With the summer heat hotboxing our unventilated home, I was feeling trapped and agitated, ready to Taz out and potentially lose the house bond. Then, remembering all my lessons in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, I decided to try the ancient strategy of “doing something nice for yourself.” Ice cream, I thought. Four of them.
Half an hour later there I was, sitting on the park bench with a Bubbalo Bill, a Peter’s Dixie Cup, a Milo Scoop Shake and a Cookies and Cream Maxibon.
Frost still clung to the severed head of Bubbalo Bill. Left in the freeze-box too long, his famous chewing-gum nose looked soggy and worse for wear. The size was small, the flavours hard to differentiate, and the nose instantly crumbled in my mouth like a ball of icing sugar. What did they do to the gum? In the Board of Nutrition’s war against Cowboy Culture, Bubbalo Bill is just another casualty.
Sad to learn that the Dixie Cup too was nothing but a tiny serve of vanilla ice cream, fully melted by the time I got to it. Like an underage louse with a bottle of his dad’s spirits, I shot it back mindlessly, forgetting to taste it, forgetting that ice cream is not a bottle of my dad’s spirits. Felt my stomach grovel. Moved on to another thing.
Nearly identical in concept to the Yowie Choc Shake is the Milo Scoop Shake: a weird bucket of melted sludge dotted with flecks of chocolate or something. The only real difference between the two comes down to their pictures on the front. One has a drawing of a bad ass looking Yowie (representing love and respect for nature), and the other has a picture of an Olympian swimmer (representing wearing a dumb looking swimming cap, and accidentally swallowing pool-water). Judging by these facts, I know what bucket I’d rather be tongue-poking (Yowie).
By the time I arrived at the main event, the big expensive Maxibon, I was feeling a little bit ill and my mouth was all sticky. God must have been watching out for me, because just as I was about to take a reluctant first-bite, the Maxibon exploded in my hand (possibly due to the sudden spike in blood pressure and onset of heart palpitations). It was a miracle.
With all the biscuit and chocolate and goo sprayed over my clothes I tried to salvage what I could by taking off my shirt and hoovering it with my mouth. The ice-cream had a kind of sour, salty taste to it (which I hope was from the shirt because I hate gettin’ ripped off) and I made a note to go do my laundry very soon. I’m guessing that if I had of had the full Maxibon experience, it probably would have been a good time.
After walking home shirtless in the Tuesday breeze, swinging my soiled cloth round and round my head like a barbarian with a chain, I got home and took a much needed lie down. My organs were hurting. I think sometimes it is both a blessing and a curse to have nobody round to look after me.
Rating: Four new friends and a couple-o hand towels.
Words by Rainy Colbert. Art by Shannon Lively.
Originally published in Pelican Magazine Issue Two 2017.