Tag Archives: ice cream


It was that time of year last week, time to get a flu shot. When the California sun is smiling brightly it is hard to think about such matters, but when you are sniffling under a blanket in January, you wish you had paid attention.

Having obtained a prescription refill a week earlier it came to my attention via a poster on the freezer door next to the pharmacy counter that recipients of a flu shot would be entitled to a free scoop of ice cream. Now that is an incentive! Thus, almost giddy when it was time, I filled out my paperwork and waited in line to get poked. There was one person ahead of me who got his flu shot and he yelled out ouch before he got poked – apparently an attempt at humor – which was warily acknowledged by the pharmacist. My turn. “right or left arm”? “The left please”. It was an ouch moment, but I kept silent. “would you like a band-air”? “Yes please, and where and what kind of scoop of ice cream may I get”? “Sorry – no ice cream, but you can take a bottle of free hand sanitizer from the counter”. Imagine my shock and disappointment. Hand sanitizer? Practical perhaps, but certainly not the same. False advertising came to mind, “bait and switch” tactics, things, one does not expect at a pharmacy. Sigh – hand sanitizer it is then, as I reach down and grab a small bottle, sadly slinking towards the exit door.

Is there a happy ending to this preposterous misrepresentation luring unsuspecting ice cream aficionados into a pharmacy only to get poked and sanitized you ask? There is – a self-service pint of ice cream from the freezer that night, including whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top in order to recover from the afternoon shock.

Girl Scout cookies

Thin mint cookies

Thin mint cookies

Another beautiful February Sunday. The magnolia blossoms on the old tree in front of my church are more than half open now. Blue sky and sunshine abound. After service, I go home to take a nap, as my cat Calvin woke me up twice last night. I wish he would comprehend that it is unnecessary to meow before using the litter box (which he seldom does, as he uses outside almost exclusively — for those who might be interested in such fascinating details). Silently taking care of business would be most appreciated. The second disturbance, in the form of bringing down his toy mouse (which smells like catnip by the way — in case you were wondering), is somewhat understandable, as it seems to be a present for me. The timing however is subject to debate.

I’m off to the Farmer’s Market and then the grocery store. My nap was a bit long it seems, as the Farmer’s Market is already starting to close down. I do find one vegetable stand that is in the process of packing up, but still open, and I purchase some leeks from the farmer, for making potato-leek soup later in the week — it is supposed to rain and get cold again — and that’s when it tastes especially good.

It must be spring, at the street corner where the market is set up, some Girl Scouts are already hawking their cookies. I can never say no to a smiling little girl with cookies, and one box of thin mint cookies later, I depart. Next stop: Peet’s coffee, for a café au lait. The sidewalk however is blocked by a Bernese mountain dog, who is standing diagonally — an immovable barrier. I suppose he wants to be petted, and he has succeeded very nicely in accomplishing his purpose. I am granted passage once I have finished my petting duty. At Peet’s, the girls behind the counter spy my cookies and make subtle hints as to how good thin mint cookies taste. An old fashioned barter of cookies for coffee takes place.

I walk down the street past the Farmer’s Market that is almost completely disassembled now, and then find a bench to sit on that is bathed in sunshine — a fine place to enjoy my café au lait. As I sip my coffee, I see a father walking on the opposite side of the street with his daughter holding his hand. She is carrying a stuffed leopard that is bigger than her (à la Calvin & Hobbes). My cat Calvin would be proud of her. A bit later, there is some avian commotion, as three crows fight over who gets to sit at the very top of a light pole. Never mind the fact, that there is plenty of room for everybody. Pitiful behavior. They finally all leave, after the needless ruckus  comes to an end. I would also venture to guess that the tone of the conversation left a lot to be desired.

Pushing my shopping cart past the sliding doors at the supermarket, I am greeted by one of the employees, who is giving out samples of fresh strawberry cake — it is an easy sale. This year I decided to give up ice cream for Lent, and those who know me, know what a “sacrifice” that is for me. As I contemplate the prior purchase of the cookies and now the cake, I think to myself, although both don’t fall into the ice cream category, perhaps I am consuming a bit too much sweets and defeating the purpose of Lent here. The checker sees my cake on the conveyor belt and asks: “Gonna eat that by yourself?” Nope, it will be shared.

Have a blessed week, and support your Girl Scouts

Matthias Leue