The Great Salt and Pepper Debate of 2020 might just be the most polarizing debate of this year.
All Garret Burns wanted to do was fill the brand new salt and pepper shakers his girlfriend had given him as a cute gift. However, just as he set about the task, he was confronted by a word puzzle so baffling that it sent him on a downward spiral of questions with seemingly no correct answers. Could he have let it go and simply put salt in one and pepper in the other and called it a day? Sure. But did he? Nope. Instead, he turned to the internet to help solve the brain teaser and in the process, started a multi-platform social media debate that has now gone viral.
It all started when Burns introduced his TikTok followers to the two shakers which read, "You're the salt" and "To my pepper." Presenting his conundrum to the all-knowing internet, he explained: "My girlfriend got me these cutesy little salt and pepper shakers that say, you’re the salt to my pepper. I was getting ready to put the salt in them, because that’s what you use them for, but then I realized that I don’t know which one to put the salt in." While normally one wouldn't have to do mental gymnastics to figure out which shaker is destined to hold salt and which one is for pepper, in Burns' case, this clearly wasn't the case.
Me, three days from now, waking up in a cold sweat thinking about this. pic.twitter.com/b5jqyxYxeg— Alex! (@MeowMeowPizza) July 7, 2020
"This one says, 'you're the salt'—and if these two shakers are talking to each other, which is kind of the vibe I get from this whole thing, this one is saying, 'you're the salt' and this one is saying, 'to my pepper,'" he continued, looking increasingly concerned with each passing moment. "So this one is saying it’s not the salt, and this one is saying that it is the pepper. So are they both pepper?" The man's got a point.
One shaker tells the truth, while the other always lies— Jackson Weaver (@jacksonwweaver) July 7, 2020
Burns continues arguing his case as he tries to analyze the words on the shakers to determine whether to put the salt in the shaker that says salt—but also says it's not salt—or to put a mix of salt and pepper in the other. "I have no idea what’s going on," he concludes. Although the TikTok community quickly took it upon themselves to solve the mystery of the salt and pepper shakers, it soon became apparent that the brain teaser was more polarizing than America's current state of political affairs.
I am having an absolute meltdown pic.twitter.com/2I1OeaWYNj— Elamin Abdelmahmoud (@elamin88) July 7, 2020
The Great Salt and Pepper Debate of 2020 soon spilled over to Twitter as well, where the plot thickened as many claimed the shaker with fewer holes was for salt while others strongly disagreed. The fact that the other one says "MY pepper" means he's actually not the pepper but he's referring to a certain pepper which he owns. We could then argue that the one which says "YOU'RE THE SALT" is actually the pepper owned by the one which says "to MY PEPPER," tweeted @theProefosa as though netizens didn't already have enough on their plates.
Is the salt shaker talking to me or is it talking to the other shaker? Am I the salt?— Eireann Dolan (@EireannDolan) July 7, 2020
Dude! 3 holes salt. 2 holes pepper. Not rocket science (or even engineering)— Andrew B Good (@jembefola) July 7, 2020
My favourite part about this video is that he's wearing an 'engineer' shirt— Sarah McKeever (@sarmckeev) July 7, 2020
Bro. 👏 you 👏 are 👏 an 👏 engineer 👏 get it together.— RAYMI THE MINX (@raymitheminx) July 7, 2020
Mans gonna be building bridges my dude he needs an answer on this— Elamin Abdelmahmoud (@elamin88) July 7, 2020
Thankfully, Burns soon announced the conclusion to his dilemma after taking into consideration the many suggestions and theories he'd been bombarded with. "One of the prevailing arguments was that this one says salt and so when you read salt your brain goes immediately to salt so I put salt in that one," he said. "And then in this one, like obviously, well I can't really get anything out. I put mustard." There you have it, folks. Case closed.
This is the right answer. I began by thinking that the labels would just be opposite, but breaking the phrase across the two creates the equivalent of a programming loop. Putting it all on one resolves the paradox.— Lloyd Caesar (@0ctav1uz) July 7, 2020
It's Dr Pepper. He didn't get his doctorate in 23 flavors to be disrespected like that!— Matthew Idler (@MatthewIdler) July 7, 2020
Yes as the user of the shakers it makes much more sense. You are the salt to my pepper. Makes perfect sense if you as the owner of both shakers say it.— steyrshrek (@steyrshrek) July 8, 2020