One of my earlier memories is a fragment of a hot July day in Southern California. I was around two and being fidgety on the lime-green vinyl in our submarine-shaped LTD. The stifling heat had us all gasping for breath and patience.
Mom, forever the peacemaker, asked me if I would like some “cormy,” which in my infantile vernacular referred to ice cream. That ghastly gas-guzzling monster slithered past the Fosters Freeze, which was closed, until I spotted heaven, golden arches included. What I didn’t realize since I was just a bratty toddler at the time was that McDonald’s didn’t serve ice cream back then. All I knew was that if I didn’t get my “cormy,” I was going to throw the mother of all tantrums.
Dad strolled in casually, arms swinging like oars, to and fro. What seemed like an eternity later, he resurrected, without a miracle, his arms dangling limply like thirsty weeds. As he slid dejectedly into the car, I flew on top of him in a demented rage, pummeling his chest and arms with my chubby doll-like hands.
At that point, Dad could have probably used something cold and frosty as well, but it came by the pint instead of the scoop. I don’t remember anything past the point of “beating up” Dad, but I believe Mom says we finally found a place open that had ice cream. I hope so for Dad’s sake.