This Tuesday, April 9th, it is Free Cone Day (courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s). This wonderful holiday reminded my of some childhood memories and my life-long love affair with ice cream.
Who doesn’t scream for ice cream? Of course, Mother screamed about many things. She screamed at my sister Abby and me, she screamed at other people’s kids, she screamed at life and she screamed just to be screaming.
One of her favorite tales about me when I was a little girl involved ice cream. In those days, a man or young boy would bicycle around the neighborhood ringing a bell and selling ice cream treats. My sister and I loved ice cream. We would beg mother to give us the ten cents necessary to purchase the sweet frozen confections. One time, when Mother finally relented, she supposedly gave me one thin dime. Being a young child with less than fully-developed logic skills, I didn’t believe the one coin she gave me was enough to buy the treat, since she usually gave me two nickels. So, as little children tend to, I threw a giant fit and threw the dime across the room. Mother, in typical fashion, began screaming:
Well, it looks like you won’t be getting any ice cream today since you just threw your money away. What is wrong with you?”
According to her, I said:
Now what’d I do with that dime?
As I mentioned, I was only about three years old at the time, so I didn’t really understand the nuances of our monetary system. Plus I doubt the accuracy of the story. I may have thrown a fit, since I was known to do that when I was frustrated with her parenting skills. However, the chance of me saying “Now where I’d put that dime?” is highly unlikely since I did not speak very plainly at that age and needed my dear Abby to translate.
You may remember how much Mother loved a stray dog named Brownie. We have already written about the dog’s demise; however, you may not remember that the dog loved to go to the Dairy Queen with Mother. Yes, that’s right, at the same moment she was yelling “No way,” to her daughters’ requests for ice cream, she was loading up a fifty-five pound dog and driving him to the Dairy Queen for a cone! I guess she enjoyed her dog more than her daughters.
Ironically, we would learn much later in life that Mother despised one specific type of ice cream: Neapolitan, the cause of one of her many meltdowns.
As my sister Abby and I grew into adulthood, we always liked to tell each other about our new favorite ice cream flavors. Once we discovered “Chubby Hubby” from Ben & Jerry’s, well, as they say, the rest is history. I remember later telling Abby how much I enjoyed the latest discovery I had made in the freezer aisle of the grocery store: Ben & Jerry’s”Willie Nelson’s Country Peach Cobbler”; I also went on to justify to my sister (and to myself) eating the entire pint because it had fruit in it so was obviously good for you! The flavors actually speak to us and we revel in the creativity of the master minds who come up with the excellent creamy flavors.
Have you ever tried Ben & Jerry’s “What a Cluster”? It is one of the best flavors ever invented. There is no way you can go wrong with peanut butter. And I love the name of that flavor. It has also been known as “Clusterfuff”; both names crack me up, and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s by any other name is just as sweet.
I wonder if they have ever thought about having an ice cream called “Ice Cream Suicide”? It would combine all the luscious flavors together so each bite would be different. Or maybe “Screaming Mimi’s”. It would be in honor of our mother, who loved screaming as much as she liked ice cream.
I know what you’re thinking. With ideas like these, I shouldn’t quit my day job!