Every day, another well-meaning American is brought to heel by the vicious forces of “cancel culture.” Courageous Americans are being told what to say, fired for what they believe, and for people like me, I can’t open this jar of pickles.

These things start small. Say this word instead of that word, don’t show this scene in your movie, buy a single pickle instead of a two-gallon jar of grocery store pickles just to make one sandwich on your lunch break.

But it never ends small. Cancel culture is holding back the next Great American Novel, groundbreaking works of political theory, and my Wednesday afternoon lunch.

Woke liberals (the henchmen of big government) like my coworker Greg, will stop at nothing to restrict our ideas or our right to make a few uncomfortable noises in the break room while we struggle to twist the lid of a pickle jar. They can’t handle any American making guttural noises in pursuit of sandwich toppings. They refuse to live in a world where a man can stink up an entire office with his body odor—the stench of freedom!—and writhe across the floor with a slippery glass jar wedged under his armpit.

I blame this new generation. My grandparents were concerned with important things, like World War Two and surviving a nuclear war. They wouldn’t bat an eye at a thirty-year-old intern crying just a little because he can’t open a jar of pickles, especially if you’re as young as my manager Greg. Everyone should grow up, be like my grandparents, and ignore me.

The fight for free speech is fought in blood, sweat, and tears, but mostly sweat because it is very hot in this office.

Fight we must. Chant with me: Let the people speak! Let the people speak! Help me open this jar! Let the people speak! My wrists are oh so tired! Let the people speak! I think I loosened it a bit!

This entire battle is about power. It’s about taking power from me, so I can’t open the pickle jar, and giving it to Greg, who easily opens it and does a cool flip with the lid right in front of Janelle from Marketing.

But look, let’s forget about the pickle jar. This isn’t just about pickles and why I need them on my sandwich (I have a chronic pickle deficiency; ask my doctor, WebMD). The pickles, the jar, it all represents something bigger. I think the pickle jar says a lot about the lack of freedoms modern Americans have in society, while Greg thinks it says a lot about my future at this company. But that diversity of opinion is what we need. I say I’ll fight to the death to open this pickle jar, he says I need to go home, clean myself off, and meet with Human Resources tomorrow. Yet another parry in this duel for freedom.

Maybe this isn’t important. Maybe it doesn’t matter if I open the jar of pickles or if I waste thirty-four dollars and half an hour spent in the grocery store asking a clerk to find my specially-ordered two-gallon jar of gourmet pickles, even as a line builds at checkout aisle three. Maybe the future of this country doesn’t matter. See, I think it does, which is why I’ll never back down, I’ll never stop speaking my mind, and you bet I’m going to finish making my sandwich once I settle down and stop shaking.

Why? Because I’m an American, that’s why. I’ll never let Greg and his Cobb Salad lunches win. Not over my dead, pickle-stained, body.