A tractor trailer recently crashed on a stretch of I-44 outside Springfield, Missouri, spilling 20 tons of mayonnaise on the road.
Minutes later a bread truck plowed into the mess, followed by a produce truck hauling lettuce, and two others loaded with crisp-fried bacon and fresh-sliced tomatoes.
OK, I'm kidding about the World's Largest BLT. But the part about the mayonnaise spill really happened. And it got me to thinking: did the highway department use a giant butter knife to scoop up the mayo mess?
It also made me wonder what, exactly, mayonnaise is, so I Googled it up. It's oil and whipped egg yoke.
That explains why one motorist, stranded in the Great Missouri Mayo Spill, told a reporter, "Looks like the yoke's on me."
The name "Mayonnaise" has an interesting origin. According to one highly-informed source (Ralph, my bowling buddy) Mayonnaise was the name of a beautiful Indian maiden who lived in New England at the time of the Pilgrims' arrival.
Some of the newcomers, fearful and suspicious of the Indians, took Maiden Mayonnaise captive and held her hostage until various treaties were signed. That hostage strategy prompted the first known use of the term, "Hold the Mayo."
Maiden Mayonnaise was eventually rescued by her brothers, Running Catsup and Yellow Mustard.
Back to the interstate spill: one Missouri state trooper said the mayonnaise was "slippery as ice." That could give rise to a new figure of speech that might describe certain politicians: "He's slicker than a road-full of mayo."
The mayonnaise spill couldn't have come at a worst time, with the country on a calorie-counting craze. It reminded me of an incident described by Ed Zern who explained how worm fishermen destroyed a trout stream:
A fisherman took his neat-freak girlfriend fishing. When he opened a box of worms she saw the wad of peat moss inside and squealed, "The kelp! It's all tangled!"
A passing motorist heard the cry and thought she shouted, "Help! I'm being strangled!" He slammed on the brakes to come to her rescue.
His car was rear-ended by a gardening truck, which tumbled down the embankment and into the stream, spilling its load of deadly pesticide into the water. Every trout was killed for miles downstream.
"See," said Zern, "what happens when people use worms for bait?"
The same thing happened (according to Ralph) with the mayo spill. A lady who had been faithfully dieting for months was driving home from her Weight-Watchers Meeting, where she had just been presented an award for living on stale bread crusts for twelve weeks.
As she skidded into the spilled mayonnaise, a few dabs splattered through the car window and into her mouth, which was wide open as she yelled "Holy Jenny Craig --!"
She smacked her lips, did a U-turn in the mayonnaise, and went straight to the nearest Burger King, where she ordered a double-whopper (extra mayo), large fries and chocolate shake.
That one accidental dab of mayonnaise knocked her right off the weight wagon.
Ralph swears it happened exactly that way. Then again, maybe he's spreading it on too thick.