By Keith Shaw
Secretary of Snacks
Blame it on the Wachusett ketchup chips.
Jeremy and I were working together at a newspaper in Fitchburg, Mass., home of the Wachusett Potato Chip Co. (Wachusett's regular chips, by the way, are on my Top 10 list for favorite chip.) Work started at 7 a.m. and sometimes earlier, so most mornings, Jeremy would call in an order to Dick's Quik Check, the convenience store/lunch counter a block from our office, and then walk down the block to pick it up. Items requested by co-workers included Dick's bad coffee, peanut butter bagels (that's me!), Jolt, egg and cheese sandwiches, and a creation heard of only at Dick's: the bagel cooked on the grill, buttered and then covered with cream cheese.
Often, while picking up the order, Jeremy would come back with a bag of Wachusett ripple chips, sour cream & onion chips, salt & vinegar chips or ketchup chips. For some strange, bizarre reason, Jeremy craved the ketchup chips.
Co-worker's Steve's father worked for Wachusett, and one day another co-worker, Mike, gave Jeremy an entire case of single-serving bags of Wachusett ketchup chips, which he proceded to share with co-workers. (I don't know if they make large bags of ketchup chips. I've only seen the smaller bags. My guess is that nobody can finish a big bag, although maybe Jeremy could.)
Anyway, we figured that if Jeremy liked to eat the ketchup-flavored chips, that he wouldn't mind trying other exotic flavors. Hence, our quest began. Whenever someone went on vacation to another part of the U.S. or overseas, their task was to find a unique flavor of potato chip or other salty snack. Jen returned from England with some roast beef flavored chips. Jeremy returned from Israel and Egypt with assorted snack items, including shishkebab-flavored chips, Israeli "Tseetos" and Egypytian Cheetos.
We began to set up rules for the acquisition of chips — for example, if you were in the U.S., try for the exotic flavor, but if you were in another country you could get a regular flavor just packaged with the local language (hence, the Ruffles from Montreal were OK). As the obsession grew, so did the number of followers we added to our cause. When Jeremy and I ended up working together at another company, we recruited Stewart to our team (who, by the way, has an unhealthy craving for Golden Flake cheeseburger chips that we found at a Winn Dixie in Melbourne, Florida).
After a while, Jeremy started to save the bags after we ate the chips, and he finally decided to share the obsession with the world, the results of which you can now find on this "Interweb" site. In addition, we've added pages for our other obsessions, such as Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Chick-Fil-A nuggets, grilled cheese and beef jerky.
As for the name of the site, it has something to do with Jeremy's hunger for Trader Joe's taquitos (hideous things, really). The name stuck when the word found its way into a certain Simpsons episode, when one of the retirement home residents said "I want some taquitos" not once but twice in the same episode. Understanding Jeremy's logic in choosing that name for the site (not to mention understanding Jeremy's logic in general) is like getting from Point A to Point B by taking a side trip through Points C, E and F. You'll just have to trust us.