Ketchup Chips are a Canadian Thing?

Right this minute, there is a news story on TV, in honour of Canada Day, all about the words “eh”, “knapsacks”, and “washroom”, and how ketchup chips are a Canadian thing.  American friends, I must know this for true: are there no ketchup chips in the States?  Really?  If that is true, I am very sad for my friends south of the border.  I am also sad that this is the news channel I watch of my own volition.  Who needs real news anyway, when I can marvel over Americans calling them “candy bars” instead of “chocolate bars”? 

Related to the state of my mind right now: Jake and I just sang “Call Me Maybe” together and it was a proud, proud moment for me.

Also a proud, proud moment: on Thursday I took the boys to the local amusement park where we met up with friends, and the kids rode the log ride all by themselves.  For me, this is quite possibly the greatest developmental milestone ever, the fact that I never again have to sit in a big plastic log zipping down a big slide with slimy, possibly decades-old water splashing all over me.  And why was I feeling verklempt about the passage of time?  For no good reason, that’s why.

Speaking of the rapid passage of time, today I heard on the radio – not my usual oldies station, but an actual modern, for-the-young-people station – something disturbing.  For the long weekend, the station was playing various number one hits from years past.  One of the flashback years was 1995. 

Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, 1995 does not seem so long ago.  It doesn’t seem worthy of a flashback hit.  But then again, when they played the song, I could clearly recall dancing to it in the bar, probably while drinking a vodka slime out of a jug, and wearing a crop top and high waisted jeans, with my Rachel haircut.  I was twenty years old: a significant number of years have passed since those days.  All I’m saying is that I can really understand how old people say that something happened a couple of years ago, when the reality is that the relevant event really took place decades ago.

More on the passage of time: this weekend my parents took the kids up to the lake without me.  This is the first time such a thing has happened; my parents have looked after my kids overnight before, but this was the first time that they have been taken to a second location.  After typing that I realize that I just made it sound like my parents abducted the kids, but no.  A fabulous time was had by all.  They celebrated Canada Day by going to the nearby small-town parade, where they waved flags, ate ice cream, and went on bouncy castles and through obstacle courses.  They had a great time.  I, on the other hand, celebrated Canada Day by eating scrambled eggs and drinking coffee while watching episode after episode of Mad Men, nursing a little hangover since I was at a party the night before and I didn’t get home until almost 11:30.  See what happens when the kids are away?  NICOLE’S GONE WILD. 

My husband and I went up to the lake to spend the night and bring them home today.  When I asked them if they missed me, the answer was “Um, not too much.” and “It was kind of MORE fun with just Grandpa and Grandma!”  Well, I guess that’s to be expected.  I’m not exactly known as Super Fun Mom – I did, after all, just buy them math flash cards, some workbooks, and journals for the summer. 


  1. It’s true – Americans have no ketchup chips. Also, what they call “smarties” are actually “rockets” – not chocolate at all.


  2. lmrwells says

    I can only speak for Bi-Coastal Americans but I have nev seen or even heard of ketchup chips. Are they ketchup flavored chips? Am confused.

    I can’t wait until youngest is old enough for the grandparents to abduct both kids for the weekend!


  3. BusyMomofTwins says

    Love this post. I just had a flash back to 1995 while read it! I was in high school but no doubt had on a flashy pair of white Levi’s button fly jeans on and a lot of hairspray in my hair!
    I also laughed out loud at your final line. Being a mom is a tough job. Enjoy those flash cards!

  4. Also Americans wear shoes IN THE HOUSE. I use to think this was behaviour that existed ONLY on tv or in films (like having a phone number that starts with 555), but it turns out that they don’t take their shoes off at the front door. This is very, very wrong. Like ketchup chips. Which are awful and too sweet.

    I love going on log rides. Any water-flume type ride is my kind of fun. I’m a woman of simple tastes.

    • Growing up we never took our shoes off (except boots in the winter). Living in the Pac NW now, however, everyone takes off their shoes at the door because for 9 months of the year they are wet and likely muddy. Damned rain…

    • AHA! I have always thought of the Pacific Northwest as Little Canada. I’m taking Maggie’s comment as confirmation of the fact.

  5. I think I have occasionally seen ketchup chips (and pickle chips) in a store, but they’re definitely a specialty items.

    I might say either candy bar or chocolate bar if I were talking about a bar of chocolate—but if I were referring to the whole assortment of bars available, including all the ones that don’t have any chocolate, I’d say “candy bars.”

    Lots of people in the U.S. do take off their shoes at the door. We don’t at our house, but I always have to pay attention when I visit someone else, to see if THEY do.

  6. They seriously don’t have ketchup chips.
    Nor all dressed.
    Nor dill pickle.
    I was always asked to bring them across the border for my co-workers.
    Oh and did you know that our fast food joints are better than the US ones? I had to bring McDonald’s burgers across the border too (well after the cow meat ban)
    1995 was a good year. Not too long ago. Jeesh. Kids these day.

  7. Last year or the year before (time is running together in my old age) I was sent “All Canadian Chip Flavours” from Lays. I think it contained Ketchup, Dill Pickle, Sour Cream and Cheddar, and something else that I hated so I can’t recall it. I do know that when our friend moved down to LA, we were tasked with sending him a supply of Sour Cream & Cheddar chips every so often.

    I’ve always enjoyed Log Flume rides, but now that I think about how old that water likely is, I’m more than a little grossed out. Thanks for that.

  8. We have ketchup chips in stores in Oklahoma. My husband loves them.

  9. Wait. You were only TWENTY in 1995?

  10. I am obsessed with Call Me Maybe. I saw a viral video last week of the Harvard Baseball team doing a little choreographed number to it in their van on their way to a game (go youtube it right now). Now every time we get in the minivan we have to have a Call Me Maybe marathon. My youngest knows all the words. I am a PROUD MAMA.

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