I like mustard but generally don’t use more than a small jar or two in a year. Recently, instead of the usual clear glass/plastic jar with twist off lid, my wife brought home a new container which I used for the first time this weekend. It was one of those plastic squeeze containers that have been around since I can remember. As I held it it my hand memories came rushing back causing me to realize that at one time I didn’t look at this type of container as a convenient way to package condiments but rather as a possible weapon for use in the Florida hot summer ritual of neighborhood water fights. Keep in mind that as a pre-teen forty or so years ago Super-Soaker type water guns weren’t even a fantasy and the only “real” squirt guns were usually shoddy examples of workmanship with extremely limited capacity and range. But someone with a plastic squeeze bottle salvaged from the household trash was welled prepared for soaking any opponent. Two common examples were Plochman’s mustard containers or empty squeeze dish-washing detergent bottle of the type where you had to cut the tip off the bottle cap.
I’d like to say that every battle was just a wet, fun event but I also remember that frustration over perceived advantages in weaponry inevitably lead to an arms race and escalation of territorial conflicts where more sophisticated and damaging ordnance than just plain water were employed. Much like what often happens in real life I’ve observed.