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The Skinny Chronicles: Pickles and Politics

Vito Cole, Columnist

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Jack and I were listening to Tom Petty Saturday night while choking down tall boys and watching the Huskers play Wisconsin and the Cubs play game 2 of the NLDS. So many good songs, so many memories, so many years. Playing in bands over the last 25 years, I have shared a stage with many fellow musicians who know all the words and can jam out to any requested Petty jam. I, unfortunately, have never learned any of these songs. I can follow along, but Petty was never my go to songwriter guy. I was deeply saddened with the news of his passing, then the uncomfortable, he “Won’t Back Down” thing, cause you know he returned to life for a couple of hours in there. I felt guilty as I bitched to Jack about the extra pickles he snuck onto my bacon cheeseburger pizza.

“These pickles suck.”

“Then why the hell did you order them?”

I was fairly upset with him as I noticed the stacks of pickles on his plate. Little stacks of pickles representing the little stacks of quarters I spent on the damned things. I was trying to feel bad about Tom Petty and now I was distracted by my level of hate for Jack and his disregard for my stacks of money (quarters are money, people, check your couch cushions and pay your rent). These were political pickles, and I was very angry. I tend to be more of a conservative pickle guy, and yet here’s Jack liberally throwing pickles around like there isn’t a child out there right now craving a pickle, yet not being able to satisfy that craving. A blatant disregard for any kind of pickle sensibility.

Before I knew it, I had changed the music, the Huskers and the Cubs both lost, there were pickles strewn across the whole house and Jack and I were doing shots of pickle juice, with Windsor chasers.

We were now listening to Jethro Tull, I don’t know why. Jack kept screaming, “Jethro Tull is the greatest rock-n-roll band ever.”

As we were heading to the kitchen to play a game of chess I felt a shadow move past my right ear. I knew immediately what it was. It was a bat. I hate bats. Almost as much as snakes, pickles now, and Jethro Tull. This had been a common occurrence at Jack’s house as long as I can remember. We knew the drill. We went to the hallway closet and grabbed the tennis rackets. Jack is basically blind, drunk or not, so playing bat tennis with him is always fun, if not a bit dangerous. He plays a mean game, though. He took a swing and pinned the bat against the wall, slid him down to the floor and I handed him my racket. He trapped the bat between the two tennis rackets and led him outside.

Tom Petty didn’t deserve a night like this. The guilt was making me feel nauseous. I think it was guilt. Bad pickle maybe.

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The Skinny Chronicles: Pickles and Politics