NOW for the second part of last week’s column. For those of you thinking, “I didn’t see a ‘to be continued . . . ’ at the end of last week’s column,” to be honest I didn’t know last week that there would be a Part Two either.
For those of you who did not see last week’s column, I had French onion soup for the first time and did not like it very much. That is pretty much all of last week’s column.
Anyway, while out shopping, I found myself in a situation where I would have to choose an ice cream from a selection proffered. All the usual suspects were there: vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, double chocolate, triple chocolate, apotheosis of chocolate.
And there, on the end, was a green one. “Oh, good,” I thought. “I like mint.” But when I looked more closely, I discovered it was pistachio.
“Oh, good,” I thought again. “I have never had pistachio ice cream before. People who say their favourite ice cream is pistachio always sound sophisticated. I bet this is right up my street.”
And then I remembered what happened with French onion soup. I eyed the vanilla. It had black bits in it. You can’t go wrong with vanilla with black bits in it.
Then I thought, “There is NO WAY it could happen again.”
The ice cream seller coughed. I looked up. I think his patience over my browsing had reached breaking point. I had to make a quick decision. “Pistachio, please,” I said.
I should have seen the warning signs. While all the other tubs of ice cream looked as if they had experienced heavy shelling, the pistachio was a bowling green.
I swear I saw the ice cream seller give his colleague a sly smile as the scoop broke into the tub on the end for the first time in living memory. I am surprised that he actually charged me.
Did I enjoy my pistachio treat? Perhaps this will answer your question…
THE SMASHING ICE-CREAM COMPANY BOARDROOM – 50 YEARS AGO
MD: Figgis, bring us up to speed.
FIGGIS: Obviously we have already done vanilla, strawberry and increasing potencies of chocolate. We have even forgotten to take out the black bits from vanilla and charged twice the price, but a new flavour, sir? You are asking for the moon.
MD: Give me the moon, Figgis. Give me the moon.
FIGGIS: OK. We have come up with pistachio.
MD: What the hell is pistachio? Let me have a lick.
MD LICKS THE GREEN ICE CREAM AND SPITS IT OUT ACROSS THE BOARDROOM TABLE.
MD: That is revolting. You made an ice cream that tastes of marzipan? That yellow stuff that all right-minded people spend Christmas Night picking off their fruitcake?
FIGGIS: AND we’ve coloured it precisely the same shade of green as Kryptonite and the nuclear fuel rods that Homer accidentally leaves in Springfield at the beginning of every episode of The Simpsons. If that doesn’t tip people off . . .
MD: What is The Simpsons?
FIGGIS: Sorry, it’s an anachronistic reference to something that won’t be created for another 30 years. I did not think it through.
MD: You’ve done well, Figgis. Put this green glop next to our normal ice cream, and it will make our normal ice cream seem as ambrosia, the mythical food of the gods, in comparison. We’ll sell a shedload of the good stuff.
All you people who say you like pistachio, it’s all a big joke, isn’t it? You’ve all tried it and said, “This is vile. Let’s see if we can mess up some poor dupe’s ice cream eating experience by ‘bigging it up’ in the Sunday supplements.”
So, you win. I have had it with things that I have never tried before. Once bitten, twice shy. Twice bitten, retreat into an impervious cocoon and never come out. That is my new motto. There will be no Part Three.