Like A Rolling Stone

A totally unscientific survey — texted my brother-in-law on the other coast — shows [my] fears of the death of the ice cream cone have been at least mildly exaggerated … tho looking, literally, a little topsy-turvy.

A’course, I’d not heard anything specific; the reports were only in my head because about nothing from this lockdown wd surprise me these days.

I live in California, after all, where the governor says his job is to take care of me — in which case, rib eye, rare; two eggs, up; rye toast, as long as he doesn’t think the seeds’ll get caught in my braces; and milk, whole, or maybe some half-and-half if you’ve got it, and aren’t among those who still worry about cholesterol — and the county I live in — which at one time proudly branded even its pets with ‘Reagan Country’ — is so utterly doughy + deer-in-headlights cowed it took the Rockefeller Republicans of Newport Beach to remind the nanny whom she works for.

I actually hold a much more nuanced view of things, but that was a pretty good paragraph, wasn’t it? And truly I was wondering about soft serve cones, and the real ice cream ones for that matter, because in the drive-thru line at McD’s the truck in the lane beside me heard they didn’t sell cones anymore and got out of line, even tho the chirrupy voiced box assured him there were still sundaes and ‘flurries’, the latter the Golden Arches’ knock-off of Dairy Queen’s lovely and talented Blizzard.

I left my lane before even getting to the box.

+

Well my sister’s husband says they’re still selling cones in all the same places but they flip them upside down in a cup to hand them to us and this chosen way of serving frozen whey warms the ol’ cockles, I tell ya.

We just might make it through this.

In fact, I call the ice cream cone as an ultimate indicator of whether we do or not.

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour — founded in Portland during the Eisenhower Administration — shuttered its last location last year. Most stragglers had been in the OC.  Now there is only — this is true — an Iowa-based gym franchisor of the same name, and for the same reason (the founder’s surname) but with ostensibly a markedly different raison d’êtreIt had been awhile ago, really, since people went to Farrell’s, the ice cream one; it was a happening locale back in the day. After a school dance, say, or for a birthday party.

Sites that sold only ice cream had largely gone away — we had a Swenson’s in town once — at least on the West Coast and frozen yogurt fortunes had, I recall, cycled through two or three times, about once a generation say. It was, as the term sometimes applied to ice cream itself, a novelty. Cold Stone sang at you, the East Coast had (and has) Carvel and Friendly’s.

Family back there has several options — Jumpin’ Jack’s in Scotia, say — and have been going to Cappies in Amsterdam since 1965; it’s legit — closing during winter months.

+

Now this, I thought, while in the line at the Scottish burger chain.

Sigh.

No more soft serve, I thought — but it’s hot out.

Don’t they care we’re perishing?

As my high school baseball coach used to implore, C’mon fellahs …

Vanilla, chocolate and swirl soft serve — the Beatles (bland), the Dead (dark), the Stones (twisted), if you will.

But I lamented needlessly.

There anything worse than wasted lament? Can’t think of it.

Cones live.

Bring a spoon.

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