Summer is almost here and that means that the pushers will be back on the streets en force. You can hear them clanging their little bells in their motorcars from hell, offering innocent little kiddies a fix of their favorite treat in a variety of addictive flavors. While uptown their parents dart into chic gelaterias and get a fix for themselves.
Yes, I am talking about ice cream, that subversive cohesion of cream, sugar, and (if you are a purest) eggs. The devil’s ambrosia designed to get you on the slippery slope to cane sugar servitude.
Ice cream seems so innocent, but it is the one addictive substance that no law has been enacted against. It is the one mood altering drug that everyone refuses to admit is illicit. And, it all began at childhood. What is the one (I’ll bet the first) treat your parents used as a tool to solicit your good behavior?
It was not cookies. Those were teething biscuits: machine stamped, sugarless, starch slabs designed to alleviate incoming tooth itch. No. The first true treat you got your little mouth around was a dose of the frozen demon dairy treat.
It was soft enough for you to gum, and a familiar taste. Familiar because they primed us with milk and then pushed that frozen white concoction into us with a big smile. “Let’s watch baby’s face as he/she experiences his/her first brain freeze.” How inhumane. Monsters. They knew that once the cane sugar and milk combo bounced around our mouth, hitting the sweet and salty sections of our tongue, we would be hooked.
Show me the child or adult who does not like ice cream and I will show you Earth’s first alien. Even in countries where milk can cause gastric distress --- they all scream for ice cream.
How different is Phillip Morris from Hagen Dazs? Not much. Pimps, pushers, waistline wreakers... ok, ice cream doesn’t cause cancer, but it rots the will. Go on a diet: no candy, cookies, or even sodas. You can give up those vile villains, but try walking down the ice cream aisle at your local supermarket and notice how your buggy comes to a slow, jerky stop and you stare into the case, shrouded in mist and mystery.
You look at all the wonderful flavors and tell yourself, NO, but the cream calls to you. You tell yourself that one pint won’t do too much damage. But, damn, it’s on sale: two for one. Like heroin, the pusher says, “the first one’s free”. You have no will power. You experience a blackout moment and find yourself back home with one pint in your freezer and a spoon plunged in the center of the other as you try to delay the inevitable.
Why even try? Your brain has no defense. It was corrupted long ago by your parents. They were your first pusher, and then came the ice cream truck man, and now the supermarket chain. The sad thing is the Criminal Cream Cabal doesn’t even have to advertise their sinister product. We are theirs and they know it. It does not take any convincing to get us to shovel that sweet creamy goodness down our gullets...
First the ice cream, then the cookies, caramels, and hard candy. Next you are waking up at 3:00 am in order to get the first batch of hot apple fritters off the tray from the donut man. How addicted are we? So much so... we pile other forms of sugar onto our ice cream. Like eating hashish brownies followed with a heroin chaser all topped off with a little Mary Jane to take the edge off.
We are lost and there is no methadone-like substance to wean us off. Sugar-free ice cream tastes like badly frozen milk with an odd chemical after taste. Only the real thing will do. My cherry tart (heart) thumps like the drums of Olodum at the thought of Tahitian vanilla ice cream
I must confess that I am the greatest sinner and hypocrite of all. I am sitting here at my computer with my finger hovering over the Enter key, about to punch Send, and order my very own ice cream maker... not one of those freeze the base and wait a day models. I am through with that nonsense. I’m talking about a table top model with a compressor. I’m talking making ice cream at will... whenever I want, 2am in the morning even. I want to chain batch some ice cream, and nobody can stop me.
But, I want to stop. I really do. Only, I think I used up all my will power when I stopped myself from buying a personal cotton candy maker.
Too late, I hit Send, and I’m already working on the base for some Leatherwood tree honey ice cream with coconut brittle. There is no shame. I repeat. There is not shame.