Nut Huggers and Mangy Gerkins

I subscribe to the Urban Dictionary word of the day email, because like the Adrants newsletter, there is usually something in it to snicker about. Last week the word of the day was nut huggers and when I read the definition, I had to write about what it reminded me of.

I worked in Vermont for about a year and half at a wholesale fish, gourmet food and catering establishment in Burlington as their chef. One of the new wholesale people that came on board shortly after I started, I’ll call him “Tam”.

“Tam” used to wear the most skin tight jeans we ever saw on anyone who could still breathe naturally. One wonders what that does to the reproduction factor, but in this case it was probably just as well. He was a bit of a slob to boot.

“Tam” was also one of the most foul mouthed people I have ever worked with (and I have worked for some doozys!) We also had about 4 on average, sweet young things working for us from the local high school at any given time. “Matt” was also very much of a sexual harassment non-model citizen when it came to them.

They reported him many times to the owner, as did many of us in management and the owner refused to do anything or even believe it. No one that could like his own team (football) could be that much of a scumbag. It took several of us to get him repeatedly on tape (not the suggested or legal method by the way) to have the owner listen for himself to it, to final get enough sway to finally fire him.

In the interim of the many months that passed before he got fired, my fellow managers and I took to having discussions about which was smaller, a cornichon or a gerkin. We settled on the gerkin and “Tam” and his nut huggers became known thenceforth as the “Gerkin” until which time as my husband, (then boyfriend) stopped in and mentioned that he thought “Tam” looked mangy. So the Mangy Gerkin was born.

To this day, friends who I still keep in touch with that used to work there with me, the very mention of “Mangy Gerkin” will still crack us up. In hindsight knowing what I know now. There are better ways to pursue and deal with sexual harassment in the workplace but to a staff of mostly women that had to deal with a foul mouthed bottom feeder, we did what was necessary at the time.


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