Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer Lovin'

You people who know us well enough to know our dirty, little secrets, know this about our family: fitness freak that I've turned into, we still go to Will's Store EVERY NIGHT in the summer for Creamees. I don't mean we go sometimes, or a lot, or often...I mean EVERY NIGHT. Unless there's an act of God preventing us, the woman who runs the register expects us to walk in around quarter to eight, the rusty cowbell over the door jangling as we enter, and order two baby sized cones, one small, and one medium.

The Creamees aren't the only thing I love about Will's. The place is like something out of a movie...but one that hasn't been made yet. An old brick store where the fishing bait sits next to the Yankee Candle selection, ammo next to the aspirin, along with incredibly bad wine, toys that have been on the same shelves since 1979, movie rentals, yellowed postcards, beef jerky, knick-knacks, a surprising variety of great books. They also make their own terrific hard ice cream, a fact that few people care about because the Creamee machine reigns supreme, commanding the front of the store, most folks don't even venture further in than that, never wander to the back where you can find paperclips and glittery resin figurines of wolves and bald eagles. Their loss. But on rainy days we roam around back there with our creamees, finding odd merchandise, stuff we've never seen before, every time. If we're lucky, the side door will be open and the Chelsea Town Marching Band (which is really just five people, one of them Will himself, wheelchair bound, but who says marching has to mean MARCHING?) will be practicing on the covered ramp.

There are a couple women who alternate nights working at Will's, we call them "Good Jimmie Lady" and "Bad Jimmie Lady". (Not to their faces, obviously, although the kids have let it slip a couple times and we've had to fake a coughing fit.) Good Jimmie Lady takes your ice cream and boldly plops it down in the container of sprinkles, rolling it around and COATING it with either chocolate or rainbow. Right on! Bad Jimmie Lady holds the cone over the sink, and kind of gingerly flicks some sprinkles at it with a spoon, while she gives you the evil eye for ordering sprinkles in the first place. The result is: a sink full of delicious, wasted jimmies, and an ice cream with seven actually stuck to it.

This has been going on for a few years now, with the entire universe afraid to speak up to Bad Jimmie Lady.

The most awesome, miraculous thing happened as this summer's creamee season began...Good Jimmie Lady gave Bad Jimmie Lady a crash course in proper jimmie application! No more wondering if we'll have to pay that extra 15 cents for a whole lotta nothin'. No more agonizing on the way over to recall whose night it is behind the counter. It doesn't even matter. Now that they're BOTH Good Jimmie Ladies, I think we'll ask them their real names. Summer's here, the marching band is tuning up, and all is right in the world.

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