I took a notion for a chocolate dipped ice cream cone tonight, so I went by the Dairy Queen. I told the clerk I wanted just a little one. Last time I was there I think the clerk got distracted when she was filling the cone with soft ice cream. It came out looking like the leaning tower of Pisa. It was so tall, the top of it smeared the roof of my car.

When I ordered a little cone with not much ice cream, she didn’t understand. I could have explained to her that I really just wanted the chocolate shell around the ice cream, but it seemed more trouble than it was worth so I just repeated I only wanted a little cone.

“We have a child’s cone,” she said.

So I ordered that and when it got there, it was still too big. It was a normal adult sized, sensible cone. I forced myself to eat it all rather than litter up my car with sticky drippings.

Speaking of drippings, I love the way the ice cream melts under the chocolate shell and runs like little rivers out from underneath. On a hot day you’ll spend the whole time trying to dam up those flows with your tongue, turning the cone round and round to try and catch them all.

When I was a kid my brother talked the neighborhood kids into helping him distribute free samples of Palmolive liquid soap and a couple of other products by offering to treat us to anything we wanted at Dairy Queen. He got a whole bunch of us together, which ended up being me, my friend Christine, my friend Carol and her five brothers and sisters, plus his friend, Clark Reese.

The samples had to be stuffed into a bag, so he got us in assembly lines, each person stuffing one item and passing the bag to the next person. It was pretty ingenious. We loaded up boxes of these things, and then he drove us around delivering them. I grabbed a handful of bags and ran up one side of the street, and Clark covered the other side.

When it was all done, all the helpers walked down to the Dairy Queen and got anything we wanted. Of course most of us ordered banana splits because those were luxury, deluxe, expensive treats that none of us ever got. I don’t know how much my brother made on the deal, but we were all pretty happy with our pay.

I wish I knew how they made those chocolate dipped cones, though. McDonald’s makes them too, and once I asked the person there for only a little ice cream. She said, “What?” as if to say, “Are you crazy? You gonna pay full price and not get a full cone?” I told her I just wanted the chocolate.

“Then I’ll give you your money’s worth,” she said. She dipped the cone several times until it had a real thick coating on it. It was so thick it stayed warm and was creamy and smooth in my mouth. What a feast. Nobody else has ever done it like that for me since.

Makes me think of that rhyme,

I scream

You scream

We all scream

For ice cream

‘Specially when they dip

Chocolate coating all over it.