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September 17, 2002

A Scoop of Embarrassment, With Sprinkles of Shame

We decided to go to Goodberry's tonight. Goodberry's, for those of you who don't know, which of course would be almost all of you, is a fancy ice cream stand. So fancy in fact, that they don't sell homemade ice cream, they sell homemade frozen custard. Don't ask me what the difference is, I don't know. I do know that whatever technical category of frozen foodstuff is fits into, it is above all a license to print money. The custard is incredible, and it's always crowded. I could drop by in the middle of a gray December day, with a heavy rain and a temperature under 40 degrees, and I'd have to wait in line for my custard. The one closest to our house is in Cary, known regionally as C.A.R.Y.(Containment Area for Relocated Yuppies), for reasons that are obvious once one exits the car at the High House road Goodberry's. Everyone is blonde and sleek, or weathered and sleek, or young and sleek. The gourmet imported organic sea salt of the earth.

Ngnat loves it. There are always little kids there, and non-threatening adults, who for all their sleekness, always notice and compliment her on her favorite shoes, the purple pair that light up when she walks. So she gets to play with the kids, and talk to the adults, and she gets to eat ice cream "i keem!" and surf the resultant sugar high.

She also likes to watch the staff. The stand follows what is apparently some architectural law of ice cream stands, in that the entire top half of the building is glass, so that the staff is under constant surveillance by the world outside, as if in the days before ice cream was served from a transparent venue, horrid things were done by perverts to your banana split.

"She wants extra nuts on her banana split? By God, I'll show her extra nuts!......Here you go, Miz Anderson. Ya'll have a nice night now, hear?...Goldamn razzafrazzin old biddy, hope she chokes on it."

So each time we finally wend our way to the front of the Yuppie gauntlet, I perch her up up on the burnished steel rail that runs the length of the storefront, so that she can squat down and peer at the staff as tend to the gigantic metal machines as they fill our order.

Have I mentioned we're in the midst of potty training? Foster's, Australian for beer. Squatting, toddler for time to pee.

Literally one second after I start to place our order, I feel the warmth on my leg and hear the splatter, like rain on the bricks, of daughter pee. Oh, joy.

The ladies behind me notice too. "Aw, look, isn't that cute! Honey, look!"

I'm not sure if the girl behind the counter knows what's going on, but I manage to hand the daughter off to the wife. Not the sainted wife, not now. After all, HER daughter just peed all over me in public. Good things, my daughter. Bad things, her daughter, and her fault, too. Give me time, I'll figure out why.

So off they rushed, back to the car to dry off and put on a diaper, while I stand there, big ole stain on my shorts, complete the order and attempt to play off the entire situation to the fiftyish golf foursome behind me.

"You know, normally she scream's PEE-PEE at the top of her voice", I say, waving my hands in the air by way of illustration.

They smile politely and kind of edge away, but at least they're not talking about how cute it is anymore. I move off to the side to await the fulfillment of my order. There's a big puddle of pee right in front of the order window. The guy behind me, the silverback of the golf course, is standing in it. Nice shoes. Italian, I think. I start to feel a little better.

"Daddy!" The wife's dried Ngnat off. She's running back up the walkway. "I hep you wi i keem!" The extra emergency diapers have been put on, but not the extra emergency shorts. A later investigation by a sub-committee of the house would bring to light the fact that there were no extra emergency shorts available, but that happens later on. Right now there's this pantsless redneck trailer baby running up the walk and calling me "Daddy". And her mother's letting her! She let her come out in public without any pants on!

"Aw, look, isn't that cute! Honey, look!"

I regret to say that I scooped up the child, handed her over to her mother, and demanded, in a low whisper, that they get back into the car right now. I did not need any help with the ice cream, I would bring them the ice cream, and we would eat it in the car, and then we would drive home and never return.

Later, as I sat in the front seat with my raspberry custard, wet walnuts and chocolate sprinkles of shame, Ngnat leaned in from the back where she was sitting with her mother.

"Tank you fa i keem, daddy." she said, and gave me a sticky kiss.

"It was no trouble, honey."

Posted by Bigwig at September 17, 2002 10:14 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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