PORTLAND, Oregon (AP)—Friends and acquaintances of Portland State University student and mechanical engineering major Todd Clarkson sat in quiet discomfort as he squirted three tablespoons’ worth of Sriracha sauce on his Caesar salad at the McMenamins Market Street Pub on Friday night. Since discovering the popular Southeast Asian condiment in 2011, Clarkson has formed an inseparable bond with it. Some sources allege that his Sriracha usage borders on inappropriate.
“I actually went to high school with Todd, and when, uh, white people discovered Sriracha a couple years ago, he got really into it. Like, it didn’t matter what meal or cuisine he was eating, he’d put it on everything. Beef stroganoff, pancakes, whatever,” said Claire Nguyen, another student enrolled in the engineering program. “I wouldn’t normally care, but he always explains it to me like I didn’t grow up eating it. At my birthday dinner we went out to get pho and he just, like, squeezed some on my spoon while saying, ‘put some cock sauce on that bad boy.’ That was kind of the last straw for me. When we hang out, I make sure to eat first. I hoped that he would stop when the cultural craze around it died down, but he still corners me at parties sometimes to tell me about the how the chili paste is made.”
Clarkson has a history of clinging on to cultural moments “a little too long,” claims an anonymous source. At the time of reporting, Clarkson wore a shirt with three howling wolves and a pair of Toms. After leaving the restaurant, Clarkson told his friends to “dare [him] to plank on the hostile architecture.”
“It’s like he’s still in the Obama years. Honestly, I’m jealous,” the anonymous source clarified.
His roommates, Anna Willis and Drew Krakowski, have a more positive spin on Clarkson’s lifestyle.
“He reminds me of simpler times,” Willis said. “Just the other day, he asked me if I heard of a band called the Arctic Monkeys, and for a second I felt like I didn’t have any of my stupid adult problems. My IUD even stopped throbbing.” A look into their pantry revealed Sriracha bottles with varying levels of fullness. Clarkson’s keyring, hanging from a hook on the living room wall, had its very own portable Sriracha bottle.
“It can be kind of a lot though, so we’ve agreed to never bring up certain topics around him, to avoid another ‘Claire’s birthday dinner’ situation,” Krakowski said. The roommates presented a “Hide From Todd” list that consisted of the following words: squid ink, macarons, kimchi, turmeric latte, matcha. Willis and Krakowski acknowledge that Clarkson could easily discover these foods via 30-second food videos on Facebook and Instagram. However, as of this story’s publication, Clarkson is still unaware of the Facebook meme renaissance and exclusively uses Tumblr.