"Could call me
A fussy man;
I only want
A little bit
Of butter for
Not one of those crazy huge waffle things where a ball of ice cream sits inside and almost requires a spoon to get at. Nor do I want anything filled with some kind of newfangled frozen dessert that is so empty you can't even call it frozen yogurt. I just want a classic crunchy cone with a big ball of that frozen concoction made of chocolate, butterfat and heavy cream perched precariously on top. The kind of thing that's almost guaranteed to destroy my t-shirt. Like it should.
Ice cream cones aren't the most popular thing anymore. Between the packaged, processed "ice cream treats" at the convenience store, all manner of frozen yogurt in god-awful flavors, soft-serve from a machine, airy gelato, custom mixed ice creams with all sorts of other junk in them, and everything else we now have, they can be really hard to get. The only place around here that still serves them up to you at all is the local Ben and Jerry's store in Santa Monica.
So I walked up Main Street, thinking my birthday delight was waiting for me. I was wrong.
Ben and Jerry no longer have chocolate. I don't eat ice cream often so not sure exactly when in the past 3 months or so this happened. They have half a dozen flavors with chocolate in them, but the good old all-American chocolate ice cream that our forefathers died to defend? It is no more. It has been -- to quote the counterperson -- "upgraded." Yes, she actually said that. It's now "Chocolate Therapy." Upgraded!
Chocolate Therapy looks like it would be fun if you're in to that kind of thing. Chocolate ice cream with all sorts of chocolaty bits mixed in. But I'm not really into that kind of thing and certainly not when served in a cone. The point is to slowly lick it, let it melt in your mouth and flow down your throat. Lots of chocolate cookie chunks and other gunk get in the way. Good chocolate ice cream -- like a good steak -- can stand on its own and doesn't need any help. I just wanted my ice cream in a cheap crispy all-American cone. One of those simple pleasures that I've always taken for granted. Like butter on the king's bread.
As a kid, I always thought "The King's Breakfast" was kind of sad. I remember asking my grandmother why they had to put the king through so much trouble just to give him something so simple? Was there a reason to leave him depressed in bed? I felt sorry for the guy. I still do.
Today I know what it feels like to be the king.
Somewhere in LA there must be a place that serves good old fashioned premium chocolate ice cream with nothing mixed in, in a good old fashioned cone the way I like it. It must be there, but I'm too tired to look for one or to drive around getting to it.
When dinner is done I'm going to go out to the local premium supermarket, where they carry the really, really good ice creams. I'm going to buy a pint of the darkest richest chocolate I can find, the cost be damned. I'll buy a package of cones. Then I'll come home, make myself a double-scoop cone, wrap it in a napkin the way I did before they started gluing paper wrappers to them and go for a walk I'll probably stain my t-shirt.
The people walking by may wonder, "why the hell is this guy in his 40s is walking around late in the evening carrying an ice cream cone on his way down to the beach?" Let them wonder. They'll never know what they're missing.