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Condiments And The Before Times

Our history is divided up by milestone events that radically change the years that came after them. We all know the events: The Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, Vietnam, the assassination of JFK, the fall of the Berlin Wall, September 11th. Typically it is easier to see these major events as the dividing lines of history once time has provided some separation from the event, and alone with this comes clarity.

September 11th is a great example of this. When it happened and in the immediate aftermath, the story was pretty straightforward. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda planned and executed a major attack and killed thousands of Americans. I think we all knew the world had changed but for me and most people the assumption was we were actually in a global war on terror and 9/11 would be just the beginning of a new normal that included regular Islamic terrorist attacks.

What really happened became clearer in the years since. Tabling the questions surrounding the actual attacks that day, the response and long term aftermath was not what most people expected. I don’t think anyone expected a two decade occupation of both Afghanistan and Iraq or that we wouldn’t really have any major Muslim terror attacks in America in the decades following 9/11. The most significant impact of 9/11 isn’t the indignity of old White ladies being forced to remove their Dr Sholls shoes before they can pass through security but instead is the enormous surveillance apparatus that is now in place in America, spying on Americans and doing so in the name of keeping us “safe”. By any reasonable measure America is a less free place today than it was on 9/10/2001. I guess in the end the terrorists did win, although the actual terrorists wear suits and have offices in D.C.

We just experienced a new massive shift in America, one that seemed to occur out of the blue and organically, but even with recent eyes it is clear that the plan had been in the works for a long time. As with most of these major, orchestrated shifts, what we were led to believe at first was not at all what happened. This became even more clear to me via the medium of condiments, at a Cracker Barrel to be more precise.

The other evening I met my wife for dinner. I had dropped off some young Amish couples at Applebee’s and as I loathe Applebee’s we went to the fairly adjacent Cracker Barrel. I like Cracker Barrel, the food is my kind of food and it is reliable and consistent. I used to eat there a lot when I was travelling on business all over the country because I knew what to expect. It is not fancy cuisine but I don’t need fancy. We haven’t been to a Cracker Barrel in a while, our normal go-to place to eat out is a small local Mexican place with no Mexicans working there (perhaps because the local police station is next door?). While I normally get breakfast regardless of the time of day, I opted for the Friday fried fish dinner as I was pretty hungry.

When it arrived I noticed that there wasn’t a whole bunch of fish on the plate. The Barrel usually had fairly generous servings but this was pretty paltry and there was so much breading on the fish that you could hardly taste anything but the breading. While not everyone’s cup of tea, I also like lots of tartar sauce with fried fish and that seems like something that would just be included, but I had to ask the waitress for some. She brought back two containers, handed me one and held the other one kind of back, guarding the little plastic cup like girls used to guard their virginity. She asked me if I wanted one or two, and since one container wasn’t anywhere near enough I said two. We had also ordered biscuits with our meal and she asked if we wanted any jelly or honey. Of course we did and I realized that they no longer had them on the table. She brought two small tins of jelly, one blackberry and one grape, and two tiny containers of butter.

In the Before Times your table at Cracker Barrel had a stack of jellies and jams and a little pitcher of honey. Now you have to almost beg for something as simple as a tiny pat of butter.

While our waitress was very pleasant, she certainly was operating under orders to keep the condiments under wraps. I also noticed later that she never came back to offer me a refill on my Coke. I would have declined as one watered down pop was enough with my meal but she didn’t even offer. Not only was the fish serving pretty stingy, the container holding the fried apples seemed much smaller than I remember. The entire meal seemed to be designed to shave as many pennies off their costs as possible, rather than being what I remembered: a reasonably priced meal with decent portions.

A bit of the old ultra-tartar sauce

I have seen the tartar sauce hoarding other places like Culvers where you still get a decent amount of fish but they charge extra if you want enough tartar sauce to use on all of the fish you bought.

It seems like a small thing, after all it is just tartar sauce, but it is indicative of a broader change in American society and the relationship between the American people and our institutions. It all started with the “pandemic” but it is safe to assume that the plans for this have been in the works for a long time. Lots of small business went under thanks to the lockdowns but the biggest players, the companies with the most political connections, came out smelling like roses. These are the companies that enforced silly mask mandates and forced their customers to “social distance”, treating them like cattle standing on pieces of tape on the floor.

Look what has happened since 2020. Inflation is soaring while companies continue to squeeze every last bit of profit margin out of their products, making portions smaller, and shifting to self-checkout lanes. While I like some of that, like ordering ahead and picking up my groceries without going in or scanning my items at Sam’s Club and skipping the checkout line entirely, there is clearly an open attitude shift by corporate America. Where once they pretended that the customer was always right, now it seems that they find their core customer base to be an inconvenient annoyance. Their disdain is palpable, we all remember the Gillette commercial with the responsible black guy stopping his crazed White friend from attacking a woman.

While the pandemic wasn’t real, the coordinated cash grab by the largest corporations in America definitely was.

Post-9/11, the outside world had changed. We had a couple of new wars overseas and minor indignities like air travel being much, much worse but our daily lives went on pretty much as they had before. But with Covid and the accompanying race riots that burned American cities, our daily lives changed for the worse. I already find myself talking in terms of pre-pandemic, The Before Times, when our way of life was still mostly preserved contrasted with the rude, petty world we live in today where every day brings us some new insult and humiliation we are forced to not only endure but also to pay for. From trannies to negrophilia, to shrinking portions and condiments being treated as a precious resource, our once cozy way of life has been shattered and it promises to get worse in the near future.

Few realized it at the time when news reports of a new highly contagious disease spreading China began circulating that the disease itself was of almost no danger when compared to the cure that has been inflicted on us.


  1. Max Wiley

    I think everyone instinctively understands a linear progression. Things are changing, they are changing this much, another same amount of time and they will change that same amount again.
    What people have a hard time wrapping their head around is a logarithmic progression. When graphed, these generally slope up somewhat gradually until rather suddenly the line goes near vertical. The problem is that at the beginning a logarithmic progression looks much the same as a linear one.
    Our societal decay is a logarithmic progression.
    Oh and to your list of events I would add the election of 1912. Teddy Roosevelt’s treachery (in my historical reading I was not surprised to find out that dear Teddy was an avowed Zionist) resulted in not just Woodrow Wilson in the White House but also the Federal Reserve Act and the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th amendments to the Constitution. It took a long time for those changes to finally show all of their consequences but you can understand where it all began.
    That pesky logarithmic progression again.

    • Zorost

      Going off the gold standard in 1971 was another big change. I’m not a gold nut, but it was the last thing limiting the government from printing infinity money.

      All of it is having a synergistic effect, with one thing exacerbating the other things. Leading to as you correctly put it, logarithmic progression.

      • Max Wiley

        1971 was roughly the halfway point in the graph, where it diverges from a somewhat linear rise and starts to curve up.
        Loss of the gold standard was an immediate result of LBJ and the Great Society spending, which happened because of the Kennedy assassination, which happened because…..
        Trace it all back to the Federal Reserve Act, because that’s where our financial ruin started. And that happened because of one single person, with a lot of jewish influence.

        • Anonymous White Male

          “Trace it all back to the Federal Reserve Act, because that’s where our financial ruin started. And that happened because of one single person, with a lot of jewish influence.”

          You can trace it back further to the War of Northern Aggression, since the North was already controlled by the bagels. Even further back to the formation of the Bank of England in 1694. Or, if you wanted to go all out, back to, “And there was war in Heaven…..”

          I’m assuming the “single person” you mention was Woodrow Wilson. He was only a relatively minor participant. (((Paul Warburg))), Senator Nelson Aldrich and the other participants at Jekyll Island, and the (((European))) banks that own the Fed were much more necessary to the coup. Wilson just rubber stamped it.

          • Max Wiley

            No I am referring to dear Teddy. His refusal to accept not getting the Republican nomination (keep in mind the nominee was Grover Cleveland, the sitting President) led T.R. to make a third party bid, splitting the Republican vote and giving Democrats the White House and both Houses in Congress. Further, the “Progressives” then proceeded to work with the Democrats to pass the Federal Reserve Act and ramrod the 16th Amendment, both of which were considered dead letters prior to 1913.
            T.R. was the single pivotal figure, if there could said to be one.
            The change from a voluntary Union to an Empire began in the 1850s but the excesses of Empire could not have been financed without what T.R. wrought.

  2. Travis

    My wife (used to) like to meet an old friend at Cracker Barrel occasionally. The last time she did this, about 4 months ago, it was $41 for two vegetable plates, and the waitress needed to ask the manager if it was ok to bring a second packet of honey for my wife’s cornbread. She won’t be going back.

  3. Jeffrey Zoar

    I’m can’t remember for sure if restaurants behaved this way in the 1970s when inflation was high. I was young. But I don’t think they did. I find that an important question because it sheds light on whether or not there can be a return to “normalcy,” if and when inflation comes down. Maybe inflation won’t come down. They’re going to have to monetize the public debt after all, there’s no getting around that. Although I sense a plan to ameloriate the effects of that, whether or not it’ll work is another question.

    • Zorost

      If you want to go full-blown conspiracy theorist (which is probably the correct view), they’ll do to the US exactly what they’ve done to every other country.

      Force them to accept debt (most of which was skimmed off by the elites who agreed to the debt), then run up more debt, and when they can’t pay it off, they’ll require more direct control of the government to rein in spending on wasteful things like infrastructure, education, and law enforcement, in order to concentrate on debt service. The other option is to transfer ownership of public property to the debt holders. So expect a Rothschild to be the new owner of the Grand Canyon, maybe Alex Soros will replace Washington’s face on Mount Rushmore with his beloved fathers. Wyoming will get auctioned off, and bought up by BlackRock.

    • Arthur Sido

      I was a kid in the 70s and my dad is a doctor so we never really talked about prices, but I doubt it was like this. The inflation is here to stay I am afraid, They might be planning on inflation to keep the debt in check.

  4. Zorost

    I’ve heard it called “shrinkflation.” Instead of raising prices which everyone would notice, they lower amounts which some people don’t notice, and the rest notice less than price increases.,quality=100,fit=scale-down/system/pending_media_attachments/files/009/732/210/original/ed76855e76bae805.png

    Yet there are still people who think there is going to be an economic collapse that destroys the government and leaves us free to get on with our lives. Our government orchestrated a near-collapse just to steal our money a bit faster. They aren’t afraid of famine or cities burning down, it’s all chaos to take advantage of, not to prevent.

    • LGC

      So interestingly, shrinkflation is NOT measured by the official lies/statistics. You pay X for a box of cake mix. The cake mix is 18.5oz. Now the price is still X but the box is 13.25oz. (this is the latest one, that’s why pre-mixed cakes don’t rise, there’s not enough ingredients. it rises fine). That’s considered zero inflation.

      I hate this timeline.

  5. 3g4me

    As far as general trends and changes, you’re on the mark. Lots of shrinkflation and inflation and consumer indignities. In my personal situation, I seem to have gone back to life in the ‘before times,’ having moved from a large-city suburb to the outskirts of a small rural town. If I drive to the closest Walmart there are self-check registers, although there are always 4-6 standard and staffed checkout lines as well. But in our local grocery store there are no self-check out lanes, however. Bank, City Hall, grocery store, seasonal produce market – it’s just regular friendly service from local folks.

    As far as Cracker Barrel specifically, my husband and I stopped at one enroute home from our last trip back to DFW – at a place about 100 miles from our home. A ‘big city’ compared to where we now live, with a population of about 65 thousand people. We both had a breakfast-type meal, but we had lots of little containers of butter and jams on the table as well as syrup, and the servings seemed generous to me.

    But yes, life has changed and it has definitely changed for the worse. My husband and I, formerly frequent international flyers due to our jobs, at first limited our flights after 9/11 due to the ridiculous security theater. I last flew in 2007. My husband last flew in Jan 2020 for work. Now he drives long distances a few times a year, two days at a time, due to not just the security hassles but even more to avoid the diversity on the planes and increasingly in the cockpits and in the air traffic control towers. I just assume now that – in the city at least – I am under constant surveillance by city and merchant and traffic cameras. Again, I seem to have gone back in time by moving so rural, as I honestly don’t know if there are any locally.

    We know our move has only bought us some time, however. The seeds of demographic destruction have been sown even here. I’d like to think we have a few decades left before our newfound American throwback is irretrievably changed, but we still wouldn’t bet on it. And we know just how fortunate we’ve been to be able to move, and how hard it is for so many who cannot.

    • Arthur Sido

      My wife just got back from a trip, the first time either of us has flown since Covid, and the way Spirit Airlines tries to nickel and dime you is crazy. Constant emails before the trip trying to get you to bid on better seats or paying for basic amenities.

  6. Harbinger

    Here in South Texas I haven’t noticed any changes (yet) in portion sizes or condiment availability. But then again, we don’t eat out very often at all. Twice a month is probably our average. And there are so many great little one-off places down here that we rarely ever hit a chain restaurant (unless it’s a local chain like Mama Margie’s Tex-Mex). I have to wonder if your experience actually has more to do with clientele loading up their pockets with condiments-to-go than how much they might use while dining at the venue.

    I read recently that the food ingredients are actually something like 30% of a typical restaurant’s costs. Everything else is labor and overhead. If Cracker Barrel’s margins are so razor-thin that they are rationing condiments to survive, they won’t be around too much longer.

    • Hiding_Out

      “I have to wonder if your experience actually has more to do with clientele loading up their pockets with condiments-to-go than how much they might use while dining at the venue.”

      This is what I was thinking when I first saw the post title. What’s left of our high trust society (small pockets here and there) is on the way out.

    • Arthur Sido

      I guess I would need to try a different Cracker Barrel although ours is overwhelmingly White, I think I saw one older black couple but that was unusual enough that it stood out.

    • Phil B

      As a rough rule of thumb, the cost of the meal is broken down as follows:

      30% for the basic ingredients
      30% for labour
      30% for the cost of running the place (rent, city taxes, electricity etc.)
      10% profit

      You can adjust the figures slightly but if you expect to make your fortune running a restaurant, you’ll be disappointed.

      The family run businesses where the family provide the labour may do better profit wise but I’ll bet not by much

  7. Bean Dip Tray

    Condiments are a construct of the white male patriarchy.
    No tartar sauce for you deplorable kulak untermenschen.
    Could it be due to cost or people carting off with the toppings and not leaving any for the others?
    Brandomics is a disaster that makes Jimmy Carternomics seem like golden times.
    All of it is a feature and not a bug to our homegrown Bolsheviks in gov.
    Isn’t that interesting how the Patriot Act, right up there with People’s Liberation Army misnomer, was rolled out like it was waiting in a desk somewhere for just the right time?
    Guess who was a huge advocate for it? Brandon.

    • Arthur Sido

      I am sure the Patriot Act was completely written out and ready to go, They just added some boiler plate language to make it seem current. Hell no one has read the thing, I sure haven’t.

  8. Hiding_Out

    “guarding the little plastic cup like girls used to guard their virginity”

    I don’t know why this made me laugh so hard. Tragic but true. Even the guys on the so-called dissident right are largely a bunch degenerate p@#@y hounds. Somehow they want their cake and to eat it too; both lovely virgin maids and slatternly whores all around.

    • SirLawrence

      Let’s keep in mind that without “guys on the dissident right” there would be no dissident right.

      Kind of like that quaint old Western Civilization.

      But yeah let’s keep punching down on the “guys” because that’s totally not how we got here.

      This has all been adjudicated – and largely ridiculed when not being ignored, by twenty years of the manosphere. Seems even our side just can’t keep from amogging and grace dancing when it comes to the various casualties of the war on our people.

      Have heart. I’m sure you will meet that secret millionaire 6’2” lumberjack of all trades who will overlook your high notch count to have that one and done IVF baby with your last egg just before you turn 40 so you can punch out of your big city career and enjoy that free put option with the State.

      Or just wait to become a war bride. War has a way of cutting through all that cake. And bootstraps too.

    • TechieDude

      Sweet jeezis I’m sick of female executives that do that shit – Re Invent, Re Imagine…

      They never know what they are doing, and it always ends in misery. Hell, our EVP is “Re Imagining” our department. Her vision is really what everyone else has been doing for over a decade.

      • Arthur Sido

        The girl bosses I have worked with/for in my corporate day were usually just bitchy and had no leadership skills, with a few exceptions like the woman that hired me for my last corporate job in Fort Wayne.

  9. TechieDude

    You know where I noticed it?


    $4 for a cup of coffee, and you have to ask for sweetener and a stirring stick. And if I recall, the napkins are at the counter, not what used to be the “condiment” area.

    I’m with Harbinger above. This is really mice nuts in the grand scheme of things. I do quite a bit of cooking for charities and I can tell you a big ass box of those jelly packs isn’t all that expensive.

    • Arthur Sido

      I got three froo-froo drinks from Starbucks for some girls the other day and it was almost $20 for three damn drinks. Plus the drinks girls like are all so loaded with sugar that you might as well drink a Mountain Dew.

  10. Brutus

    I recall not long ago that Cracker Barrel would brag about using real maple syrup. The last time I went, they had begun adulterating it with corn syrup.

  11. LGC

    Restaurants (and fast food) are screwed. Their food prices are going up so either they have to raise prices so no one thinks it’s worth it OR they reduce quality to hold the line on prices and again no one thinks it’s worth it.

    It’s rarely worth eating out anymore and fast food is stupid expensive now.

  12. Debbie Johnson

    Funny you did an article about Cracker Barrel. My husband and I dined there a few years ago for my birthday. Big mistake.

    My food was cold, really cold. I told the server to please have the cook heat this up, it’s really cold. OK fine. Came back about 5 minutes later. The cook nuked it too much in the microwave and the biscuits were tough and doughy. I called the manager over. I want a new plate of food, HOT food. OK sorry ma’am. The next plate was fine.

    I was so pissed that after we ate we both left, I didn’t hang out. And the server got a lousy tip as well for her attitude and performance.

    When I paid for the food, the same manager was there. I said you could have least given me some sort of discount. I was hungry and had to wait for my food. I told my husband to finish his meal, no sense in having his dish turn cold. In a femmy beta voice, I could give you a bag of biscuits. I said is that it? I bet if I were black, you’d be kissing my ass and giving me a free meal. He didn’t say a word.

    When I got home I gave them a lousy review on Google. I used my real name too. Probably did no good, but maybe I kept some other poor slob away from that dump. Never again.

  13. The Greek

    Maybe someone else has mentioned this, but you (surprisingly) overlook the main reason the condiments are kept under wraps now. It’s the same reason Targets close to city have everything under lock and key. Certain people, especially melanated people, feel entitled just to take things. They’d dump all of those jellies into their bag and feed they chillen for next week.

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