This week’s news for pickles

Back on the 3rd, in “The pickle watch”, a survey of matters concerning pickles (pickled cucumbers) as food and as phallic symbols — and now fresh pickle news comes from Mike Pope, who encountered this remarkable object at McLendon Hardware in Renton WA, on a shelf of stuff from Archie McPhee:

(#1) The electronic yodelling pickle, combining in one small battery-operated package the double risibility of pickles with the quaint ridiculousness of yodelling

From the Archie McPhee site:

Are you sick and tired of trying to convince a jar of pickles to yodel using melodious mind bullets and sheer force of will? So were we. At last, the Electronic Yodelling Pickle that you have always hoped for! Each 5-1/4” long plastic pickle yodels its little heart out at the push of a button. Batteries included.

You can listen to the EYP’s siren song on the site.

On yodel(l)ing, from Wikipedia:

Yodeling (also yodelling or jodeling) is a form of singing which involves repeated and rapid changes of pitch between the low-pitch chest register (or “chest voice”) and the high-pitch head register or falsetto. The English word yodel is derived from the German (and originally Austro-Bavarian) word jodeln, meaning “to utter the syllable jo” (pronounced “yo” in English). This vocal technique is used in many cultures worldwide.

Alpine yodeling was a longtime rural tradition in Europe, and became popular in the 1830s as an entertainment in theaters and music halls. In Central Africa, yodeling was a form of communication announcing the yodeler’s location and identity. In the United States, traveling minstrels were yodeling in the 19th century, and in 1920 the Victor recording company listed 17 yodels in their catalogue. Music historians credit the first country recording to include yodeling to Riley Puckett in 1924. In 1928, blending Alpine yodeling with traditional work, blues, hobo, and cowboy music, Jimmie Rodgers released his recording “Blue Yodel No. 1”. Rodgers’ Blue Yodel created an instant national craze for yodeling in the United States

Now seen as the province of Alpine peasants and old-fashioned cowboy crooners, yodeling seems faintly (or quaintly) ridiculous to many people. And of course pickles are themselves objects of fun, in two ways at once: as a food, where they’re seen as cheap, ethnic (Germanic and/or Jewish), and working-class; and as coarse (yuck-yuck) phallic symbols.

Then about Archie McPhee:

(#2) The bacon strip is the mascot of Archie McPhee’s bacon-flavored toothpaste

Two things “frequently bought together” with EYP: Archie McPhee Instant underpants; The Farting Animals Coloring Book by M T Lott.

More pickle silliness from Archie McPhee:


Then two pieces of musical pickle silliness, turning on portmanteaus:

(#4) dill pickle + piccolo

(#5) guitar pick + pickle

Then an actual musical instrument, though a very modest one: a penny whistle in the shape of a pickle:


And finally, some free-verse silliness on my part, about a character named Alec (Latin alec ‘herrings, pickle’) Murie (Latin 1st decl. muria or 5th decl. muriēs ‘brine’) and his amazing jukebox, the pickelodeon:

Alec Murie, the
Notorious pickle-player,
Would wet his whistle
On an electronic pickle, then
Put another pickle in
His fabulous pickelodeon

Scurrilous double entendres, and a play on the song “Music! Music! Music!”. From Wikipedia:

“Music! Music! Music! (Put Another Nickel In)” is a popular song written by Stephen Weiss and Bernie Baum and published in 1949.

The biggest-selling version of the song was recorded by Teresa Brewer with the Dixieland All-Stars on 20 December 1949, and released by London Records as catalog number 604. It became a #1 hit and a million-seller in 1950. It became Brewer’s signature song and earned her the nickname “Miss Music”.

You can listen to Teresa Brewer singing the song here.

The words:

Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon
All I want is having you and music, music, music!
I’d do anything for you, anything you’d want me to
All I want is kissing you and music, music, music!

Closer, my dear come closer
The nicest part of any melody
Is when you’re dancing close to me

Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon
All I want is loving you and music, music, music!

The sense of nickelodeon here is the first one in NOAD:

noun nickelodeonNorth American informal, dated a jukebox, originally one operated by the insertion of a nickel coin. 2 historical a movie theater with an admission fee of one nickel.

The pickelodeon is, of course, pickle-operated.

2 Responses to “This week’s news for pickles”

  1. [BLOG] Some Monday links | A Bit More Detail Says:

    […] Zwicky considers various odd appearances of pickles in contemporary popular […]

  2. Robert Coren Says:

    My first encounter with the “Nickelodeon” song was actually via a parody, and my mother had to quote the original for me to understand it.

    Sometime in the late 1950s, Walt Kelly, in his Pogo comic strip, marked a visit to the US by Nikita Khrushchev by having his swamp visited by a bear who bore a remarkable resemblance to the Soviet leader, and who, in an attempt to spread love and joy, danced and sang the following (from very old memory, close enough if not perfect, and in any case having to guess as to capitalization):

    “Pushkin natchka Nikolin,
    Invitch Khachaturian,
    Olga vanda’s loving U.N.
    Muzhik, muzhik, muzhik!”

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