“Cold Turkey” is the only way to cure an ice cream addiction. That’s what I told my dealer. I had been such an easy mark when he began driving his little yellow ice cream truck through my neighborhood. Every two weeks he would stop in front of my house. If I didn’t come running out clutching my wallet, he would ring my doorbell. There he would stand in his starched uniform, his name stitched across the pocket flap.

“Ma’am'” he would say, “Could I interest you in…”

“No!” I barked. “Go away! I told you no more ice cream for me! If you bother me one more time I am going to turn you in to the regional manager of my weight loss group.”

“But we are having a special,” he coaxed. “Chunky Chocolate Peanut Butter Binge. Your favorite. Only $5.29. This week only.”

“Steve, I told you I am on a diet. That stuff has 14 grams of fat a serving. Now beat it before I call the cops!”

I slammed the door in his face. “Lousy pusher,” I grumbled as I munched on a celery stick.

He was back two weeks later. “Here, have a sundae cone,” he purred. “One cone won’t hurt you. If you like it, you know where to find me.”

I bought a carton of the stuff and he knew I was hooked.”Have a few extras,” he offered. “Pass them around to your friends. For every new customer you bring me, I will give you a free half gallon for yourself,” he whispered with an evil wink.

Soon I was supplying the whole neighborhood, keeping a few bucks profit for myself. Steve stopped giving me the free half gallon. I began to hock our belongings to feed my habit. I had to purchase a new wardrobe in a larger size. I couldn’t get through the night without my ice cream fix.

Fortunately, Steve had given me his cell number.

“Steve,” I whispered into the phone late one night, “I need a gallon of Raspberry Rumble. I’m desperate, Man! What? Yes, I have the money. I pawned my son’s bronzed baby shoes and my late grandmother’s wedding ring. I’ll meet you in 30 minutes behind the dumpster in the alley. And I don’t want any of that cheap stuff. I want premium, at least 12 percent butterfat.”

When he arrived, I was waiting with the cash and we made the exchange.

“Wait a minute,” I growled. “You had better not be ripping me off.” I opened the carton and touched my tongue to the contents.

“Hey! This ain’t premium! It’s been cut with sherbet! What are you trying to pull? I oughtta break a snap on you! No, wait, that’s not right. Bust a trap! No, that’s not it. Shoot!”

“You mean ‘bust a cap’?” he asked.

“Yeah, that’s it! I oughtta bust a cap on you!”

“You’re carrying a piece?” he asked.

“A piece of what?” I asked.

“You know,” he said. A gun.”

I wasn’t, but I beat him senseless with a marble rolling pin I had in my apron pocket. That’ll teach him to mess with an ice-cream junkie.


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