Gluttony is one of the deadly sins, alongside other wicked passions such as pride and envy. Too much food on your plate and Satan will be your bedmate. Or so my father whispered to me across the table as a child, all the while swiping my roast potatoes from under my nose. He may have been morally reprehensible but he read his scripture as often as he brewed tea, so I can attest that God did have his ear. Even if that ear was only the beginning of a tunnel that travelled sheer through his head. He may have had power upon me but, since then, I grew up.
It has now been many years since I was a defenceless child - a plaything to Gods proxy - and with new age comes a certain cynical wisdom. An idea that decadence is perhaps preferable to two-hour sessions of forced prayer and the accompanying bloody knees. A thought that maybe lying on ones back, all the while rubbing ones rotund stomach, is definitely more titillating than climbing a chimney to scare a few nested magpies. So, with this age, I have gained certain privileges, certain undeniable rights, that allow me as an adult to spend half an hour in front of a freezer, in slippers and a bathrobe, deciding between Chunky Monkey and Karma Sutra.
That’s correct, I have paid my dues. I have seen free birds fly through the crack in the bomb shelter doors. I have heard the laughter of the kids down the street, playing innocent child games, as I sweep out the animal crematorium. I have cried so hard, so long, that my tears turned to blood. But no more. No more am I subject to their dogmatic whim. I am man and I eat ice cream.
If one was to listen the crazies in America, one might believe that freedom cannot just be bought but fought for, that it cannot be destroyed by those who hate it but protected by those who cherish it, that it is an inalienable right denied to no man or beast. Well, that may sound pretty in a poetry book, but I know that freedom comes at a price: five euro ninety in all good retailers. And not only that, but in many different flavours for those with narrow tongues, such as Dublin Mudslide, New York Super Fudge Chunk, Fossil Fuel, Phish Food, Cookie Dough, Cherry Garcia, Caramel Chew Chew… The list continues all the way down the gullet, into the small intestine. Out the bum.
Ice cream is freedom. Freedom is ice cream. Both are interchangeable and both are only fully appreciable when one has loosed the chains of adolescence and entered into the hairy-toed realm of manhood. Hundreds of years ago, the black man fought for ice cream and won it. Chinese slaves, fresh to the Americas, sold for gold dust in mud settlements, could only dream of ice cream. The Irish, sodomized by the English for hundreds of years, dying for potatoes, fled the Emerald Isle in search of ice cream and the population never recovered in the hundred and fifty years since. Cities were built on ice cream and societies felled for lack of it. Tonight, as you fall asleep in your cot, say a prayer for the frozen elixir and dream of swimming through oceans of dairy goodness.
God bless you.
This post is sponsored Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream. Where everyday is free cone day.