thetakeout.com – The picture above is a real electronic sign on Interstate 90/94 heading southbound towards downtown Chicago. I swear it’s not Photoshopped. I couldn’t believe my eyes when my wife pointed this out to me Saturday. I, sitting in the passenger seat, immediately snapped a picture of this and posted it on Twitter to see if any of my fellow Chicagoans noticed this too.
Chicago has this batshit bizarre antipathy towards ketchup. It’s rooted in the fact Chicago has a hot dog with a specific assemblage of ingredients to which no alterations are condoned. Somehow, ketchup got caught in a tangle of cultural mores, and it became a point of civic pride to reject ketchup in all forms. Some Chicago restaurants even display signs that proudly state their establishment is anti-ketchup, not even on French fries, with cheeky counter placards of a red bottle and big X crossed over.
I was working at the Chicago Tribune in 2011 when I penned a column arguing Chicagoans should stop freaking out about the condiment, even if it’s cute and wink-wink to do so. Some of the e-mails I received were anything but, unless you believe people asking for your deportation is cute or wink-wink. One of the more puzzling responses was, “you weren’t born in Chicago, you’d never understand”—as if the location of where I emerged from my mother’s birth canal afforded me some gastronomic insight.
I see I’m going to have to ramp up my pro ketchup movement, it’s bad enough I’m getting the slander and attacked in my own state but now Chicago wants to step it up a notch with got damn street signs! If it’s condiment war you want, then condiment war you shall get damnit!! Next time i’m in Chicago i’m showing up just like this..