Columns, Opinion

DONNELLY: Ice cream: Do we really all scream?

First, some preemptive redemption. Not because I’m one to make excuses, or because I think my transgression somehow makes me unworthy of your readership, but because I have an identity aside from a certain summer fling and I’m desperate to save face. In my defense, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, and I was beyond cash-strapped.

Minds at ease ‘- it’s not what you think. The middle months of 2009 came and went with nary a sexual exploit. I didn’t toe the line of bestiality on a half-in-the-bag dare. No personal bounds were tested in the realm of amateur adult filmmaking and no child was conceived at my ill-fitted hands.’

My short-lived relationship was with a sugary-sweet preteen Dora the Explorer, her delicate strawberry-banana complexion and two judgmental, asymmetrical gumball eyes. And might I say, I was hooked at the very first sloppy bowl-cut suck.’

But I’ve paid the price. My hands are still bloodied with the scathing sting of dry ice and melted lactose-derivative. And my mind? It’s an unwilling slave to the satanic fanfare of ‘Do Your Ears Hang Low’ on loop.

Shameful tick-mark to mounting list of indignities: added.’

Matt Donnelly: Off-floor eater. In-church farter. College-educated Ice Cream Man.

Take a second to rid yourself of the fool’s notion that driving a mini U-Haul full of corn syrup-slapped cow piss is a glittery, candy-coated childhood dream realized. I can tell you from the rusted amusement park attraction of my lawn chair-substitute-for-driver’s-seat that it is simply not the case. The Post-It love note from the mother of weekend employee and convicted felon ‘Fat Steve’ proudly plastered to the rearview doesn’t either speak too soundly in the profession’s defense.

Let me go back in time for a second — My Reynolds Wrap gas cap has not alerted me to the machine’s boiling point and I’ve just been struck in the face by a geyser of regular unleaded. But hey, I can stomach the small things, and I’ve fortunately settled my discord with nearly all local arsonists. Your 8-year-old daughter gesticulates wildly to ‘Single Ladies’ in a metallic two-piece? This is more complicated.

Because you, mother of aspiring proto-slut, are now shooting me daggers from your side-yard gazebo. But I’m not gawking at your little princess and consequently uprooting your neighbor’s mailbox because I’m enticed by the charm of the performance or the dexterity of its soloist. Sasha Fierce, she ain’t. I’m halted at the foot of your driveway because it is my job and because I suck at driving, while your Kendra Wilkinson prot’eacute;g’eacute; is flashing me a fistful of single-dollar bills and I have cartons full of Choco Tacos to ditch before sundown. If the girl at all resembles Polly Adler during our transaction, or if you’re not sure where her soiled cash came from, that is of no fault of my own.’

But I’m a nice guy, and there are no hard feelings, so to demonstrate my professionalism in spite of your family’s troublemaking, I will silently and harshly judge your household and take my circus act to a more dignified spot like the chokey from Matilda or a Bennigan’s parking lot.

Call me crazy, but I still don’t understand your confusion with my aim, public. The broadside of my vehicle is emblazoned with a backwards-hat sporting cartoon character named Fred. He’s basking in the glow of the summer sun and HE’S AN ICE CREAM CONE. So stop looking at me like I’m out-of-place, guardrail-stooped fisherman at the pond near Exit 4.

While we’re on the narrowed topic of the miscellany that annoys me while I drive my truck, I am not a bus. Don’t ask me for a ride, lonesome preteen with unreliable cell phone reception ‘- it is quite clearly spelled out in my Etch-A-Sketch contract that I cannot give you one. Furthermore, you’re pretty unpleasant, and I’m certain I wouldn’t benefit at all from your company. Please leave me to my giant Pixie Stick vices and find another way home in this dangerous thunderstorm.

Finally, I am not hired help for your children. If Brindy and Diego want a Mississippi Mud, I’m their man. If they want to use me as a glorified, mobile Ding Dong Ditch, I’m afraid I won’t tolerate this. Please articulate to them that if they disingenuously approach me once more I will stab their eyes out with soggy candy cigarettes and punt them into your tool shed-adjacent reservoir.

Similarly, if you encourage your dog to chase me because you think it’s funny, I will make a joke of my own. It goes like this: Oops, the weight of my front axel is resting on your Basset Hound! Zinggggg!

Conclusion: No, I’m not a pedophile. Yes, I’m destined for a life of solitude.

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