It was now time to keep his promise. 14 nine year olds were clamoring for their prize. The Adams Hardware store Hurricanes had defeated their cross town rivals in pee wee football and it was now Coach James’ turn to come through. In three mini-vans the team and the other coaches make their way through sleepy Paducah to the Frosty Mart. The best damn soft serve ice cream this side of the Ohio River. As a courtesy James called ahead to warn them of the pending invasion.

It looked a bit like Normandy beach when the vehicles pulled up and disgorged the team, still clad in shoulder pads and cleats. Like 14 banshees they stormed into the Frosty Mart, pushing and jockeying each other for dominance in line. Linebackers, then quarterbacks. Last of all came the punter. The only girl to make the team. Sally Helmdale could kick the ball as far as anyone on the team. Just the sight of her across the field make the other teams give pause to just how good the hurricanes actually were. At least tonight the Wal-Mart Mad Dogs knew they were bested by 13 boys and a solitary girl.
James made eye contact with the store’s owner and they both nodded. It was all prearranged, 14 Zebra cones; half chocolate, half vanilla. No special orders. Everyone was getting the same thing and everyone was going to get a cone, no matter where in line they were standing.

“Look at those kids Martha, do you remember when Robbie played ball?”

“I remember him playing ball, but I don’t remember him being as rowdy as these boys are tonight.”

“I’m not a boy! I’m a girl! GEEZ”

“Such ill manners, where are their parents?”

“You know why they’re acting like little monkeys don’t you? Sugar. They’re all addicted to sugar.”

“What does that make us? We were in line first.”

“Us too. What do you give a crying baby? Milk, Lactose, fructuous, glucose. It’s all sugar. Wanna stop a crying baby? Stuff it’s face with a bottle of sugar. They, like we before them were addicted to sugar before we learned to crawl. “

“Homer, that’s just crazy talk. I’m not addicted to any such thing.”

“Homer, answer me. I hate it when you just stare of into the distance as if it were gods words through your mouth.”

“Simmer down Martha, I’m not saying it’s some evil plot by the government or communists, but there’s not a one of us here tonight that’s not salivating at the thought of an ice cream cone. In my case, with sprinkles.”

“What about babies that don’t get milk or the mama dies, or are put up for adoption? Surely there must be exceptions to this, this group addiction to milk. Right?”

“Don’t know Martha, but look behind us. 13 savages all lusting after ice cream – with sugar in it.”

“Vanilla cone with sprinkles and I’ll have a hot fudge sundae please.”


“Make that with extra hot fudge.”

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