31 March 2007...7:17 pm

Fatty Sow

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There’s something I’ve wanted to talk about for awhile. It’s how many pickles you can eat in a night before you’ve eaten an odd number of pickles. Not odd as in eighty-seven, fifty-one, et cetera, but odd as in abnormal. Or perhaps even slightly gross.

I went out to a neat barbeque place the other night, but I’d had a late lunch and am a vegetarian, so instead of ordering nine links of glistening, flesh-pink sausage I decided I wanted pickles.

Fette Sau, by the way, reminded me of a fish joint that my family used to go to in our beach house town before my parents remembered that they weren’t obese white Philadelphians like the rest of the patrons, or something. Anyway, I loved the fish place. We could buy creamy macaroni and cheese and baked beans by the pound. By the pound is exactly how Fette Sau (fatty sow? that’s what a horrendous husband–I can’t even say it) sells their food. Naturally, I asked Max to get a pound of pickles. That was what it said on the menu! A pound.

Max didn’t even blink, because he is occasionally tolerant and also, I presume, because he was aware that we were patronizing an overwhelmingly meat heavy establishment. The woman behind the counter took our order, listening obediently as Max named all these meaty dishes that he and everyone else were going to eat, and it wasn’t until he got to my dinner that she interrupted.

“Pickles? Do you want a half pound?”

“Oh”–I’d heard her question, and I was silently urging Max to not turn around and relay her question to me, but he did–”hey, Emma, do you just want a half pound of pickles?”

What was I supposed to say?? No, babe, no I’m famished for salt and brine and things that used to be cucumbers so I want a whole pound? There were so many other people around, and none of them were my friend Lee, who can also polish off a jar of half-sours in an afternoon.

“Uh, yeah. Half a pound, sure.”

When the pickles arrived, I demanded that no one pay attention to how many there were then and how many there would be by the end of the meal, but later that night as I was gnawing on my chapped, brine-dehydrated bottom lip, I had to ask myself: how many pickles is an odd number of pickles?

But don’t worry, I wasn’t conflicted for long. One. That’s the answer! The oddest number of pickles would be only one.

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