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Commentary: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

Steve King
Suburbanite correspondent
The Suburbanite

I tried.

Honest. I promise.

I really, truly tried – very hard, in fact.

But I just couldn’t bring myself to write another coronavirus pandemic story this week. There will be many more such stories – I wish that wasn’t the case, but it certainly is, to the surprise of absolutely no one – so it’s not as if we’ve reached the end of them.

Those coronavirus stories are all dark ugly, sad and foreboding. There is no light at the end of the tunnel on that front yet. As such, we need to laugh instead of cry. We all need a good belly-buster laugh, or at least some chuckles and smiles. I am to please. I think this piece will do it. I know just writing about it, let alone witnessing it, did that for me.

We are entering the next-to-last weekend of the traditional summer season, and before we turn the page to fall, we need to dwell on something – something good, that is – about summer. And there’s no better highlight of the season than ice cream.

Yes, ice cream. You scream for it, we scream for it, we all scream for it.

And it’s definitely worth screaming for, particularly in a summer that’s been as hot, muggy, dry and sunny as this one, creating perfect ice cream weather.

That is exactly what I and many others did recently.

It was a normal Tuesday morning, like many others this summer with its aforementioned heat and humidity, at my place of summer employment, which is located at a very busy intersection. Everybody was busy doing their thing – their normal routine – when, just as what happened when Santa’s sleigh landed on the roof of the house in the poem, “ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” we all sprang to our feet to see what was the matter when we heard an extraordinary amount of rumbling as a big, tractor-trailer delivery truck made a left turn through the intersection. The big trucks coming through there always make noise, but never that much.

We looked and what to our wondering eyes should appear was ice cream, everywhere – and I do mean everywhere. The driver had apparently not secured the latch on the rear door of the trailer at his previous stop, and its contents came flying out as the whole vehicle tipped ever so slightly in making the turn.

Cartons of all sizes hit the road and, with their shapes being round or rounded, began rolling in all directions, like coins. They hit the curb, and vehicles, and kept bouncing and rolling along.

The driver kept going, unaware that anything had happened.

If you want to see adults become like little kids again, and act as such, then deliver free ice cream to them in large quantities. Traffic came to a standstill and people hurried out of their vehicles and did their best world-class sprinters imitation in chasing after their newfound gifts, dodging traffic – and bodily harm – in doing so. Some things are worth risking your life for, and apparently ice cream is one of them.

The interest was heightened by the fact this wasn’t just any ol’ brand of ice cream. No siree Bob, this was The Good Stuff. You know what kind to which I am referring. People who had never been able to afford that brand was now getting it for the biggest discount there is – a full one.

People shouted with joy and ran laughing – again, like little kids dancing through the sprinkler – as they forgot work and other adult responsibilities while searching for their favorite flavors. But really, any flavor was just fine. After all, like I said, this was The Good Stuff.

A big, strong young man I work with, dashed out the door and immediately joined the fray, choosing to go after pints. He gathered a good number of them and, carefully tucking them under his arm, made his way across the parking lot and back into the building, being hailed as a hero first for his take, and then for his on-the-spot announcement that he would share. It was the kind of reception LeBron James used to get around here.

When every last carton had been grabbed and traffic resumed – I need to point out that one Good Samaritan driver went after the truck driver to alert him of the problem – there was a peace that came over the intersection and the businesses surrounding it.

For believers, what occurred was more proof that God truly does exist.

For others, it was more proof of the importance of being in the right place at the right time.