Finding myself in a real pickle

Published 8:25 pm Friday, September 30, 2022

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“Gunsmoke” was a rerun as was Andy Griffith so there was nothing to watch on TV. So, I watched a news program about addictions and according to the expert on addictions, I am addicted to dill pickles and the addiction goes way back.

When I was a baby, I didn’t have a pacifier. Mama wrapped a dill pickle in a dish rag, tied it on a string and put it around my neck.

Back then, school children could go home for dinner if they lived nearby the school. I was one of the lucky ones because Mama almost always had a jar of “fresh” dill pickles to go with our vegetables, usually peas of some kind.

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The fresh dill pickles were no more than sliced cucumbers in a jar of dark vinegar, pepper and salt. Sometimes I ate them along with my vegetables. Other times, I had a bowl of pot liquor — a combination of pea soup, tomatoes, crumbled fried cornbread and fresh dill pickles. I was in hog heaven.

If I took my lunch, Mama always wrapped a dill pickle in tin foil and tucked it inside by lunch box.

My Aunt Eleanor, Mama’s sister, was also an addict.

We only had one car so, Aunt Eleanor would drive over from Eufaula to take me back for a week-long visit. Our first stop going and our last stop coming back would be at an old country store in Clio.

I would get squealing worms before we could get there, going either way.

Aunt Eleanor would buy us, me and her, a cold drink, a slice of hoop cheese and a dill pickle. We would sit under a big oak tree and enjoy ourselves to the fullest.

Almost from the day I was born, I ate dill pickles in the morning, in the afternoon and late at night.

I had always thought that I just had a carving for dill pickles but, according to the dill pickle expert from Harvard or Yale or MIT, I was a dill pickle addict. According to the experts, my addiction could cause me to go into DTs—Dill Tremors, they said.

I should seek medical advice immediately before I hurt myself or someone else.

My hands were sweating and I was breathing hard and my pulse was rapid. I tried to stand but I was weak. I reached for the telephone to call for help but I hit the remote control. Another episode of “Gunsmoke” was coming on – one that I had not seen. I suddenly felt better. I stood upright. I could balance. I could walk. I made it to the kitchen, opened the refrigeration, got a dill pickle and made it back just as Gunsmoke was coming on. What do experts know!