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Pickle This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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There's a jar of pickles on the counter.
Nobody's going to eat them, because they're not just pickles; they're giant pickles. And everyone knows that giant pickles are soggy pickles.

I don't like to brag, but I'm somewhat of a pickle connoisseur. I've tasted countless brands soaked in various brines. And over the years, I've come to know the dos and don'ts of pickle consumption.

Above all – beyond the importance of the word “kosher,” the choice of proper zest, or the variety of cucumber – is the gravity of the nature of the top pickle.

You know the pickle. It sits at the top of the jar, pressed against the lid like a bloated green slug. The top pickle rests slightly above the brine, and has been lying there ever since the jar hit the shelf. Due to the century-long shelf life of pickles, this could be quite some time. And so, by the time you open the jar, the top pickle has reverted to its cucumber-like state, minus the crunch.

Fear not, young pickle lover. There is a way to redeem this sad fact of picklehood. You need only push the top-pickle aside, down into the brine, and instead eat the pickle underneath. Now, take a good look at that top pickle. Memorize its bumps and mushy indentations, because you don't want to mistakenly eat the top pickle before its time. With any luck, one of your siblings will happen along and eat the top pickle unwittingly. But, if not, simply continue the process – move top pickle, eat pickle underneath – until the top pickle becomes the bottom pickle.

At this point, the top pickle has returned to its pickle-like state and can be consumed without excessive gagging.

You're welcome.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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