Thank you for the potato chips, Marlene!


Dear Marlene,

Thank you very much for your present! It arrived today. When I noticed it sitting on the kitchen table with the other mail, I happened to be chatting online with my English friend Katherine, who is the one who was such a fan of Ruddy Ruddy. So, knowing that she enjoyed hearing about me opening my mail, I decided to describe the opening to her in real time. Here is our conversation:

2:27 PM me: Hey! I just looked out on the kitchen table, and the mail’s here! There’s a package for me! Want to read along as I open it?

2:28 PM Katherine: yes please! how exciting!

me: I thought you’d like that. It’s Ruddiness!

2:29 PM It’s from Scott’s wife Marlene. She said she was going to send me a present.

Katherine: wahoo!
even better!

me: I don’t know why she’s sending me a present. It’s not my birthday.

2:30 PM It’s wrapped in brown paper. It’s a rectangular box. And it’s kind of light.

Katherine: so how is it ruddiness then?

me: Well, because it originates from Scott’s house.

Katherine: and?

me: And it’s mysterious.

2:31 PM Katherine: I thought it was Official Ruddiness

me: It’s about the size of a cereal box. It sounds like it could be cereal when I shake it, too.

2:32 PM Okay, I’ll open it now.
Whatever it is, it cost $12.06 to send.

2:33 PM It is a cereal box! Cheerios!

Katherine: wow.

2:34 PM what a great present.

me: But is that actually what’s inside? It’s been opened and taped shut.

Katherine: on that note, the baby’s stopped crying now, so I’m going to get some food.
unless this gets rapidly more exciting.

me: What baby?

Katherine: my baby!
you know, Sam.

me: Since when do you have a baby?

2:35 PM Katherine: since about five months ago.
didn’t I tell you?

me: I think you would have mentioned having a baby.
Anyway, it’s not cereal. It’s several bags of Old Dutch potato chips!

Katherine: I’m sure I did.
wow! even better!

2:36 PM me: Yeah! I was saying I’d never had them, and now I have them!

Katherine: woohoo!

2:37 PM me: She got me a bunch of different kinds. Dill pickle, regular, salt and vinegar, all dressed, and barbecue.

2:38 PM Not as exciting as a baby, but still exciting.

Katherine: nice. I can’t seem to open the pictures of the baby, otherwise I’d send you one.

2:39 PM me: That’s a shame.

As you can see, I was excited. What a lovely idea to send me the Old Dutch potato chips, or “crisps,” as some people insist on calling them. I don’t just mean Katherine, either. She at least has a valid excuse (although I don’t make excuses about her bizarre decision to suddenly start lying about having some baby). My old housemate Nick used to spend summers in England with his dad, and then he’d come back and insist on calling garbage bags “bin liners” and speaking all kinds of nonsense like that. Once I said I was going to the store for a bag of chips, and he pretended to think I was talking about French fries before saying, “Oh, you mean crisps. That’s right, you call them ‘chips,’ don’t you?”

I rolled my eyes. “So do you. You’re from Calgary.” As an Edmontonian, I’m sure you can take this as testimony that Calgarians are all a bunch of pretentious poseurs. Let that be my gift back to you, then. (Nick was actually a great guy, though.)

I started off with the regular chips, as I figured this would give me the best appreciation for the base flavour of Old Dutch chips. They were excellent—a little greasy, maybe, but they’re potato chips, after all. I then tried the barbecue flavour to see how it stacked up against Humpty Dumpty. The barbecue was a revelation. They’re much different from Humpty Dumpty barbecue, being spicier, but they’re equally delicious. I’d like both to be available in Ontario. I then followed these with the dill pickle, salt and vinegar, and all dressed, in that order.

Yes, I ate all five bags today. I didn’t have any other food in the house and was about to go grocery shopping when I saw your present. I probably would have eaten all the chips even if I’d had any other food around, though. What can I say? I’m a real Peter Lynn. (I don’t know if you’ve heard this story, but toward the end of university, I put on a little avoirdupois without noticing. Rather than call it to my attention, Scott and Mike simply made “Peter Lynn” their new slang word for a fat guy. When I finally realized, to my horror, that I was fat, I asked them why the hell they hadn’t said something. Their response: “We did. We said you were getting to be a real Peter Lynn.” Like I’m supposed to understand what that means.)

Anyway, the Old Dutch potato chips were delicious. Thank you once again, Marlene. You are all that and a bag of chips. Five bags, in fact.

Your friend,

P.S. I guess you’re probably getting to be a real Peter Lynn by now, what with your baby being due in a couple of months. That is, if you didn’t make the whole thing up, like some people I could mention.

8 Responses to “Thank you for the potato chips, Marlene!”

  1. 1 Kitty

    Thanks for making me look like an idiot, Pet. I’m never talking to you again.
    The baby was real, anyway. It just wasn’t mine. Is that such a horrific lie?

  2. It could have been yours. You could have just taken off with it and not given it back.

    (Also, sorry — you’re not an idiot at all. You are, after all, the only girl I know who regularly says things I wish I’d said. And you’re prettier than I am too.)

  3. Old Dutch Bacon flavour was consumed in our household last night. Mostly purchased for the picture of the happiest strip of bacon you’ve ever seen. So happy that the bacon strip appears to have action/movement lines drawn around it–a happiness seizure, perhaps.

  4. It warms my heart a little bit that you’re giving Old Dutch chips a fair shake even after the company’s killing of your beloved Humpty Dumpty chips. It gives me hope for the world.

  5. Well, what am I going to do? Not eat potato chips?

    Besides, Humpty Dumpty isn’t dead yet. Don’t forget: When Frito-Lay bought Hostess, they didn’t kill it, but instead kept it as a separate line.

  6. 6 Mike


  7. 7 Leslie

    I am a stranger to you. But I am on the ultimate quest. I am from Maine (as in the USA) aka the original home for Humpty Dumpty chips. Today, at work we were reminded of Humpty Dumpty Cheese ‘n Onion potato chips – we all were reminded how much we love them. But then we realized that we can’t find them anywhere!!! Is it possible that they don’t make them anymore – seeing as how you apparently live in Canada and are a chip expert, I thought I would ask you if you have ever seen this particular flavor of chip. Thx!

  8. Cheese ‘n Onion doesn’t ring a bell (well, I remember the Rutles song “Cheese and Onions” and the cover by Galaxie 500), but I definitely would eat it. Especially right now. I’m hungry.

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