort.


Of course, I find ketchup too pedestrian for my taste and prefer something with a little more bite - like hot sauce (cue Chris B).  So, if politics are ketchup, then I'll pass.  Too bland.  From my view, I think discussing politics is more like opening a bottle of hot sauce.  A little adds spice and flavor to an otherwise bland dish (e.g. eggs).  Too much and it can overwhelm the subtle flavor of the dish.  To the extreme, it can burn the palate and leave the whole experience best forgotten.


By the way, are you going to eat that sausage?  I'm famished.

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HI IrisGunner,


Actually the eggs were finished and I needed, NEEDED, ketchup for the home fries and sausages so the more ketchup the better.  The OC (thank you for using the vernacular) provides condiments at no additional charge, even if you wear some home on your shirt. 


I fear that I am just about the most unexciting person you could ever meet. In fact if I were a super hero I’d be Bland Man and my costume colour would be beige.  No I would NOT wear a cape, no way, that might make me seem a little to much of an “adventurerâ€.


Hi Megan,


I am so happy to hear that the article made other people think about breakfast; I had an almost uncontrollable urge to go out to the OC here in NH for breakfast all the while I was composing this piece, in fact even now....  ;)

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Have you noticed that the more beautiful land formations and fertile fields follow massive eruptions?  


Joking aside, point taken with agreement.  

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Well Brian, that’s an interesting story, maybe you did miss your calling….


I am going to play devil’s advocate here, however.....


Now for the record, I have not been political on GMIC, and yes politics is not the direction of the forum.

I am a member of a forum called â€œArmy.ca†(not part of the DND) which has not only a “Canadian Politics†section with over 1600 topics, but also is a forum where politics is discussed naturally in other "current affairs" areas where it might be part of the subject.

And yes, the Moderators do have their hands full sometimes, and posts are deleted and members banned – though not often, you really have to push the limits for that to happen. Threads are rarely closed for content, more so for relevance. But then in my view, that’s what a Moderator is supposed to do….

In regards to your premise “Why can’t we discuss politics on the GMIC?†I say to you Sir;


“A cow’s husbands manureâ€


I have noticed over time that the real reason we do not discuss politics here is that the Moderator(s) chose to shirk their responsibilities and take the easy way out instead of doing their jobs and “Moderating†i.e. Edit postings when necessary so that they conform to the forum's content guidelines, delete or move single posts or entire threads when necessary and lock or unlock posts as required. The Moderator(s) simply shill the (incorrect) party line “Politics is Prohibited, Verboten, Interdit, Запрещенные…….which if you take the time to read the rules, is not the case!


Nowhere in the Forum rules does it say “Politics†is prohibited. It says “Overtly political viewpoints are not considered suitable…†“Such topics may only be discussed on the proviso that they do not intentionally or indirectly cross such boundaries and if inappropriate may be subject to moderation (not necessarily closure)â€


http://gmic.co.uk/rules2015.pdf  Then the Moderator(s) generally tend to close the thread.


We wonder why our membership is falling….ask yourself what image do we project when the conversation is flowing along and in pipes the Moderator(s), with what I see as a tone of abject horror, "that we can’t talk politics"…..even if the conversation has not even got to that stage.


Who wants to join when you get treated like a five year old……

Most of us are probably in the 50 – 60+ age group – I’m 60 – and I will tell you I don’t like being treated as a five year old, and I, like others here know the bounds of civility and decency and conform to them.

So please, in the future let thing flow and if things get out of hand “Moderate†don’t “Dictateâ€

My 2c/euro in a nut shell



Bold emphasis mine

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Thank you for your comment Larry, it is appreciated even if if comes from a youngster such as yourself.  It is very difficult to discuss history without the inclusion of politics, perhaps even impossible.  Personally I try to stay away from current events altogether and especially the politics surrounding those events.  That is not to say that I don't follow what is taking place and I do have strong opinions; opinions that would no doubt see more than a few members enraged.  I have indeed taken the time to read the rules, though I am sure your comment was not offered in a mean spirit.  There you see how the written word can easily be taken wrong?  This forum is dedicated to military interest subjects, as the forum's name would indicate, nowhere is it stated that this is a political discussion forum.  Far too often people are not fully aware of all of the facts when it comes to discussing politics and end up only supporting their own party platforms.   


One of the problems with any organization where the rules are far from draconian, such as ours, is that it is open to interpretation.  Using terms such as "overtly" leaves it open to interpretation and in some cases a moderator may make a decision that may be seen as too harsh.  My question is why would anyone want to talk current politics, especially international politics, unless they have a desire to start a fight?  As you pointed out there are sites that allow political discussion and therefore it seems to me that these are the places to visit and therefore keeping the GMIC free of politial debate.  I do like your way of saying "bovine excrement", however I see this forum as one dealing with history, military history, and that I would say is one thing you are full of (history, just to be clear). If I am going to argue with someone let it be over historical facts and not the lies and deceit of politicians.  We can discuss and even argue over history but winning an argument over politics is hampered by the fact that there is a good chance neither one of us knows the truth behind the policy.


In closing let me say that I agree that at times the moderators seem to "hit the button" a little too quickly.  I tend to caution the participants and then probably let things go too far.  There have been times when another moderator will lock a topic to which I have only given a caution but that is a matter of differing opinions on the severity of the trespass.  I do not see you as a child (as in being treated like a five year old) but I think you are aware of this considering the years we've known each other.  On the other hand you and I both know this cannot be said about everyone.  Thanks again for your comment it is food for thought and greatly valued.




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I could talk politics,religion,sexuality you name it without getting bent out of shape, I know I will never change anyones opinion,and I never try to

BUT it seems these hot topic subjects just can't be dealt with by a lot of folks..not that it's a bad thing,they're passionate is all.

So I'm a bit wishy-washy..I think we're grown up enough to talk about what we want..but maybe we need a little guidance.

Either way you hit the nail on the head with your annology...By the way breakfast is king in my book too!! well written



I can't say anything bad about the moderators here,I have seen nothing but a soft hand with the few warnings that I have gotten. I think they acted very professional.


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Thank you for your comments Eric.

I think you and I could kill a couple of pots of coffee over some great discussions on those topics without getting upset.  Too bad that is not awlays the case with everyone. 




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