A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Big Apple” explained in a film (2010) (11/18)
“No matter how loud car alarms are, cars never seem to wake up” (11/18)
“If snow is made of water and water has no calories, how come snowmen are fat?” (11/18)
“Cooking is like golf. You slice it, chip it, and put it on some greens” (11/18)
“Big Apple” answer on “Final Jeopardy!” (2009) (11/18)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from December 07, 2010
“You can change a cucumber into a pickle, but you can’t turn a pickle back into a cucumber”

"You can change a cucumber into a pickle, but you can’t turn a pickle back into a cucumber” is a saying used at Alcoholics Anonymous and other organizations. The saying means that once a person is an addict (an alcoholic, for example), the addiction continues for the rest of that person’s life. The alcoholic can never go back to a pre-alcoholic life.

“Once a cucumber is a pickle it can never be a cucumber again” has been cited in print since at least 1984. The saying has been printed on gift items, such as T-shirts and throw pillows.


How Cocaine Destroys Lives
Once You’re a Pickle, Cucumber Maternity T-Shirt
Once уου′re a pickle, уου саח′t ɡο back tο being a cucumber – a ɡrеаt recovery saying found іח many 12 step groups! Grеаt gift fοr tһе alcoholic іח recovery – newcomers аחԁ οƖԁ timers alike! AA Humor!
List Price:
Price: 25.0

CafePress
Once You’re A Pickle, Cucumber Throw Pillow
Once You’re A
PICKLE
You Can’t Go
Back To Being A
CUCUMBER

Penn State Digital Library
20 May 1984, Daily Collegian, “The Cocaine Connection” by Tricia Wood:
“Once a cucumber is a pickle it can never be a cucumber again. That’s what happens to people who use chemicals.”—Former cocaine user

Google Books
The Freedom We Crave:
Addiction--the human condition

By William Lenters
Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans
1985
Pg. 6:
As is said at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, “Once you’ve been pickled, you can never go back to becoming a cucumber.”

Google News Archive
19 April 1986, Anchorage (AK) Daily News, “L. M. Boyd,” pg. C13, col. 2:
In this way some medicos explain why alcoholism is Irreversible: “You can turn a cucumber Into a pickle, but not a pickle back into a cucumber.”

Google Books
November 1988, Yoga Journal, pg. 87, col. 2:
Within the recovery community, addiction’s irreversibility is described by a popular analogy: Cucumbers can become pickles, but pickles cannot be turned back into cucumbers. Similarly, once people become addicts, they can never be casual drinkers or drug users again.

Google Books
Alcohol Problems and Alcoholism:
A comprehensive survey

By James E. Royce
New York, NY: Free Press
1989
Pg. 136:
Once you have turned a cucumber into a pickle, you cannot change it back.

Google Books
Developing Effective Drug Education Programs
By Lowell Horton
Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation
1992
Pg. 14:
The analogy from drug treatment specialists is: “You can turn a cucumber into a pickle, but you can’t turn a pickle back into a cucumber.”

Google Books
Drinking: a love story
By Caroline Knapp
New York, NY: Dell
1997
Pg. 129:
A lot of alcoholics use the cucumber-to-pickle analogy to describe that phenomenon: a true alcoholic is someone who’s turned from a cucumber into a pickle; you can try to stop a cucumber from turning into a pickle, but there’s no way you can turn a pickle back into a cucumber.

All Experts
Addiction to Alcohol - Is there any such thing as an “in control” Alcoholic?
Expert: Rebos - 12/27/2006
(...)
Answer
Good afternoon Kat. Thank you for your question.

I will answer your specific questions while taking the liberty to editorialize some additional thoughts that may be of interest to you. As you already know alcoholism is cunning, baffling, insidious and powerful. IT HAS NO CURE! Once an alcoholic always an alcoholic! So to speak…“once you make a cucumber into a pickle, you can never change it back to a cucumber”.

All Experts
Addiction to Alcohol - Adult Son is an alcoholic
Expert: Rebos - 5/17/2007
(...)
Answer
Good morning Dave and thank you for your question.

Even though alcoholism is considered a disease by the AMA your son must be held accountable for his irresponsible behavior! You state that your son has been through AA twice. Alcoholics Anonymous is definitely NOT a “been through” program, it is a continual program that an alcoholic continues to recover (but never cured) for the rest of there lives. They, however, learn to do it just “one day at a time”. There is on old saying in AA “that once you turn a cucumber into a pickle that you can never change it back to a cucumber again”.

Google Books
Thinking Simply about Addiction:
A Handbook for Recovery

By Richard S. Sandor
New York, NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin
2009
Pg. 17:
AAs have a pithy way of describing the irreversibility of an addiction: “You can change a cucumber into a pickle, but you can’t turn a pickle into a cucumber.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (1) Comments • Tuesday, December 07, 2010 • Permalink


I found you’re blog via searching the net and I have to say. A Enormous Thank you so much, I believed your post was extremely educational I will revisit to see what additional great information I can recieve here.

Posted by Sober Companions  on  08/16  at  02:05 AM

Page 1 of 1 pages