It’s not just gas prices that are up these days. For students at Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, the cost of ketchup has gone through the roof. Enterprising senior Kirk Alvers has calculated that while gas prices are hovering at $3 per gallon, the cost of ketchup in the school cafeteria is $18 for 36 ounces. The price spike is connected to a new cafeteria policy under which students ordering burgers and fries must purchase, at 25 cents for two, any ketchup packets they want beyond the three that come with the meal. Principal Kristine Marchiando explained the new policy this way: “If you have unrestricted access to things that explode, things will happen.” Apparently, students stomping on ketchup packets necessitated expensive clean-up in the outdoor lunch area. Alvers and other students argued that a few freshmen were behind the ketchup misuse and it was unfair to punish (and charge) the entire student body. They recently wore “Free Heinz” T-shirts and hung posters protesting the ketchup policy. Principal Marchiando said the school had bigger issues to deal with, including construction, overcrowding, and a black widow spider infestation. At least the spiders aren’t ketchup fans.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.