PUT THAT THING AWAY: A Tale of Unwanted Pickles

It’s come to my attention that my daughters occasionally read my blogs. While I don’t relish the idea of them seeing this particular story, I think it’s an important one to share. See, women don’t often talk about the unwanted junk they’ve been flashed in their lives. It happens with far more regularity than I think the world is aware of, though. Maybe it’s time we shared these stories, even though they’re gross. That’s why I’ll be referring to penises as “pickles” from here on out. For the sake of my girls.
The first Unwanted Pickle I ever saw was in middle school. I was 11-years-old and my 6th grade teacher had an awful smoking habit. She left us alone in the classroom several times a day, which was when the boys took over. Most of them (I can’t honestly remember if it was ALL of them) would whip out their pickles as soon as she shut the door, and dance around the classroom. We, the girls, would cover our eyes or bury our faces in books to try to block it out, while the helicopter dance played out around us. I remember one young man skirting disaster after laying his pickle on my friend’s desk. She had a hefty textbook nearby and tried to smash that mini-gherkin, but he got out of the way just in time. This Lord of the Flies display went on for a few days before someone finally told on them. It led to a separation of the boys and girls for a “What IS and IS NOT Appropriate” discussion, but that was about it. I don’t remember any of the boys getting into trouble and the whole situation eventually went away. I never even talked about it with my classmates after that. Most of those boys grew up to be good guys, and some were even my friends.
The next Unwanted Pickle happened when I was 15, on the first day of my very first job. I was working the phones at a health club for women, and my supervisor took me for a tour of the building. We rounded a corner and found a naked man, pickle in hand. Oh wait, I’m sorry. He was wearing red Converse tennis shoes because I remember the red streak as he dashed into the parking lot. This same man came back to our health club multiple times before he was finally arrested. That time, he was caught doing something unmentionable with some raw chicken breasts, which is what probably slowed him down.
I lose count of the Unwanted Pickles I’ve seen after that, but they usually came from random dudes in cars. Sometimes they’d ask for directions, then surprise you when you turned to talk to them. Other times they’d become inexplicably flexible, pushing their hips up to the window for pickle displays. There was one Scotsman in a kilt, who waggled his pickle at me during a Halloween party. Oddly enough, he’s the ONLY Unwanted Pickle who ever apologized to me. I guess he sobered up and remembered he wasn’t in Scotland anymore.
I never took any of these events very seriously. I always thought it was just a gross thing that some guys did, until I had children. Then the idea of an Unwanted Pickle became much more threatening, and sinister.
Like the man who would hang out near my daughters’ preschool, with his pickle on display. I called the cops on him multiple times. I chased him with my car. I even loaded my station-wagon with a bunch of equally angry Moms and tried to follow him one day. We never caught that man and I bet, if I spent enough time around that school today, I’d see that nasty pickle on display again.
I never took it seriously. I never spoke up. I always turned my head, walked away, or buried my face in a book.
We can’t do that anymore.
The news is filled with stories of Unwanted Pickles right now and, if you pay attention, you’ll realize these accounts are coming from some very young people. It’s time to start speaking up and encouraging everyone else to do same. We also need to give our kids one of those “What IS and IS NOT Appropriate” discussions before they’re dodging pickles in 6th grade.
The Parade of Unwanted Pickles needs to STOP, and if we can’t speak up for ourselves, how can we expect our kids to do the same? We should also remember to keep an extra hefty textbook on-hand at all times, just in case.

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