Mama Pickle wants her man back -- and so do the police.

Mama Pickle wants her man back—and so do police.

On Friday night, a couple dudes picked up friendly neighborhood icon Mister Pickle from the corner of 20th and South Van Ness and rolled him away on a skateboard. Though there’s not a soul among us who hasn’t wished for a Mister Pickle of our own, snatching someone else’s custom-made, much-larger-than-life, grinning dill pickle is undeniably lame. It’s also more than a minor theft—Mister Pickle, all two hundred pounds of him (!)—cost nearly $4,000.

But, said Diyana Jwernat, whose son Elias owns Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop. “It’s not about the money. It’s a piece of the place.”

Mister Pickle has greeted customers since the Jwernats’ deli opened five and a half years ago. Usually he’s stowed away indoors after closing time, but Friday night he was accidentally left out. Signs are posted at the shop now: “Did you see who took Mr. Pickle?” and “Mama Pickle wants her man back.” (“I’m Mama Pickle,” said Diyana Jwernat, who was working behind the counter Tuesday afternoon.)

It’s not just the shop owners who are missing the little green guy. “Someone stole Señor Pickle!” a passerby exclaimed, shaking his head. “He was a living legend.”

A couple policemen—sandwich shop regulars—are on the case, said Jwernat. If the perps know what’s good for them, they’ll return the pickle unharmed.

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In other favorite-food news, ML reporter Ayako Mie stopped in Humphry Slocombe’s today. Word there is that the NY Times is sniffing around for a story (or scoop?) on ice cream parlors that serve frozen delights flavored with foie gras.