I hate pickles. Loathe them. Pickles suck. Pickles are worse than chili served in high school cafeterias, worse than liver and onions, worse than the cabbages sold in Soviet-era grocery stores.

I love cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers are divine. When God sits on His Throne in Heaven, He eats cheeseburgers. On Earth, not as it is in Heaven, cheeseburgers come with pickles. The people who defile cheeseburgers are Philistines. They should be shackled outside the city gates, spat upon and ridiculed.

On average, I order two cheeseburgers per week. With the notable exception of Five Guys and Fries, who have adopted a civilized business model allowing you to tailor your own burger, I am forced to caveat every cheeseburger order.

“Ma’am, could you hold the pickles on that burger, please? Thanks so much.”

Note that I could say, “Hold the pickles,” but I’m from the South. In the South things  take longer than they should. Like Free Bird.

Since I’ve been old enough to order my own cheeseburgers the pickle caveat has stolen 24,960 seconds from my life. That’s almost seven hours, wasted because some asshole in ancient times drowned a cucumber in brine, fermented it, and later slipped that unspeakable horror between his crusty lips.

Not a single character in my novels eat pickles. When you read MADNESS RISING, you will see that not a single character is burdened by the yoke that is the pornography of the pickle.