It’s time for the second edition of The Popsicle Parade!
In Part 1, I beat you over the head with ten different historically significant desserts. This time, I’ll be gentler to us both and only cover five. Moving forward with #11-15!
If you’ve never heard of this, you haven’t spent much time pawing at ice cream truck windows. There are many variations to the Screwball, with the only consistent trait being an inedible, conical cup. But the kind shown above is the true classic.
That Screwball was/is a cone filled with super sugary water ice, usually flavored like raspberry or cherry. (Raspberry more often; cherry when the gods were smiling upon you.) Absolutely delicious. Like an Italian ice, but a bit softer and way sweeter.
The real attraction was the gumball. At the very bottom of the plastic cone, a frigid gumball waited for its excavation. Trapped under ice for God knows how long, these gumballs developed a mouthfeel completely apart from their room temperature cousins.
They were like indestructible snowballs, imbued with artificial flavors. Yeah, those flavors were frost-paled and never lasted long, but by that point, you’d already eaten a whole cone of syrupy water ice. Really, you were only chewing the gum because the whole point of a Screwball was to find the gum.
These victories netted no trophies, but we were still proud.
#12: Klondike Big Bear Cookie Sandwich!
I’ve noticed something about Klondike’s ice cream truck stuff. Generally, they are HUMONGOUS.
The “Big Bear” name was not exclusive to these sandwiches, but was rather the umbrella title for all of Klondike’s super-sized treats. I’d feel like a traitor passing on a traditional Chipwich, but this was basically a double-sized version of the same thing. If this was the only food you ate on any particular day, you’d still need to jog fifty miles over messy lumber to get your caloric balance back in the black.
#13: Play Ball Sports Bars!
Play Ball: THE SPORTS BAR. I don’t remember these, but judging by the illustration, the popsicle could only be reacted to with a boisterous “holy shit.” Apparently, this was an ice or sherbet treat made to look like a basketball rim, with a glorious basketball-themed gumball stuck over the vague hoop.
This is such a complicated popsicle! I’ll be seriously depressed if Good Humor only added the basketball for logo purposes. That thing had better indicate GUM. Without a basketball gumball, Play Ball degrades into one of the lamest popsicles ever.
Go on, look at it. Now picture it without the basketball. Like a pizza box with a big floppy tongue.
#14: Snow Cone!
I have many chapters left in The Popsicle Parade, but it won’t feel legit until I get this out of the way. The traditional Snow Cone was and will forever be my #1 ice cream truck thing.
Granted, a Snow Cone was only as good as the amount of “juice” its creators put in. If you got a particularly dry one, it was like eating plain ice. But that was a rare goof, and a good Snow Cone was worth any risk.
The flavors varied, but the most common mix was cherry red, lemon yellow and berry blue. As you’d work your way down the Snow Cone, that trio would merge into a NEW flavor – a purple beast that tasted like a Slush Puppie forged from fourteen syrups. That was the best part, by far.
Wait no, scratch that. The best part was when you ate enough of the Snow Cone to handle the remaining chunk with your fingers. Then and only then could you put it between your lips like a big fat cigar, and try to suck the flavors right out of it, leaving a husk of dead ice that could then be, I don’t know, thrown at a wall.
Yes, yes. That was the best part.
#15: The Incredible Hulk Ice Bar!
This popsicle is famous for its longevity. It may surprise you to learn that it debuted in 1997, long before Hulk’s resurgence in the 2003 film.
I’m putting on my thinking cap, here. My research shows that a Hulk movie was in development in 1997 before getting its plugged pulled. But since huge films like that start merchandising from the womb, maybe this Hulk popsicle was intended to coincide with the lost film?
I’d love for that to be true. Detective work sucks when your conclusion is wrong. I’ll have wasted a good two minutes.
In any event, the Hulk Ice Bar had pearl-like gumball eyes, so determinedly soulless that Hulk ended up looking like an undead zombie. In a reversal of fortunes, we got to eat his brain.
I also dig how Hulk’s hair is obviously not hair, but an enormous spider. Perhaps calling Hulk a zombie doesn’t tell the whole story. Perhaps this was an alien spider species that controlled hapless victims with psychic tentacles that extended through their fangs. If true, we’ve just witnessed the best popsicle in history.
See you for #16-20!