Ron Sparks Author, Poet

Pickle Surprise!


A couple of years ago I stumbled on this video and it has stuck with me ever since. It’s so surreal. I shared it with the office and now, every once in a while, someone walks by and waggles their fingers at me while saying “PICKLE SURPRISE.” It’s very disturbing and yet addictive at the same time.

Anyway – as you all know, my taste buds were killed during my radiation and chemotherapy. The doctors said they should come back eventually – and they were right. Every day I can taste a little bit more.

Still, nothing tastes the way it should yet. Imagine tasting with a layer of cellophane between your tongue and the food you eat. You get just the barest hint of taste – enough to entice you and make you realize how much you miss your taste – but never enough to satisfy.

It kind of reminds me of tales of vampires – how their thirst can never be quenched no matter how much they drink. It’s the same for me – my taste can never be satisfied no matter how much I put into my mouth.

Until yesterday.

On a lark, I pulled out the jar of gherkin dills I had Carey buy as few weeks ago. Back then, I had hoped that the hugely sour taste of the pickles could get through to my taste buds. No luck – I couldn’t taste them at all – so I reluctantly and with great disappointment put them in the back of the refrigerator so I wouldn’t be mocked by the jar every time I went for some cold water.

So yesterday I decided to try again. Around 9:30pm I cracked the jar open and, with great trepidation, took a tentative bite of a pickle.

My mouth exploded in orgasmic flavor. I could taste the pickle! Completely – they way it was meant to be tasted! It was so good – so sour – so . . . pickley.

Imagine going months with no taste, people. Imagine that NOTHING tastes right or has a taste at all. It’s like being trapped on a desert island with no food or water. When you’re rescued – even the smallest and most insignificant food or drink is better than nectar and ambrosia.

This pickle was the food of the gods as far as I was concerned. I, literally, got tears in my eyes. It’s so emotionally impacting to lose your sense of taste. To lose ANY sense is a huge deal – after all, we only have five of them. Imagine the emotions a blind person feels when partial sight is returned. Or a deaf person the first time they hear something through their cochlear implant.

I’m not saying my emotional response revolving around being able to taste something again was quite as dramatic as returning sight to the blind or hearing to the deaf – but you see what I am driving at. You now understand why, when that wonderful pickle hit my taste buds that I got tears in my eyes. Yes – I shed a tear.

My taste still isn’t back completely. This is just the first step. Strong sour and strongly bitter tastes are the first to come back. I have sour now. I have a lot of taste recovery to go through still – but this is very positive. Many people never get taste back.

I truly had a “Pickle Surprise” last night, and I couldn’t be happier.

About the author

Ron Sparks

Ron Sparks is a technology professional, science fiction and fantasy author and poet living in Zurich, Switzerland. His latest book "ONI: Satellite Earth Series Book 1" is available on


Ron Sparks Author, Poet

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Ron Sparks

Ron Sparks is a technology professional, science fiction and fantasy author and poet living in Zurich, Switzerland. His latest book "ONI: Satellite Earth Series Book 1" is available on


A man of many passions, I lay claim to a myriad of interests and hobbies. Among them, I am an amateur astronomer, an avid motorcycle rider, a whiskey aficionado, a (poor) surfer, a scuba diver, a martial artist, a student of philosophy, a proponent of critical thinking, a technologist, an entrepreneur, a cancer survivor, and I harbor a lifelong love of science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to strike up a conversation on the social networks below.

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