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My Enemy The Condiment Robot Has Been Vanquished And Prosperity Has Returned To These Lands

kelsey mckinney/defector

Two weeks ago, I brought to this website a problem. The Washington Nationals, I wrote, had absolutely ruined the hot dog experience at their ballpark by replacing the wonderful condiment jugs and onion crank with a dreadful, terrible robot. Today, I am thrilled to announce that I have annihilated my opponent the useless condiment robot, and hope to never ever see it again.

In a Washington Post article published yesterday, Jonathan Stahl, vice president of ballpark operations and guest experience for the Washington Nationals, conceded victory to me. Here’s a snippet from the article:

In another change, putting condiments on a hot dog will again require touching the dispensers.

“For some fans it was a little too much technology,” Stahl said of the touchless condiment dispensers that were installed throughout the ballpark before the season. “With more people in the ballpark on a regular basis, we want to make sure things are as user-friendly as possible.”

As a quick refresher: there were many problems with the condiment robot. The first was that it did not have all the condiments anyone could need. The second was that it worked at about the same level of quality as an airport automatic soap dispenser, which is to say basically not at all. The third (which I egregiously failed to mention in the first blog) was that all of the condiments were the terrible “natural” and “good for you” kind that rich people buy at Whole Foods to make themselves feel like the processed meat tube they are eating in three bites is good for them. They were runny when you could get them to come out at all. And I am absolutely thrilled to see them go!

Rarely do these types of terrible tech advancements get reversed. Usually, the people with the cash dig in their heels. “No,” they say. “Actually, you like this.” And then even though everyone is miserable, the technology remains and we all end up waiting in a 15-minute long line to use a condiment machine that doesn’t work.

It still remains to be seen how the condiment islands will be returned to the people. HERE ARE MY DEMANDS:

  • I want the big jugs of condiments back. The ones with the pump top.
  • The onion crank must return in its original form. It cannot be improved.
  • The island must include all of the condiments including the previously maligned relish.
  • I will accept the addition of nacho cheese.

I tried to go to the game last night to investigate the current situation and give the middle finger to the condiment robot, but sadly the game was rained out. My opponent was too scared to face me, it seems.

Thank you for all of your support during this trying time. We have persevered together, and we have won. Eat shit, condiment robot!

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