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A Pickle Sandwich
the Pickle Sandwich
one Pickle Sandwich


Whichever you choose, all I know is that it started with a/one/the/THE Pickle Sandwich.


And a fish.


Corie: tall, thin, scruffy, female, student, blondish, smart, creative, outspoken, trouble-finding, precocious (whatever THAT means), eager, mature, silly, immature, messy-roomed, imaginative, animal-loving girl.

Corie lives in a suburb of a big city in the Northeast. Want to know which city? Well, I can’t tell you that.

The house she lives in:
• is painted white;
• has many rooms including, two and a half bathrooms (Corie still wonders where the other half went);
• has a big, big, big, huge front yard;
• has an even bigger, bigger, bigger, more huge back yard;
• is old;
• contains two irritating older but not more mature brothers;
• has the neatest boy-you-can-get-messy-and-in-big-trouble-after-playing-in-it-and-going-into-the-house-and-lying-upside-down-all-muddy-on-your-bed-to-read-a-book-even-though-reading-is-good-for-you stream next to it;
• has plenty of food;
• contains one dog (although, it is often asked, “Why we can’t have fifteen dogs? That’s silly. I’ll take care of them.”);
• is happy;
• looks good in winter;
• has great snakes in the yard, but that’s another story;
• has a fox who visits the yard;
• is also visited by white-tailed deer, as well as one weird deer with no tail and a goofy limp who eats mushrooms and doesn’t run away when you go outside and look at him;
• and contains a mother and a father.


That snake story is pretty interesting, and I wish I could tell you more about the trouble that whole thing caused but I can’t right now.

Anyhow, anyhoo, anywhatever...

Whenever I get off track and try to tell you something else or go off and tell another story—like the time Smelly Timmy, too young to sled, went down the “world’s most incredible slippery, slidey, sled run in Corie’s back yard that only costs a quarter to use all day” and broke his wrist and lost a tooth, and Corie got mad because she never got her quarter but got in more trouble than he did, even though he welched—whenever I get off track like that and I remember what I was supposed to be doing, I end up saying, “Anyhow, or anyhoo,  or anywhatever,” and then try to get back to the story.

I think.


It’s a nice house in a nice neighborhood with nice parents and irritating brothers and Corie.

And a pickle and a fish.

The pickle.

Listen. Dad, who is not so, so bad as dads go, actually likes pickles. He was home making late lunch, or maybe early dinner, and Corie was Corie-ing around, not doing anything really, but kind of doing it wrong anyway. Dad was making lunch/dinner, and Corie said for the ten-thousandth time, “What’s to eat?”
Dad finally said, “Pickle sandwiches,” even though Corie hates (or as Mom says, “dislikes immensely”) pickles.


The pickle in question:
• was green—and not a nice shade of green like the green stuff that came out the time Corie threw up all over the bedroom after the birthday party thingy happened;
• was wrinkled (aren’t they all?);
• smelled;
• was some new kind that was even bigger than the old kind;
• came from a jar;
• was cold;
• and wouldn’t be eaten by the dog who ate ASOLUTELY ANYTHING (Corie knew this because she had tried feeding the dog ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING).


I’m not going to tell you the name of Corie’s dog. She thinks if you know the name of her dog and what a great pull-you-in-the-sled, chase-you-through-the-house-and-the-muddy-stream, and eat-the-vegetables-you-pass-her-under-the-table-except-for-pickles dog she is, you’ll come to the Northeast and steal her.

That’s why I can’t tell you the name of Corie’s dog and have to just call her “Corie’s dog,” because you might steal her.

Corie’s brothers’ names are Robert and James.

The fish in question...
…was served at the early dinner/late lunch on last night’s rice, reheated in the micro-wavy.


At least there were no leftover green beans.

The fish wasn’t that bad, but you never want to admit to your parents that you like fish, or else you’ll get it all the time instead of good dinner stuff like popcorn, pudding, and Popsicles.


Dad suggested she eat his extra half of a pickle sandwich and all of the fish, but Corie was way, way, way too full from all that rice, thank you very much.
Brothers Robert/Bobby and James/James came in around then, but they had more important stuff to do like go up to their room and talk about baseball or pick t

their noses.

If you ask them about the hockey game they’re watching on TV when it’s in the middle of baseball season and it’s clearly a baseball game they’re watching, it’s guaranteed to earn you a bop on the arm; and if you fall down or bump into the wall like the bop really hurts or something, then maybe the brother gets in big or medium trouble and can’t watch baseball for like a month or two years or until there’s enough money in his savings account to pay for college.

Dad said to Corie, “There are people starving all over the world and right here in our very own town, and boy, it would be a shame to waste food, even if it is pickles and fish,” so that’s how all this started.

“Well, Dad, I couldn’t agree more.” (They hate it or at least immensely dislike it when you agree with them.) “Dad, it truly, truly, deeply would be a shame to waste a perfectly good pickle half and a hunk of fish that could be used to feed all the starving people in our town, or at least the known universe.”

“But—and I mean, BUT—wouldn’t it be better if we could put this itty, bitty piece of fish and pickle to better use and feed many more people and kids and goats? Wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it?”

“Anyhow, what I thought was we (you and me and that new shovel I’m not supposed to use because I broke the last one, even though, who would know that a shovel would break if you just accidentally dropped it from the second-floor bedroom window while trying to get a crow off the roof? And no, I did not almost fall out the window with the shovel, since my pants were caught on the bed anyway)...anyhow, couldn’t we just use that new shovel and me and you to plant the piece of fish and the pickle in the front yard and grow a pickle-and-fish tree to feed more people? Couldn’t we? It would grow lots of pickles and fish, and some people like pickles and fish, so we could feed lots of people instead of just one girl who’s pretty full from all that rice anyway.”

“I never get to do anything fun.”

You would expect Dad to give a long, speechless look, like there’s a piece of gum stuck in your hair that’s so long it trails down to your feet and gets caught in the carpet and has twenty colors and maybe marshmallows in it.

You’d expect him to say, “I wonder whose child you are anyway and if there REALLY WAS some kind of a mistake between the hospital and the zoo that day, or at least the circus.”

But instead, Dad said, “Sure. Go ahead. Please use the new shovel. Plant the fish and pickle and feed many, many more people in the world. That’s a great idea, and I know you can do it.”







Which takes half the fun—or at least a third of the fun, or maybe eleven-sixteenths of the fun—out of it, but so what? We’re talking:
                         new shoveling and
                              mess-making (approved even!) and
Corie doesn’t have to eat the pickle or fish, which has to be pretty cold and gross now ‘cause it came out of the micro-wavy around ten hours ago.


Pretty good for a Thursday.

That’s how this all began.

One Green Fermented Chapter

Two: The Beginnings(s) Still More

Two: The Beginning(s)

Two: The Beginnings(s) Some More

Three Finally

Find it here:

What’s not to love about digging and mud?

Corie: tall, thin, scruffy, female, student, blondish, smart, creative, outspoken, trouble-finding, precocious (whatever THAT means), eager, mature, silly, immature, messy-roomed, imaginative, animal-loving girl ……

……. has actual PERMISSION FROM HER FATHER to dig a hole in the front yard of her house. As an added bonus she can use the water hose, wheelbarrow, shovel, spray paint, a sign and any and all neighborhood friends she wants. After this whole, hole digging event, lots of oddness ensues not just from the aforementioned father, but from her mother, a dog walker, the police chief, the newspaper guy and the scowling town librarian.

Does any good come of this at all? Well, sit down, grab a free cheese sandwich and find out. Oh! One other thing. If you ABSOLUTELY do not like reading, then read this book. It is a tad nutty, nonsensical and sometimes barely even seems like a book.

If you are a parent who has a child that appears to be un-fond of reading, well, then, bribe them to try this by telling them it’s about popcorn, pudding, and Popsicles.

And pickles.


The End of the Beginning(s): Five

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