- Books, Literature, and Writing
What America Needs is a Good Ice Cream Cone
History time. Although Marchiony is credited with the invention of the crisp, yellowish cone, a similar creation was independently introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair by Ernest A. Hamwi, a Syrian concessionaire. Hamwi was selling a crisp, waffle-like pastry -- zalabis -- in a booth right next to an ice cream vendor. All of this about ice cream cones.
I loved ice cream cones. Back then. I never had a love affair with the ice cream cone. Some high-thinking ad exec thought that up from his overweight, cigar-smoking boss who had certainly paid his dues, threatening his job. We can all give homage to this ad slogan: "America is Having a Love Affair With Ice Cream Cones." Did you ever watch Rod Serling's Twilight Zone? I did. This particular remark about an ad agency much like the one who coined, "America is Having a Love Affair . . ." thing reminds me of "A Stop at Willougby," episode where an ad exec, James Daly, is under pressure from his overweight, loud-mouthed and impatient boss to "Push! Push! Push!" concerning business being conducted quickly. And lucratively.
The ad exec, obviously a good-hearted soul, finds his high-pressured job very annoying and starting to show unhealthy physical affects from the fattie boss' tongue lashing. Who needs an ulcer, right? His wife, (Patricia Donahue) who doesn't work and who would, takes the fat boss' side against the struggling ad exec when he spills his guts about how he loved a place he envisioned on an old-fashioned train (but was really) a fast, modern commuter train where this poor guy went to and from work. Going back home from work, he would fall asleep and dream about a picturesque locale named, "Willoughby," the perfect 1800s town with an easy pace of living, smiling children, and things moving at his own pace. No pressure. No pushing. No shoving. And best of all, no fat, loud-mouthed bosses. You can watch this episode and find out what happened.
All of this about a down trodden ad exec. Yes. But not one word about an ice cream cone. The client (on this episode) was about a big automotive company which would have meant millions to the fat man boss, but failed. Aweee. He was fat enough for three guys. I was not the least bit sorry for him or his company.
Incidentally, this ad agency, with our without the fat boss, had many flashy and famous ad slogans besides "America is Having a Love Affair . . ." thing for it can (and did) apply to a new car design, a new way to make what is a mouthful of brown. snagged teeth now perfect and white and way to train your pets by simply batting your eyes in rhythm to the CD (that you can buy for 20 low payments of $29.99) with American tunes . . ."Proud to be an American," Lee Greenwood and such.
And now I ask, "What about the ice cream cone?" Did America really have an affair with this sweet food item or just temporarily go wild at the vendor's stand? Your turn to answer and make our nation proud. Another question: What would you say made America so quick to fall in love with the ice cream cone? Please answer. I don't want to come off looking like a jackass. Ice cream has been around longer than the cone, so why must ice cream put into the same stable as the cone? A lot of purists balked, even threatened to boycott ice cream companies by insulting their pure thinking by even hinting that they let some yokel shovel a dip or two of ice cream atop their thin, non-trustworthy cone. And all of this time you thought that everything was fine--a marriage made in some kitchen laboratory where ice cream was really taken hostage and made to sit perfectly still and let some fatty, middle-aged guy with three partial's in his mouth lick the cream all while the cameras and PR folks recorded this auspicious event.
And there it was. Together for the public to view. Ahhhh! Ooohhhh! filled the civic arena when the American public filled some Saturday close to Thanksgiving, ready to eat like jackals in the bush, to sample what an obscure food lab created to be "America's Best Snack": the ice cream cone. The emcee, an ice cream company, who was tagged to take the first dip and sit it on the cone flanked by two gorgeous "Conettes," both blonde, and both runners-up from the Miss Minnesota and Kansas Pageants. When the emcee began to take the first ice cream dip, male audience members had more fun staring at the runners-up both dressed in all white, skimpy bikini's while smiling ear to ear. Can you blame the guys? This event was probably the only way that their wives could get them torn away from their TVs and "America Having a Love Affair with The Newest Sport": football games. What a combination. Runners-up with skimpy bikini's, blonde, smiling from ear to ear and getting to sample taste an ice cream cone. Only in America. (this was really my way of writing a fitting cheap shot).
"Push! Push! Push!" would be the next thing from major ad agencies at Fifth Avenue, New York City. And why shouldn't they? "America was having a love affair" (there it goes again) with monetary prosperity with the swift, sleek automobile manufactured by Chevrolet or Ford, two big competitors, so the ice cream cone was a ready to be included in the Natural Selection of Things with a nod to Charles Darwin. Time for America to make money, money, money. Notice when things are getting close to being successful, someone just has to yell something three times? A go, go, go, would have sufficed. But Rod Serling's master of words wouldn't let him write anything in the "Willoughby" episode but "Push! Push! Push!" Watch it sometime.
But keep in mind as you are now reading the real truth about ice cream cones, that in no time of any competitive designing by Ford or Chevrolet did these two car giants ever sit atop each other to be photographed by the major press rep's and name the newest thing, the "Single Car Dip." That is purely riciculous by nature. Two cars sitting atop the other. Although some deranged guy might have bought one just to show his pride in being the only one to own a "Single Car Dip," in Bainbridge, Indiana. Look it up!
Getting real with the ice cream cone is really easy when asked, "What can one realy do with an ice cream cone, but eat it?" Oh, buddy. Where were you all last semester? We covered the mysterious wooly mammoth and how it became extinct and our professor, what a hoot he was. Telling us all of those barroom jokes about wooly mammoths that his girlfriend, "Tikki," shared with him through many one night stands. You can use the ice cream cone as a projectile to vent your anger at some local politician who obviously did not do research on "The Sex Life of The Tick,", or you can make someone go home quickly to change clothes because you rammed the ice cream cone smack dab into his new shirt simply because he was acting way too high and mighty and the best one: if you are a thrill seeker, you can simply stand still and watch the ice cream cone melt in the sun to see how long it will take for the cream to become slush. America was and (still is) just full of people with ingenuity.
Like all things in life, even the sexy ice cream cone began to wane. (Hemmingway could not have opened a paragraph as well as I just did). Chevrolet, Ford, and Chrysler sedan and sports cars all saw an unnoticeable sales dip (no pun intended), along with women's fashions that once had ruled Wall Street. Fianceers were used to strutting the sidewalk with a new suit each day of the week--even the C.EO. of the first American ice cream cone industries. They looked the look with double-breasted suits, Bowler hats and cane that was not needed. The cane was just a successful men's fashion luxury. But the ice cream cone hung tough even during those slow times when many working Americans who now had looked forward to Sunday afternoons to take the wives (or girlfriends) on and outing to go for an ice cream cone. In stark reality, this fact can now be revealed: Did you know that a hot girl eating an ice cream cone was one way for this girl to keep her boyfriend interested? Wives just acted more attracted when they were treated by the husbands who bought ice cream cones for them. Sad in a way that wives couldn't be in the same league as a hot girl eating an ice cream cone. I cannot fight this wide-ranging battle
What did the ice cream cone-eating public in America do in light of the newness wearing off of this tasty novelty? They went back to basics as all sharp-minded Americans do in time of crisis--they get the ice cream from the grocery store and eat the ice cream from a bowl. What was so hard about that? The ice cream was just as happy to be sitting in a pink bowl face-first in front of "Mr. and Mrs. America" and eat their ice cream in the most contented way. And there were some sources that said (behind everyone's back) about ice cream actually being as good by itself as with the flimsy cone. Yeah. There were malingerers among the happy souls in "Ice Cream Land."
So what was the ice cream cone visionaries to do? Simple. Keep the cone and make it in another flavor. Wow! Not even Werner Von Braun, the rocket ace, could have thought of this one. Not one. Not even the edgy Howard Hughes. One of our world-wide members in the family of man, Ernest A. Hamwi, got that brass ring. Couldn't happen to a better person. But I hate to be a wet blanket. While it is true that ice cream can be devoured alone, just with a spoon or if you are of the wilder area of mankind, with your bare hands. Ice cream doesn't discriminate. Ice cream loves for people to love it. And ice cream always show the ones who love it, that the ice cream can bring a lot of happiness in just a few bites. But with (just) a cone, you got it all: now you had a variety of flavors such as: chocolate; vanilla; strawberry and cinnamon flavored-cones.
But when a couple succeed, both are supposed to feel achievement and happiness for their collective efforts. Now that the cone part of the ice cream cone partnership was now being sold in multiple colors, what about the ice cream? It already came in various colors. This reminds me of a film, "No Country for Old Men," starring Tommy Lee Jones. Sad, depressed, and mouth to the floor aptly describes the ice cream industry. Just ice cream in various flavors and colors to bear the brunt of the ice cream cone partnership alone while the yellowish, thin, waffer-like cone began to take on cudo's, pats on the back, a walk down the Red Carpet, being a guest on the Tonight Show and The Today Show, but "No Attention for Ice Cream Alone."
This hub, thanks to yours truly, has taken on a life of itself. The hub literally wrote me into a corner. A most terrifying problem of paradox connotations. No new ice cream flavors. But new ice cream flavors. One of these lasting partners had to leave. No room for the talented cone to just walk in public venues and all the while knowing that the lowly ice cream had played all of its roles with no new ideas around the corner.
The cone had won. The ice cream was crushed. The real reason, the bottom line, why the ice cream had to walk alone letting the cone dance with various colors and flavors was: The ice cream cone started out patented as an American snack. But in the years later, the new colors and flavors when allowed to court the cone along with American ice cream only led to talk behind the cone's back and cold shoulders turned. Not a happy twosome.
So the cone talked it out with the ice cream and like in the partnership between the Beatles, sensible thinking had them making a wise decision to stay friends, but enjoying new music options. Now with the cone saying good-bye to ice cream who was tearfully waving while the cone was walking up the steps to bet aboard an American Airlines now warming the tarmac, the cone made one respectful mistake in turning to look at the ice cream one last time. Now in hindsight, what a mistake it made. It would have been far better for the cone if it had not stopped to see what happened to ice cream.
Enter the shake now holding hands with ice cream. No way in creation that anyone, fatty and loud-mouthed could see this coming. No push, push, push! Who, (the ad agency exec's included) would have ever dreamed of the metamorphosis of our friend, the ice cream.
May I present to you, the milk shake.
No way now to reconcile. No way that a milk shake could ever be eaten with a cone. Just milk shakes being made and sold by the thousands each hour in that same number of teenage hang-outs in America. A wave of newness was now flowing through the land. No sign of the tide going back to the ocean. A milk shake was the rave of America. Just what the doctor ordered.
I cannot get much sadder right now. But one gala Saturday night in "Teen Town, U.S.A.," where a cafe or drive-in was filled with happy teens enjoying Bill Haley and The Comets with one thing on their minds . . . "Shake, Rattle and Roll."
Even a song was recorded in the milk shake's honor.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery