Ice Cream Adventure with John

John went in to East Coast Custard by himself while I sat outside with our dog. He came out with a milkshake. “I got something different,” he said proudly. I thought he was joking, assuming he ordered what he always orders, a jamocha shake. “No, it’s not jamocha,” he said. “It’s raspberry truffle!”

His cup had not a hint of pink, so I didn’t believe him.

“No, it’s not raspberry,” he admitted. “But it’s really a vanilla malt!” He said this as though incredulous at his own daring.

As he began sipping, he pulled something from the bottom with his straw. “What’s that?” he said. “A pecan? Why would there be a pecan in a vanilla malt?”

There wouldn’t, I said. “Then why is it in there?” he said. I said maybe it got in by mistake.

Soon he found another pecan. “What if this is really butter pecan?” he said. “Why would they do that?”

“Can’t you tell?” I asked. “Does it taste like butter pecan or a vanilla malt?”

He took another sip and thought for a second. “I can’t tell,” he said.

I suggested he go back in the shop and say there had been a mistake.

He responded that the young clerk wasn’t very friendly. “Maybe she’s trying to burn her bridges with every customer and get fired,” he surmised.

Or maybe someone made a mistake, I said, or you picked up the wrong order.

John kept sipping, every now and then making a face. We drove home, and when we got out of the car, he showed me the smattering of chopped pecans at the bottom of the cup, as though to prove his point.

“You didn’t have any trouble finishing the whole thing,” I said.

“It was hard,” he said. “I had to force it down.” Then he offered me the cup. “You want these pecans?”

I declined.

 “They have a new motto,” John said. “‘Don’t have it your way. Have it our way.’”


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8 Responses to Ice Cream Adventure with John

  1. Lisa Marin says:

    That there are so many responses to this post must mean something! But what? Anyway, last time I went to ECC I left my wallet there. The staff fished around inside it and found an old raggedy slip of paper marked “cell numbers” which I had put in my wallet in ancient times before smart phones and their storage of contact info because I could never remember my own and a few other cell phone numbers. The ECC staff started dialing and eventually reached me before I even realized I didn’t have my wallet. I didn’t get any pecans.

  2. James Kaplan says:

    Tommy’s didn’t have butter pecan, so I had to settle for peanut butter, but I still think that there’s a butter pecan in my future.

  3. And if it had been Roy he would have gotten butter pecan as he does every single time he orders ice cream.

  4. Jewel Moulthrop says:

    I read this aloud to Evan. We both laughed, and he said, “Sounds like something I would to avoid complaining.”

  5. James Kaplan says:

    I’m drooling. It’s the middle of the night and I don’t drive or I’d be ordering something right now. Guess I’ll have to wait for breakfast at Tommy’s.

  6. Kurtiss Hare says:

    The test of a good business: When they say, “have it our way,” I say, “yes, please.” I know one or two like that. 😉

    Funny story!

  7. Kathy says:


  8. Betsey Jarc says:

    This piece reminds me of some of Dad’s writing!

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