John Prine Travels With Condiments, As Any Sensible Genius Does

John Prine! He's been writing and playing country-folk music for almost half a century, creating indelible songs that have been cherished by listeners, covered by other artists, and have inspired other inspiring troubadours for decades. He's a legend, and holy shit, we have something in common: John Prine, too, likes a fancy-ass mustard.

Prine, who's currently touring in support of his latest album The Tree Of Forgiveness, spoke with The New York Times for their recurring feature, Carry On. It's a series that asks musicians, writers, athletes, actors, and other famous types what things they can't travel without. Prine, as it happens, can't go without condiments:

"I take my own syrup, ketchup and mustard, just in case of emergencies, in my suitcase. Whatever I can steal from the hotels. It's usually Heinz ketchup and they give you a weird mustard. You don't get French's or anything; you get some sort of Dijon or some mustard. That's just for hot dogs. I don't use mustard for anything else."

I'm sorry to hear that Mr. Prine has not yet discovered that you can put "a weird mustard" on lots of things to immediately make them more delicious, but I am sincerely glad that he's prepared for any food emergency.

I am gladder still to read this incredibly endearing fact that has nothing to do with food. It concerns Prine's Archie subscription, which he's maintained for more than four decades: "I subscribe to it under the name 'Johnny Prine, Age 71,' and I give my correct age and you know, you go to the mailbox once a month, and there's an Archie comic there with your name on it — it's kind of a nice feeling."

He also carries a toy motorcycle for good luck, and a kazoo his wife gave him. Travel safely, Mr. Prine! And thanks for the great read, NYT!