In our small town, the neighborhood ice cream shop has had the same corner location for many years. I believe it was a Baskin Robbins first. Then, it became a place called Longford’s. Recently, it was bought out by someone who wants to keep it as an ice cream store, but planned to transform it to more of a 1950′s ice cream parlor. It sounds intriguing and they are slowly converting the space for this new image. When I told Little Dude about the change in ownership, he only wanted to know one thing:
Will they still sell the Cookie Monster flavor?
It was a valid question, or rather a valid worry.
Cookie Monster IS an awesome flavor, that most kids, and even many adults, clamor for when they visit this store. The flavor consists of vanilla ice cream that is dyed blue and it has pieces of cooked (not raw) chocolate chip cookies in it. I gotta say, it’s delicious, and if it didn’t turn my whole mouth blue every time I ate it, I’d probably have it more often.
We decided to investigate the Cookie Monster question right after the new owners took possession a few months ago. We went in and immediately asked if they would still carry the Cookie Monster flavor.
“Oh, of course,” the man behind the counter replied. “We would never get rid of THAT flavor.”
Phew. No more worrying.
Or so we thought.
About a month ago, we went back in to order a cup of the beloved Cookie Monster, plus to take home an extra quart of it.
It was gone.
I spotted another blue-dyed ice cream nearby and thought that was it.
But, it wasn’t. It was an imposter flavor. The blue ice cream was pretending to look like Cookie Monster, but it had Oreo cookies in it, plus nuts.
Gross. Who were they trying to fool?
I took one look at my son’s face, and I knew this was not going to be a good day. Just in case, I had to ask the man behind the counter the question:
“Where’s the Cookie Monster?” I asked as if I expected him to bring a fresh tub of it from the back room.
“Oh, um, we don’t carry it anymore. Longford’s won’t let us sell it anymore, because the flavor belongs to them.”
I glanced at my son again and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look so sad. He put on a brave face, but I knew better. I quickly turned around and looked in the freezers behind me where they kept the quarts of pre-packed ice cream. In there, I noticed two containers of Cookie Monster ice cream. I grabbed them like a crazed addict, and showed Little Dude that we didn’t in fact have to live without Cookie Monster just yet.
“Do you have any more quarts I could buy?” I greedily asked the man who had just crushed our hopes of ever eating Cookie Monster again.
“Nope, those must be the last two quarts left.”
At this point, I felt like Elaine on the classic “Seinfeld” episode when she discovers her preferred choice of birth control, The Sponge, will no longer be manufactured. (And by the way, I used to work for the company that made the Sponge. In addition to being an effective form of birth control, The Sponge can be used to polish silver! Who knew?) Anyway, in the episode, Elaine runs around town stockpiling The Sponge before the stores stop selling it. She becomes very picky about the men she dates because she doesn’t want to run out of Sponges and turns down any man if she doesn’t think he is “Sponge-Worthy.”
We purchased our two quarts of Cookie Monster and rushed them home, lest they melt and we lose some of our precious flavor. On our way home, I remembered that there was still hope of eating Cookie Monster after our two quarts ran out, which in my house, would be about two days max. I recalled that there was a second Longford’s location in another town north of us. I told Little Dude that we could always drive to that location if we ever wanted Cookie Monster again. I could see his brain working on this and then he asked:
“Mom, how far is the other Longford’s from our town? How many minutes would it take to drive there?”
“Oh, only about 15-20 minutes. Not a big deal!” I reassured.
The current ice cream store was within walking distance of our house, so a 15-20 minute drive was not what he was hoping for. But still, I think it took some of the panic away (from both of us) that we could still have Cookie Monster as long as we were willing to make the drive.
And you can bet that we will.