Hardware at the ice cream store

February 1st, 2011

While the General was off talking to the military in San Antonio, I went to the Alamo – I’d never been. I’d been loaned a car with GPS – very useful. The Alamo was fascinating – fascinating as in such a waste of human life.

After wandering around, I espied the Haagen Dazs shop and thought, I debated ┬ájust treating myself to one scoop. Ha! Who can eat just one scoop? I thought, heck I’ll just go look…

The area was under scaffolding so I had to dodge around to the Holy Grail. I walked in and started looking at each flavor trying to make this huge decision. I would only have one scoop today. Swiss Almond. when I used to buy the pint, I’d have to buy the plain vanilla to mix them because too many swiss almonds in the swiss almond. (Ice cream is serious business.) Coffee. Vanilla fudge. Pistachio.

While I was in this heaven of fantasy of great anticipation of which flavor would become the chosen scoop, I heard: “May I help you?”

I look up with great joy and….about screamed in horror. There was this boy with handcuffs all over his face. Okay, not handcuffs. but big rings thru his eyebrows, yes his eyebrowS, his nose, his ears, his lips, his tongue….OWWWWWWUUUUCCCH!

Fortunately I caught it before it came out, immediately looked back at the ice cream and quickly went back to my reverie. I chose a flavor, watched his hands as he scooped it out and was careful to not look at Hardware boy when I paid. I tried to cover by appearing engrossed in my ice cream. I waited till I was outside to shake off the vision and started into my one scoop, savoring it.

It just seems unsanitary – handling food, nose rings, big rings or studs half inside your nose. No no no.

Another time, the General and I were in the south of France where he was receiving the French Legion d’Honneur. Ten thousand villagers had shown up from all over Lake Geneva. The French Air Force military band played. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s grandson and his wife. And the Air Attache and his son….with his hardware. He had eyebrow rings and a few other facial monstrosities. General Yeager asked his father why he let the kid present himself like this.

The father said, Oh, you know kids.

This from a man who was supposed to be strong and ready to do battle.

I thought: Yes, I know kids: they need parenting. What a concept.

I just kept looking at the kid – age 16 or 17 – and kept saying OWWWWW! This time out loud.

It was the only thing that got a reaction. He was embarrassed. “It didn’t hurt,” he protested a little too weakly by the third time.

Me: It HURTS me just to look at you. OWWWWWW! And I play hockey – can’t imagine getting it caught and ripped out. WOWOWOWOWOWWW!

It became a humorous lesson and the only thing to which he responded since it wasn’t a judgment on his looks, taste, or “independence”. Every time I looked at him, I grabbed my eyebrow or lip, looked pained, & if possible, repeated: OWWWWWWWW!

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s grandson’s French wife made a good point: If you’re going to not parent the kid. OK what she really said: If you’re going to let your kid self-express like that and you’re at a function repping your country, the USA, (not a country where these are the ancient custom), leave him at home. Please.

Good point. :-)


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