Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a Wednesday ritual after school. I live about a block away from a Baskin Robbins, which is delicious and dangerous, because they have Rainbow Sherbet. Or, if you’re me and my family, “Sherbert.”
Momentary childhood flashback time! I lived in Pendleton and Mom worked for Gramma at “Lynne’s Poodle Palace” in Hermiston. (Billy, this is where all the jokes come from.) We would drive there every day to work, and I would play with all the animals and generally love life. On the way home, in our awesome, slightly sparkly Chevy truck, we would occasionally stop at the little cafe place that served ice cream. Mom and I would rumble up to the Wheatland Dairy’s drive through window and get a couple sugar cones with our favorite flavor scooped right on top.
Our favorite employee was an older guy. He knew what was up. There was a tight corner on the overpass, and he squished each scoop down so that if you were barreling around that corner at 60 or so, that delicious gob of colorful goodness stayed put.
We developed a tangible hatred for the younger woman that worked there. She was dainty and frail in her work, and in the ice cream business, that just doesn’t cut it. Her scoops would sit lightly on top of the cone, as if she wanted it to fall off. It was like a company selling equipment that will only last a short while and then crap out. (cough cough Dell cough cough) It’s good for business, but terrible for the consumer.
I remember one time Mom and I got sherbert and were heading home, across the overpass. The dumb chick served us, and I was 5 year old oblivious Dani, enjoying my after work treat. (Don’t worry, no child labor laws were broken!) It was hot out, I was happy, and we headed home… Right towards the monster corner on the overpass.
If you’ve ever met my mom, you know she likes to go fast. Cars, trucks, whatever. That dreadful day was no different. We went sailing around that corner like always, and it was like watching a glass fall from a high cabinet and shattering: it all happens in slow motion and you’re helpless. My happy scoop of rainbow goodness became a mucky mess on the floor of the Chevy, changing from my treat to Patsy’s treat in an instant. Ultimate feeling of bummed. Maybe that’s why I always felt bad for the big guy on Lilo and Stitch!
Back to the future, err, recent past, and I’m getting some delicious rainbow sherbert from BR’s down the block. An older Ajumma and her family work there. They’re really friendly, and the youngest girl always tries to show her mom/grandma? how to say things in English to me. Last Wednesday, I walked in and got my usual. It was nice out, so I paid and decided to walk down the street to the park by my house to enjoy the warm weather and my reward for not strangling the Ke$ha-esque boy, U~Ganda in class.
As I was walking out the door, a delivery motorcycle zoomed past, bumping my bag and sending me flying. Again, slow-motion helplessness kicked in, as my bag hit the ground and I saw the beautiful colors go flying right onto the doorstep of Baskin Robbins.
Ultimate bummer. I felt completely defeated by that stupid motorcycle delivery guy. I picked up my bag, completely bummed, and started to clean up the ice cream off my pant leg with the napkins I got for my cone. Just as I was throwing the whole mess in the trash, the old Ajumma walked up with a new cone, patted my shoulder and asked, “Are you okay?” I said that I was fine, and I was so shocked by the fact that she actually asked me something in English that I didn’t realize that she was offering me a fresh scoop of wonder. “Here, for you.”
I tried to pay for it, but she just wasn’t having it. I thanked her again and went to the park. I’m pretty sure that second cone tasted way better than the first. Minus the motorbike jerk faces, I LOVE MY NEIGHBORHOOD!