In San Francisco, lovable characters created as restaurant promotions include the giant dachsund heads of the now-departed Doggie Diner and Jimmy the Corn Man, Casa Sanchez's corn cob rocketeer.
You can now add Mr. Pickles of the Mr. Pickle's Sandwich Shop to that list after his mysterious disappearance, return, and the attendant publicity. The cured cucumber wielding a sandwich with holstered mustard and mayo and sporting a sombrero at a rakish angle went missing in March from in front of the shop.
However, pictures appeared on the Flickr web site, along with comments from "The Pickler," who taunted amateur detectives on the trail by announcing Mr. Pickle was being held at an undisclosed location in Oakland.
Then, shortly after news that the San Francisco Police Department was looking into the case, as well an inside tip from a Yahoo employee on the whereabouts of The Pickler, Mr. Pickle was returned to the sandwich shop -- unharmed, and with a jaunty, trendy, and oh-so-outlaw red bandana as a souvenir.
Now the longtime neighborhood icon in San Francisco's Mission District can rest assured that his legend is secure.
Photo by Flickr user Zoom Zoom.
Jackson West is just glad Mr. Pickle didn't lose his head a la Joaquin Murieta.