1 comment


“I have some ice cream and I'm gonna eat it all. You don't have no ice cream. You didn't get none 'cause you are on the welfare. You can't afford it”. - Eddie Murphy. Yes, that was from Delirious (1983). And then the kid in the story drops it and gets rightfully chastised for bragging. Perhaps it didn’t melt in that mean kid’s hand, but I am sure it melted his heart and ego. Perhaps I am making a gratuitous use of a metaphor for this post, but as kids, we all had an experience with a popsicle in the hot summer (those of us who were fortunate enough that is).

I shall tell you a few (real) stories. The first is about myself. I was at a cottage and eating a red popsicle, carefully making sure it didn’t drip in the summer heat. Cherry I suppose. On a hot day, there is nothing better than a cold treat when you’re a kid. I was cognizant of which side was melting faster and turned it to try and keep it even and not drip all over the place. After all, it is dripping, you don’t get to eat the sweet nectar. As I sit in my lounge chair, lapping up every drop, a seagull comes into play. It flew in and grabbed it out of my hand and flew away. To make things worse for a young kid, I had to sit there and watch it devour it on the beach in front of me. Needless to say, I was devastated; but at least I didn’t have syrup on my hands.

The second story is about my daughter Coral (yes, I am a marine biologist). We live in Spokane, WA, and they have ice cream trucks that troll the neighborhoods for eager children to beg their parents for money to go buy a treat. So then came the classic ice cream truck song, and all the kids ran out to meet him. I gave her the money to get a treat. They have quite a selection (much more than when I was a kid) so she looked for a long while and decided on an orange popsicle. It was her first time going to an ice cream truck and she was beaming. Of course, it was summer, which is hot here in Spokane, so it was not going to last very long in 100-degree heat. She was only 5 years old and never had a popsicle and didn’t really know about the ‘correct’ way to eat it, so it started to run all over her hands. It was a mess; but who cares?

I know kids tend to be messy, but as an educator, I tried to show her the best way to eat it without it falling all over the ground. She’s a very intelligent kid and understood and got it right away. To see her beaming face as she lapped up the melting popsicle was precious. I took pictures of her doing so. She ended up getting messy, but what is the point of a treat if not to have fun? Popsicles are not pretentious; they are not arrogant; they are not boisterous. They are fun! And getting dirty is always fun! Let a kid be a kid, and as an adult, take the time to revert back to being a kid and get messed up. It’s worth it!

Last story. Coney Island, NYC. It was the Fourth of July. I was at the hot dog eating contest. Thousands of people, immense heat. So what do you do? You get something cold. I bought a popsicle and then walked down the boardwalk to see the competition. On the way, my popsicle started to melt, a lot. Pretty soon my hand was blue and sticky. I tried my best to lap up the deluge of sugary-sludge that came off of it (delicious by the way). I didn’t care about my sticky hands because everyone was happy. We all were sharing a fun day. My hands were blue, my tongue was blue, parts of my shirt were blue, but who cares? I ended up washing off my hands in a drinking fountain so I could continue my day. I tipped buskers and street artists, and I think that was because I was on a sugar high (no, I’m just a good guy that helps people out). I think I gained a lot of hot-dog weight and popsicle sugar weight, but lost it in water weight. So all-and-all, a good day.

To finalize, there is nothing wrong with having a little bit of fun. Popsicle stains wash off clothes, and hands, and make your tongue look cool. I wrote this to hopefully tell people that the small things in life matter (this is all true by the way, I never lie). I really want to run around with a popsicle with my friends and family and have it drip all over the place and not care because they are made for fun. Not to get philosophical here, but each drop usually denotes a little bit of happiness. I do not think there are a lot of people that eat popsicle when they are sad. I could be wrong, but they tend to be a happy food. When I picture a popsicle I see children playing, smiling, and having fun.

If anyone out there has never had sticky popsicle fingers I implore you to go out and buy one and enjoy it like a little kid. Heck, I did have one yesterday and those little drops of goodness in the100 degree heat were a blessing. It is the little things in life that really matter. Licking your sticky fingers with some grit from the playground is the best. That is a birthright from where I’m from. I implore you to go out and get a popsicle, do the tongue-dance of collecting the drops before the fall, and remember what it like to be a child.

Sometimes life is messy, but it doesn’t mean it’s not sweet.

August 01, 2020 14:30

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

Nandan Prasad
14:56 Aug 06, 2020

Hey, I really loved this story. It's very well-written and flows smoothly. The last line, it really got me thinking. Well-done with that. Well-done with the overall story too. Keep writing!


Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.