I’ve Got a Bone to Pick With All You Makers of Delicious Ice Cream

Several years ago I decided to stop drinking alcohol. No one told me I needed to do it.  There was no intervention, no DUIs, no nothing. I just decided to do it on my own. No big deal. And I have only occasionally missed it. Every once in a while I will see someone enjoying a beer or a nice glass of wine and I will miss it a tiny bit, but just not enough to make me go back to it.

I have never liked to gamble. The main reason is simple. I hate to lose money. There is another reason. A gambling loss is a confirmation that I was wrong. If I didn’t believe I was right about a bet I was making, then I wouldn’t make it in the first place. If I lost that bet, it means I was wrong. I don’t like being wrong. Losing money and being proven wrong all at once is more than I can take. Therefore I don’t gamble.

There is one addiction that I have not been able to free myself from, however. Ice cream. I can’t walk down the ice cream aisle at my local Kroger without falling into a trance. There are so many temptations. I know why they tell former drug addicts to stay away from the people and places they used to go when they were using. The temptations are too strong.

When I was a kid there were two or three companies in Georgia that sold ice cream. In my recollection, there was Sealtest, Atlanta Dairies, and then there was the inevitable (and usually undesirable) store brand (A&P had Ann Page, Winn Dixie had Chek, and so on).

The choices of flavors at the grocery store were very limited. You had chocolate, vanilla, strawberry (yuck), neopolitan (which was really just these same three flavors combined in one box), and maybe one or two “adult” flavors like butter pecan or the “exotic” french vanilla. Then there was sherbet. Maybe orange, lime, and a couple of other flavors. That was IT.

If you wanted to get some more “daring and different” ice cream choices, you headed to Baskin-Robbins. In the city where I grew up, the Baskin-Robbins was way over on the other side of town, but it was easily worth the pilgrimage over there. The excitement would build on the car ride over, and then once you stepped inside it was borderline torturous. There, in front of you, were 31 different flavors of ice cream. My parents were usually generous enough to let my sisters and me pick two flavors each. But there was still the matter of choosing two out of the thirty-one options. Some were easy to eliminate. Anything with  nuts was out. Anything with coconut in it was out.  “Seasonal” flavors like “pumpkin pie” were out. But even after eliminating the easy ones, I would still be left with having to pick two out of twenty or so. Pure hell for a little kid. Eventually my father would make a loving comment like “pick something or you’re going to have to walk home” and I would blurt something out like “one scoop of chocolate chip and one scoop of bubble gum”. No doubt I was quite capable of combining flavors that would make virtually anyone wretch. But I didn’t care. I knew it might be a month before we made the trek back out to Baskin-Robbins, so by God I was going to get what I wanted without being worried about whether the server or my father or anyone else approved of my order. After all, I was the one eating it.

Then there was Dairy Queen. God only knows what they put in those machines that churned out that white chemically-produced substance, but who the hell cared. The servers made it look like some sort of frozen dream as they slowly twisted the concentric circles of goodness onto the cone. Then maybe you had it dipped into butterscotch or chocolate goo that would miraculously harden in a matter of seconds. In the summer you had to eat it strategically and quickly, or the whole thing would melt all over your hand and even onto the ground. God forbid you would get distracted or pushed because there was an outside chance the whole thing would topple onto the pavement. A savvy cone eater never let something like that happen, however. A wise consumer of DQ cones would sooner let a sibling be run over than to lose his cone due to failure to take due care to ensure every last cold and sticky bite was eaten.

Fast forward to today.

The ice cream section at my Kroger is probably as big as the entire frozen food section in the grocery stores where my mother shopped when I was a kid. Sure, you can still get chocolate and vanilla. But that is literally the tip of the ice cream berg. There are scads of brands and oodles of flavors. There is everything from store brands (and unlike when I was a kid, even the Krogers and Publixes of the world make some pretty doggone good ice cream) to deluxe brands like Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs.

And every maker has something incredible to tempt the ice cream addict. Edy’s, for instance, has seized on the national obsession with Girl Scout cookies and now makes ice cream with crushed up Thin Mints, Tagalongs, and Samoas (yuck–coconut) in them. Ben and Jerry’s has Cherry Garcia, New York Super Fudge Chunk, and Oatmeal Cookie Chunk.  There are ice creams with candy bars in them. Cookies. They have low-fat ice cream (why in the world would I eat high fat food with less fat in it?). There are tons of choices of sorbets (no longer would we ever refer to them as sherbets). Then let’s not forget the choices in ice cream bars, sandwiches, individual bite-sized frozen confections, and so on.

For an addict like me, it is truly impossible to resist.

From time to time I will sort of lock onto a personal favorite that I find so heavenly and so amazingly delicious, that I am convinced I could swear off every other temptation that was ever put before man, including women (well, maybe not women, but you understand what I mean).

For me, that personal favorite right now is Blue Bell Banana Pudding Ice Cream. First of all, I commend the people at Blue Bell for continuing to produce their product in a half-gallon carton. All of the other makers have started selling 1.5 quart cartons in an effort to keep their prices low. Smart consumers such as myself that want to know they will have ice cream in their freezers when the urge hits are not too keen on that development. Don’t take 1/4 of my ice cream away. I will pay more. Don’t rob from me. But I digress.

Banana Pudding Ice Cream. First of all, I am fairly sure that Blue Bell makes the highest fat content ice cream on the market. I have done no research to confirm this. But I am no fool. Fat makes things taste good. Blue Bell ice cream is wondrously good. Research project over. Second, if any of you has ever had homemade banana pudding made with real cream, fresh and ripe bananas, and Nilla Vanilla Wafers, then you have come close to Paradise. Now, imagine that dessert perfection being swirled into a combination of banana and vanilla ice cream (the extra high fat kind). Every scoop has big chunks of banana and wafer in it, along with swirls of whipped cream. It is almost indescribably good.

There are a few women that I would probably do just about anything to spend some time with. Uma Thurman. Grace Kelly. Audrey Hepburn. Maybe Gwyneth Paltrow. But if I am in the middle of a bowl of Blue Bell Banana Pudding? Get on down the road Uma. Wait outside for me, Gwyneth.

I would sooner give up comfortable shoes than I would give up my ice cream. Maybe indoor plumbing.

If some doctor forces to give up everything in this world that I ever loved, he had better think twice about telling me to give up my ice cream. I do love it so.

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7 Responses to “I’ve Got a Bone to Pick With All You Makers of Delicious Ice Cream”

  1. clipclop Says:

    Blue bell, I can’t quit you….

  2. Lynne Says:

    Damn! Now I have to go the store and get ice cream!!!! Thanks alot, John.

  3. Lee Roi Jordan Says:

    Boner, you seem to be going soft. No fan arrogance. No weather problems. No indecisive diners. Have you run out of things to whine about? If you had only written about ice cream before, you would not have been banned from those many narrow minded blogs.

    • deepsthboy Says:

      I should always assume that dimwits such as yourself wouldn’t recognize the subtlety at work here, Lee Roi.

      The “bone” I am picking is with these ice cream manufacturers that make something so incredibly delicious that is so incredibly fattening and potentially artery-clogging at the same time. Damn them.

      As for the narrow-minded “blogs”, I think you mean “forums”. And just as a piece of advice, I suggest you read up on and learn the true meaning of ad hominem arguments.

  4. Lee Roi Jordan Says:

    No ad hominemy disrespect intended. Your own mission statement for this bone blog points to your frequent puntings as the raison d’etre for this blog. I only note that if you had picked ice cream manufacturers as your target, you might still have posting privileges on most of the major sports blogs (or forums).

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