The Poison Pickle

I am about finished being the lunch-packer for my two high school daughters. They will be most pleased when mother is again putting her loving touch on things.

One is extremely analytical. She lifts her lunch box before leaving home for a weight check and can tell if I shorted her one Dorito. I have no idea how she does it.

The other? Well, she’s a target.

Let me explain. My eldest went to college and left a void. While incredibly intelligent, she is a trusting and gullible soul, which leaves lots of room for good-natured hazing. And I always say, “If you can’t haze your own kids, who can you haze?” Our youngest is going through enough and the analytical child is dubious of everything; which leaves our little freshman hypochondriac to fill the void.

Enter the stray pickle.

I started putting a pickle in a baggie and adding it to her lunch the other day. She loves pickles. After a couple of pickle surprises, I got this text, “Are you sure those pickles are good? I checked the date and they expired in August.”

My response, “Sure they’re good. That’s what pickling does. Those things will be good for fifty years.”

Then, an idea began fermenting like that old jar in the back of the fridge. It’s time for some fun! I carefully planned my ruse, waited a couple of hours to set up my trap, and fired this off, “You didn’t eat that pickle did you?”

Nothing. I could picture her sitting in English Lit wondering what that could mean. Five minutes passed and I sent another.

“I read something about pickle poisoning that scares me…”

“WHAT????” along with several wide-eyed emojis. 😨😨😨😨😨😨

“Sorry, gotta go into a meeting. Back in an hour.”



An hour. What would she do in an hour? I giggled at my desk wondering if she would look up pickle poisoning on the internet, the ultimate source of truth. That’s been covered! I had already entered a finely crafted Wikipedia article detailing diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. I even created a Facebook support group that garnered two sad members almost immediately. Yes, I could visualize my third-born wandering aimlessly into the woods where I waited to pull the net that would lift her into my trap. This was going to be awesome!

After the hour expired, I sent this one, “You okay? No swelling or tingling in your hands or feet?”

A long lapse made me wonder if there really was something wrong with the lunch I’d packed. There is nothing worse than sitting beside a baited trap while no unsuspecting quarry wanders past. It seemed like forever before she replied.

“You gonna drive me to ballet?” she finally asked.

“Yes… if you are still okay by then.”

“Oh, I texted Meredith and she told me not to believe anything you said.” 😛😛😛😛

Crap! All that work for nothing. I forgot to cover that base and left a gaping hole in my plan. I should be pleased that she went to her sister for support unlike the two souls I left groping in the dark when I shut down their Facebook page. I should be. But I’m not. Freddie Mercury might have wanted someone to love – I just want someone to haze and I’m running out of victims.