Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What'll It Be?

Ice cream. For some, it's obviously something to be taken seriously. Very seriously. For others?Not so much.

Lunch had filled them all to bursting but the trio couldn't--wouldn't and didn't--resist the tempation of a last cone before the local lunch stand closed for the winter.

Yes, in some parts of the country winter officially begins on September 1st. *G*

The problem--or maybe it wasn't as much of a problem as a situation--was that with only four days before closing for seven months, the pickings behind the counter were slim. Very slim. The soft-serve vanilla had run out about an hour earlier. Already the natives were voicing their displeasure.

Our intrepid trio? All for trying something new.

The shop owner took their orders. "The soft vanilla is out but I've got all the flavors on the board, soft chocolate and hard-serve sugar-free vanilla. Anything sound good?"

"What'll you have, Dad?" She eyed her father, holding her breath. Would he go for the sugar-free stuff? Or would he deem it "too diet-y"?

"I'll have the sugar-free. How bad can it be?" He said with a shrug. Accepting his cone, he took a bite and smiled. Apparently it wasn't bad at all.

"I'll try the vanilla panda paws, but in a waffle cone," Hubby said.

"A waffle cone?" She raised an eyebrow. "You never have a waffle cone."

He shrugged, then smiled. "Sometimes you've got to try new things."

Try new things? That line wasn't getting a comment.

When her turn came, the wife said, "Soft chocolate, please. In a regular cone."

The trio went back to their table in the corner. Then, they watched the show.

People came in groups. Some came singly. But they came, and everytime the owner repeated her spiel.

"The soft vanilla is out but I've got all the flavors on the board, soft chocolate and hard-serve sugar-free vanilla. Anything sound good?"

A lady who looked smarter than she sounded. "What about the twist? You know, the soft vanilla mixed with the chocolate? You got that?"

Good grief.

A little boy, his eyes showing his horror. "Does that mean you don't have any white ice cream?" After an explanation about hard white ice cream as opposed to soft white ice cream, as well as a reading of the offerings on the board, he asked, "So does that mean you don't have any soft white ice cream?"

Ah, so that explains why patience is a virtue!

A man, wearing dirty jeans and a faded blue workshirt. After scrutinizing the board, he asked, "You got any of that stuff--that pineapple orange stuff--you had last year? Got any of that left?"

"I might, in the back. I'll get it for you, if you don't mind last year's leftovers."

"Don't mind, not if you still have some of that. I've been thinking about it all summer, wondering if you still had some." When he got his bright-orange ice cream he smiled, looking less like a construction worker and more like a little boy.

One person's leftover is another's gourmet, it seems.

Two senior citizens, who may or may not have been married. "I'll have strawberry," he said. She looked at him as if he'd decided to tear off his trousers and do a Chippendale's routine.

"You can't have strawberry," she said, waving her cane dangerously near his left foot.

"Why in the hell not?" He leaned close, less fearful of the cane than those who watched.

She shot him a know-it-all, tight-lipped smile. "Because you don't like strawberry, remember?"

Waving a hand in his companion's direction, he turned to the woman behind the counter whose pen was still poised above the order pad and said, "I'll take a strawberry cone."

"You sure?"

"I'm sure," he said, nodding. "I like strawberry just fine. Her?" He pointed over his shoulder. The woman had made her way over to a nearby table and was busy placing paper napkins at every place--all six of them. "She doesn't like strawberry. Me, I like it just fine. Oh, she'll have the soft-serve chocolate. In a cup, not a cone. And could you put a cherry on top, please? She loves those--sometimes I think she only eats ice cream for the cherry."

In a flash their ice cream had been paid for and served. The elderly man made his way to the table, where there were now not only napkins but plastic forks at every seat. He put the woman's cup down, took a lick of his strawberry ice cream and handed her a plastic spoon. She took the spoon, poked at the cherry and asked, "What's that? A strawberry?"

The man sat in the chair closest to hers. He smiled, then shook his head. "No, it's a cherry. Remember? You love those."

She looked at him as if he'd lost his mind. "I do?"

"You do."

With a shrug, she scooped the cherry from the top of her ice cream and popped it into her mouth. When she had swallowed, she grinned and said, "Not bad. Not bad at all. I guess sometimes you've got to try something new, don't you?"

The trio ate the last bites of their cones. Ice cream had never tasted so good.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you are having a great visit with your father. I am so happy for you.


Pam :^)

Melissa McClone said...

Fun times!

Dru said...

that was lovely!

Anonymous said...

I love icecream. Do you have Rum n Raisin over there? Great to hear you're out and about.

Aussie Jude