I SAID HOLD THE PICKLE!!! I Will Teach You Art For A Mere $5,000

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22819 – 992

Here’s the haps:

First, please let me apologize in advance, I have not researched this post as much as some I’ve done but to be fair, I really didn’t care that much except for how absurd the world actually is. TNT and Mrs. Herb and I got a good laugh out of it. I just wish I knew how to make this stuff up.

Nothing much apropos to this post, really, but the jingle I remember from childhood for Burger King went,

Hold the pickles
Hold the lettuce
Special orders don’t upset us
All we ask is that you let us serve it your way

Except that, at around the same time that one was on the air, McDonald’s also had the new jingle out for their new sandwich, that made sure you knew its ingredients were,

Two all-beef patties,
Special sauce, lettuce, cheese
Pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun

In some localities, you could win a free sandwich if you could say the jingle correctly in a certain amount of time, which was pretty cool.

You likely remember, if you’ve been here a while that one of my characters, Art Vegan, is an artist. I wish I had made up this story about him but I guess it really is true that Truth is stranger than fiction. But Art takes what he does seriously.

I have been sick the last several days and while I was perusing my news feeds I read a story that hearkened me back to the days when art was art and a guy could sell a banana, duct-taped to a wall for $120,000(USD) or an invisible statue could sell for $18,000 (USD). “But Herb,” I’m sure somebody said, but that might just be the codeine cough syrup, but I’m sure somebody might say it anyway, “What’s with all the hamburger stuff? Subway calls their employees, Sandwich Artists, but really, what are you carrying on about?”

Well, I saw this article in my feed and I was in a pickle. Could it really be true or were the drugs beginning to take effect? But no, I found it in several places, so as silly as it sounds, the Michael Lett Art Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand is displaying a piece of work by someone named Matthew Griffin which consists of a pickle, pulled from a McDonald’s cheeseburger and flicked into the air to the ceiling and stuck there. You can buy it for a mere $6,275(USD) which is $10,000(NZD). I actually found several articles about the installation but the one I’ve chosen to link is from a hoity-toity, artsy-fartsy-sounding site called news.artnet.com but it appeared in several other places in my search as well. Oh, and you don’t get the cheeseburger or the actual pickle from the ceiling of the art gallery, you get instructions on how to perform the art in your own space, not like some mere barbarian sitting at a table in McDonald’s with his buddies and saying, “Watch this!” No, you get to do this in your own space.

TNT, Mrs. Herb, and I enjoyed a good laugh at this one. My guess is that this guy and his “spokesman” were just a couple of bums off the street, I mean, who eats McDonald’s at an art gallery? Art gallery food is fancy wines and expensive, unpronounceable cheeses, not hamburgers. The guy’s walking around and says to his buddy, “Look mate, d’ya think I can hit that vaulted ceiling with this ‘ere pickle?” The other guy giggles a little bit and says, “Go fer it, chum. Whatta they gonna do, throw us out?” Of course, just as it makes that satisfying “THWACK” of the ketchup-covered pickle hitting the ceiling squarely the director comes around the corner and starts yelling. The spokesman tells his buddy to start crying and then turns to the red-faced, yelling man and says, in a horribly affected French accent, “Now look at what you have done! Ze soul of zis great artist has been injured! You Philistine! You Visigoth! You Squirrel! Zees ees none ozaire zan zee wairld-renowned Massew Greefen!” Taken aback, the director stumbles around for words to make an apology and the spokesman knows his mark and presses on, “I would think you would know when you were watching the installation of fine art!” Putting his arm around his friend he says, “zaire, zaire. He deed not know who you are.” “Ees that possible? I have so many friends in the media…” With that, the director, who wants no bad publicity, interrupts, “Look. I’m very, very sorry. I’ll give you, a thousand dollars and name credit for it.” The artist turns to his friend and lays his head in his chest, pretending to sob…so as to cover up his laughter. “How dare you? Why just the experience of watching this was worth ten times that!” “Okay. Okay. I will pay ten thousand dollars plus naming rights for it.” “Cash money, up front.” “Deal.”

After the deal is done, money in his pocket, Matthew says, “Look fellers, I think we could all do with a bit of extra cash in our pocket. Why don’t we turn around and sell it? Not the actual one but, well, everyone who comes here fancies themselves as a bit of an artist or artiste, let’s make a bunch of artists. I’ll write up a beautiful book talking about art and the soul of the artist and that eventually describes the process I used. A book about flicking a ketchup-laden pickle to the ceiling. That they can do in their very own space.” “We can’t keep very many burgers, here, though.” “Oh no. They have to buy their own cheeseburger!” They all start laughing and slapping each other on the back and the director looks at him and says, “You, sir, are a true artist!”

So, time marches on around our house we have now dubbed Bear Paw Lodge and the only one well enough to do errands is TNT who goes out and picks up prescriptions and brings home supper. Burgers. As she walks into the house she says, “Dad! They put pickles on the burgers!” We crack up and Mrs. Herb just says, “No!” And I turn to TNT and say, “Besides, these are Burger King burgers. Philistine!”

I’ll teach you how to do it for only $5,000 dollars.


  1. I forgive you for this post because you’ve been sick. Now, I am singing the McDonald’s jingle. It’s an earwig in my head.

    Love the name Bear Paw Lodge. We’ve been trying to come up with a name for our house without luck. Sigh.

  2. How very generous of you. I’ve heard that a big reason art like this is so expensive is because it’s a great way to launder money, which kind of make sense.

  3. Moral of the story: if you really want to make money as an artist become a concept artist and consider the most ridiculous or mundane thing to sell for an extravagant amount of money. Or in this case the concept is for sale.

  4. Your post reminds me of somebody I know who can really order things in a list of: hold the pickle, hold the sauce, extra pepercorn, chili on the side, a sprinkle of xxx, copious xxx… And the list can go on for a minute. That’s an exaggeration, but still the list is quite long. She used to live in New York and can pronounce all the unpronounceable entries, no matter what corner of the world they come from. LOL. I guess people used to order fast food like that back in the 70s or 80s. I wonder if fast food tasted better in those days.

    • That’s interesting how someone can do that.
      For me, growing up in the 70s we never had much money for “going out” and I think it probably felt like it tasted better because it was like a treat.

  5. Presumably it’s art if you do it with a medium you wouldn’t otherwise be caught dead using. Which is why politicians do all their art with permanent markers.

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