Posted by: David | January 17, 2008

Sad Pickled Egg Story

At lunch today the topic turned, miraculously, to pickled eggs. And one of my colleagues told us a poignant pickled egg story from her childhood. I asked her if it would be OK for me to post it, and she said “Sure!”

When she was a kid, about 8 or 9, she spied the gallon jar of pickled eggs at the superette deli counter while grocery shopping with her mom. Eggs being one of her favorite foods, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, etc. she asked her mother to please buy some. Maybe that was the 5th or 7th thing she’d told her daughter that they weren’t going to buy on this shopping trip. Her mother simply said “Oh, you wouldn’t like those”. Well the eggs floating in the jar were an enticing vision to our girl, and she saved up her money.

And one day she walked down the hill to the market on her own. And she asked the man at the deli counter about the pickled eggs. He asked her how many? Apparently she hadn’t understood that they could be sold individually, so she said she’d take one jar. One gallon jar of pickled eggs. With a wide cover that a 9-year old girl’s hand has some trouble gripping and removing. She wanted those eggs. Bought the jar with her hard-earned babysitting (she was a sharp little 9 year old!) cash, and carried it out of the store. And she got that cover off, pulled out a pickled egg, and took a bite.

It was AWFUL! She hated it and didn’t even finish egg number one. What had she expected? What to do? Her money was spent on something really yukky about which her mother had been right. Dammit! How could any self-respecting 9-year old bear this gallon of shame all the uphill way home? I wonder if she cried- I’ll bet not. I missed asking my colleague some of the more important questions. She took the gallon jar of eggs behind the store and dumped them. And she went home. I wonder if she ever told her mom about that ill-considered purchase. And to this day she’s never acquired a taste for pickled eggs. Something tells me that stories similar to this one, but nowhere near as amusing, could be among the many reasons why pickled eggs are not real popular.



  1. All I can think of is that one time in Simpsons when Homer was at Moe’s and he was really depressed, and he started eating from the jar of pickled eggs, even though they were old and highly questionable….that and that alone makes them unpopular for me (and the vinegar aversion I mentioned earlier…ugh…)

  2. Trying to interpret your comment romi. Hopefully I am correctly reading that your aversion to pickled eggs is connected to a deep empathy for Homer Simpson. Right? It’s OK that you don’t like the eggs, but if you didn’t like the Simpsons either, I would be crushed.

    Kevin recently reminded me of that episode, wherein Barney gulps down the brine after Homer finishes the eggs. And your remembering of it resonates nicely with the sad story of discovery in this post. Who would have thought that pickled eggs resonated so deeply with so many???

  3. Well let me clear it up: my aversion is directly related to and ONLY related to the “old and highly questionable” nature of the pickled eggs in Moe’s Tavern, as well as Homer’s state of mind in that particular scene (he was down for the count so he resorted to old pickled eggs!?!?!! Poor guy…). My love for Homer J. Simpson (and the Simpsons in general) knows no bounds.

    Glad we cleared that up, otherwise our profound friendship would have come to an abrupt end, courtesy of YOUR aversion to ME 😉

  4. Thanks romi, it would have been an unimaginable shock to find that you didn’t like The Simpsons. I’m so relieved!

  5. I believe two episodes were merged in my brain. It was Mr Plow I was thinking of and the scene is depicted toward the bottom of this page

    Thank you for this link Kev! DEADON- APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE POP CULTURE!”

  6. This is the cutest damned story.

  7. She told it way better than I did moonbeam. But I’m glad you liked it.

  8. I feel sorry for the little girl spending all her money on pickled eggs, but she should have kept the jar! Those jars are awesome! She could have filled it with cookies, or bagels.

    Everything that is “edible” at Moe’s is truly repulsive, so I can totally see Romi’s trepidation about pickled eggs. Pickled eggs are probably the most normal thing at Moe’s, as everything else is made out of hair and sewage , or something to that effect.

  9. Trying to interpret your comment romi. Hopefully I am correctly reading that your aversion to pickled eggs is connected to a deep empathy for Homer Simpson. Right? It’s OK that you don’t like the eggs, but if you didn’t like the Simpsons either, I would be crushed.

    Wait. Wait. WAIT. Are you saying that people exist that DON’T LIKE THE SIMPSONS?

    That’s just a horrible thought.

    What was funny about that scene was that there is truly nothing that Homer won’t eat, and nothing that Barney won’t drink.

  10. Yes, Renee such people are rare, but they’re out there. In this big country of ours, you occasionally meet folks who’ve never tasted broccoli, or never eat apples. I know it’s incredible.

    Most oft-remembered Barney line for me was the time that Moe was mad at Homer and banished him from the bar.

    Moe:(angrily) “Show Homer the door, Barney!”

    Barney:(incredulous) “There’s a door?!”

  11. Or what about when Barney made that “film noir” about himself for the Springfield Film Festival? It was all in black and white, there was a wilting rose, symbolizing how his drinking was stripping away his life, and then of course, the famous line spoken by Barney:

    “Don’t cry for me, I’m already dead”

  12. @ Romi – Yes! That’s one of my favorite lines, too. But my all-time favorite line doesn’t even involve Homer. It’s when Bart and Lisa were showing Marge how to do a Rubik’s Cube and were shouting directions at her. Bart says, “Spin the middle side topwise. Topwise!”

    It’s become a catch phrase in our family for whenever someone is trying to assemble something.

  13. I like eggs and I like vinegar but I don’t like pickles. So I can’t figure out if I’d like pickled eggs. I’ve never had one.

    I don’t like cartoons either but I do like the Simpsons and I used to watch Southpark.
    I guess I just didn’t like cartoons when I was a kid.

  14. joanharvest your open-mindedness is impressive. So you’re a pickled egg virgin! Well hot diggety dog. What do we have here folks?

    Your liking of Simpsons and South Park excuses your general dislike for cartoon. Statistically, the bulk of cartoons on TV are insipid brainwashing fluid. Try Family Guy some time!

    Regarding your virginity, all I can say is DON’T buy the whole gallon jar!

    Romi, that WAS Barney’s shining moment wasn’t it? The poor, pathetic fellow.

    No wonder I was never able to solve the Rubik’s cube!

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