The Tomato

Illustration: Marta Kierkus

Multi-brand battle for dominance takes toll on citizens

Tensions were high in Ottawa after Loblaws announced its decision to stop French’s ketchup, made from Ontario tomatoes. Not long afterwards, mayor Jim Watson was hit in the face by a spurt of ketchup—reportedly Heinz—and chaos erupted throughout the city.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decried the assault. “I think the unprovoked ketchup attack was unconscionable, and I would like to offer my condiments to mayor Watson for the way he handled it.”

The public outcry over ketchup divided Ottawa into two factions, the French’s Fighters and the Heinzmen. While the Fighters soon took control of most of the city, the Heinzmen captured the Rideau McDonald’s—and its supply of Heinz—where they remained entrenched for several days.

The Fighters claimed moral superiority due to their product’s provincial provenance. Heinz supporters however, deny this. “It’s all lies,” said one Heinzman, who couldn’t be identified as his face was covered in red paste. “How could the tomatoes possibly be Canadian, it says French right on the package!”

The French’s forces were led by Colonel Mustard, a seasoned veteran.

After attempts at a UN-brokered ceasefire fell apart, the French’s Fighters decided to take control of the Rideau McDonald’s from the Heinzmen so they could replace the ketchup stocks there, and initiated a siege.

The task fell to the French’s commander, and Mustard took to it with relish. In the end, there was no topping Mustard, the pace of his a salt and his peppering of attacks was too fast for his opponents to ketchup to. Ammunition driven up from Leamington tomato farmers also helped to turn the tide in their favour.

Unfortunately there were several civilian casualties, as people were accidentally hit by condiment packages amid the attacks. It appears that the consumers were the real losers in this ketchup war.

As the Fighters frantically searched for knives to scoop out the goopy ammunition, an unheralded force marched towards them along Rideau Street—it was the PC brand Battalion. Feelings were mixed for this brand since it’s ketchup is made in Ontario by Californian ketchup.

“I don’t like it cause it’s not Canadian ketchup but it’s better than not Canadian ketchup. How should I feel about this?” said one bystander.

In the aftermath of the battle, allegations arose that the PC brand battalion had fomented the conflict between Heinz and French’s to weaken their numbers, so that they could capture Ottawa’s lucrative ketchup market,  for themselves.

When asked what the truth was, PC brand general Galen Weston just said, “You say tomato, I say tomato.”