PASSING THE KETCHUP

ketchupAt about six feet tall, this bottle does not actually fit in the fridge. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

So you’re driving down Rumson Road taking in the winter scenery, admiring the holiday festoonery as it gets you all atwitter for Old Saint Nick’s arrival.

But then the thought of cookies hot out of the oven is unexpectedly replaced by a desire for a pile of French fries, and you’re not quite sure why.

Could it have something to do with that humongo bottle of ketchup on the side of the road, opposite Holy Cross School? And what exactly is it doing there, anyway?

Phil Wagner, who owns the Rumson Road home where the inflatable Heinz bottle is hanging from a tree in the front yard, says his son Corey’s friend, Chris Batista, works in an area of the food industry in which inflatable ketchup bottles are apparently a perk.

Batista came over with it on Sunday, and the two friends decided it would be fun to hang it in the yard, Phil Wagner says. The home is in a residential area without a commercial property in sight.

“It’s just there for fun, stirring things up,” he says, “waking people up a little bit while they’re driving.”

He’s certainly having fun watching the reactions of people driving by and cracking jokes.

“If you’re late for work, ketchup,” Wagner quipped.

A couple people have stopped to ask about the lawn ornament, but nobody has yet shown up with a monster Fifth Third Burger.