Iceberg Lettuce Announces Retirement

By André Bibb

Saying it could no longer endure the insults from an upstart crowd of fancy and highly nutritional greens such as kale and arugula, iceberg lettuce on Wednesday announced it was stepping down from the produce section, effective April 1.

Iceberg, a bland head lettuce with relatively few nutrients, said it would remain in grocery stores through the winter as a gesture of goodwill to the “many people who have made questionable salads of me since the 1940s.” The nearly tasteless lettuce added that it had yet to make any plans for the future.

News of Iceberg’s retirement came as no surprise to fruits and vegetables who had long worked beside the translucent lettuce and were well aware of the taunts it faced in the produce aisle from arrogant greens like romaine, red leaf, endive, spinach and cress.

“They’ve jeered and bullied iceberg for three decades now,” said a seedless melon who asked that its name be withheld for fear of abuse by the greens in its aisle. “Poor iceberg would just be sitting there quietly with its whole head wrapped in that silly plastic or cellophane, and then the rich green leaf lettuces nearby would start calling out, ‘Hey, iceberg, where’s your Thousand Island dressing? Want some Creamy Ranch? How ‘bout some fake bacon bits?’ Those greens could be so cruel.” 

As bad as kale and romaine and arugula could be, though, iceberg said it was the introduction of baby greens and “microgreens” over the past ten years that made it realize its career was definitely over. 

“I started seeing sprouts and microgreens with names like mizuna, purslane, red-veined sorrel, garnet amaranth, feckless lazy boy chard, hardy-loined power queen pea shoots and...well, that was it. I knew my time was past. I was never going to adjust to an era of shallow and pretentious greens with their effete vinaigrettes. I’m a creamy dressing guy.”