I did it. I managed to empty the entire inside of a DQ dipped cone without breaking the chocolate shell! After I finished, I had a perfect DQ-shaped ice cream cone with no ice cream in it. I have been trying to do this for years. The trick is, the DQ dipper has to dip the chocolate BELOW the rim of the cone or you can't get enough suction action to actually get all the ice cream. You bite the smallest hole possible into the little curl at the top, just big enough to pull the innards out by sucking, and then gently inhale the goodies inside. When I got down to the bottom of the ice cream, I had to turn it upside-down to get the last little bit. There I sat, shell in hand, beaming at myself. Michael and Tori were laughing and the people in the next booth were amazed. It was the most fun I've had a DQ since I was a kid.
My childhood DQ - in Grand Forks, North Dakota - had a walk-up booth. It shut down in the winter. It was a couple of blocks from Lincoln Park, where we swam in the summer. Lincoln Park was two blocks from our house and right next door to Lewis and Clark Elementary School where I went for kindergarten and 1st grade. We could walk to Dairy Queen, although it was a long walk for a little kid like me.
"We" aside: "We" refers to my family, particularly my three older brothers Paul, John and Mark. My other three siblings either weren't born or were too young to go with us.
I loved two things at Dairy Queen. First and foremost, something that I think about often and miss terribly, the nutty-butty ice cream cones. At DQ, they would make your cone and then roll it in chopped, salted peanuts. With a deft hand, you could get the whole surface of the ice cream covered with the shape of the cone pretty much intact. There is NOTHING better tasting than vanilla ice cream and chopped, salted peanuts. It has been close to fifty years since I had a nutty-butty ice cream cone and I still crave them. I want one right now. Once I tried to make my own. It was moderately successful - the ice cream is too hard when you get it from the store, though. Another time, I asked a DQ employee to make one, explaining how it was done. Looking at me like I was totally nuts (sorry!), the person agreed to do it, then sprinkled the nuts over the cone with a spoon!!! Of course, about 1 in 20 pieces stuck. It was pitiful. I couldn't convince the guy to roll the cone in the nuts. Oh, well, I can still dream.
The other thing that made my childhood day just perfect was getting a "mistake" at DQ. If someone made up an order wrong, they would put it in the freezer. If you were the lucky child who stopped by and asked for a mistake, you could get whatever was in the freezer. This did not happen every day, mind you, but it happened enough to make it worth asking. I guess they don't have mistakes any more, or the mistakes are just thrown away. Wouldn't it have been something to get a nutty-butty mistake? My favorite thing in the whole world free? That's really dreaming.
Other miscellany from my life: Tori registered for 9th grade today. She starts on Wednesday, which is a completely stupid time to start school, but that's what they do here in Cypress, Texas. She's been going to band camp since July 28th. High school has arrived. I have delight and trepidation in equal parts, delight that she is this much closer to growing up and trepidation at what the immediate future will bring in teen angst. Oh, well, I manage to get two other kids through adolescence, I guess I can do this, too.