Most of us are well aware of the dangers associated with second hand smoke, but I would like to “rant” for a moment about another second hand contaminant that is just as insidious, but less spoken of. Second hand pickle juice.

I hate pickles. HATE them. They give me shivers. I hate the way they smell and I hate the way they taste. And you know what? I am not alone. There are millions of people out there that do not like pickles either.

A pickle is not an innocuous food like, say, a potato chip. A potato chip has a mild taste and when laid beside a sandwich can simply be brushed aside if not wanted. Not so with a pickle! Not only does a pickle have an extremely strong (nasty) taste, when placed beside a sandwich its juice spreads over the entire plate contaminating everything it touches and soaks into the bottom of the bread.

Why then do restaurants feel that it is ok to slap a pickle next to your $8.00 sandwich without asking permission?

I have made it a habit over the years to look at a menu carefully before ordering a sandwich to make sure a pickle isn’t included in the description. If it is, I simply beg, “For the love of God, please do not put a pickle on my plate”! Four out of five times my plate arrives with a pickle anyway. After handing the plate back to my waitress, she returns a few minutes later with the sandwich, sans pickle, however the fact that the sandwich still tastes like pickle juice just proves the fact that after spitting on my sandwich the pickle is simply tossed in the trash (or possibly recycled) and the plate returned.

Worse, though, are restaurants that don’t even mention the pickle and simply assume that everyone is a “pickle person”. How arrogant! Would they assume that everyone is an escargot person? I think not! Would a restaurant warn you ahead of time if they planned to pour Dr. Pepper all over your plate? Raspberry sauce? Ketchup? Of course they would.

Now is the time for pickle haters across the nation to rise up and demand our rights! We say NO to drugs, NO to second hand smoke, and NO to second hand pickle juice!

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