Do well to avoid ice cream headaches
By Jim Banholzer
Three hayseeds sprouted tall in the
One warm evening, our trio thought we would play a little harmless prank on our neighbors the Wolfe’s. Their family had left in the van to celebrate our nation’s bicentennial. We snuck around to an easily jimmied rear window. Being the suitable size of the three, I became the natural volunteer to enter the house. I did not know where the light switch was, but saw in the shadows their icebox. Lickity-Split, I drew out three gallons of Red, White & Blue ice cream, and then a quicksilver spoon from the drawer. Suddenly
How hard we rapscallions howled at the Wolfe’s! We shared in the frosty delight, tossing basketballs to tap against the mercury vapor streetlamps lighting our merry way, while a silver moon scooped out stars against fireworks.
Three days later the phone dinged us. We were summoned to meet in the Wolves den at six that evening for a pow-wow with Mr. Ray “Van” Wolfe. This was not his real name but that which we called him behind his back. Being not yet of age to drive, we would sit entranced, admiring his decked out van for hours –fancying how someday we would drive sporty vans like Ray’s.
Turns out a neighbor had seen us from the shadows. When slamming the freezer’s door in the fright, I had shoved it so hard that unbeknownst to us- it had rebounded open again! This had knocked frozen chickens out to the floor for their cat to swimmingly delight in, and then drag around a horrifying mess all weekend –technically enough foul spots sploshed over Ray’s prized Persian rugs to get us suspended from the team.
Though part of the trio says that Ray was too hard on us, my take was that he was also a cool cat. Not only had Ray allowed us to daydream in his van, he empathized with our waywardness. Though calling authorities was heatedly discussed, he knew deep down that we would long recall our lengthy discourse. After eliciting genuine face-to-face apologies –including
As years leaped past, I realized that all of the involved parties ended up eventually driving vans -just as we envisioned. Even young Brian –now Officer Wolfe, beamingly steers things right, from a paddy wagon sometimes filled with trios just like ours, but who have delved into compulsions even worse than shadowy ice Though all of us have tried to fancy up our vans, none have ever quite matched the integrity of Ray’s old dependable Dodge.
A few summers back, the third tall man visited
However, it then resonated, that whenever we see each other, the sudden mention of ice cream still makes us feel unwell, and lower than snake’s bellies wedged under wagon wheel ruts, to consider attending such a singularly illustrious event, so we went off fishing worms instead...
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Footnote: the author at the Ezra Pound house read this story aloud on