The Ice Cream Man's Secret Warehouse

Saturday, May 14, 2011 / Bloggified by Jake Bell /

My children have been attending the same school for three years now and most of the days they've attended, I picked them up. Yet somehow, despite driving past it literally hundreds of times, it wasn't until Friday afternoon that I noticed THE SECRET ICE CREAM MAN'S WHOLESALE WAREHOUSE!!!Though in my defense, it was pretty easy to overlook.

I like to think maybe it was never there until yesterday. Like Brigadoon or Hogwarts's Room of Requirement, maybe it just materialized that afternoon and will disappear as mysteriously as it appeared.

After picking up the kids, I told them we were going to check out a new place. We pulled through the huge iron gate and drove around the back of the nondescript--other than the faded painted sign above--brick building and pulled into a parking space.As we got out of the car and looked at the huge empty lot surrounded by razor wire-topped walls and completely hidden from the prying eyes of anyone on the street, I remarked to the kids that I figured we had a 50-50 chance of being murdered and no one would ever know where to even begin looking for us.When we got inside, my fears didn't immediately vanish. The stark room was mostly empty with small freezers lining the walls, each filled with plain brown cardboard boxes. The only way to tell what is in each box is the stickers on the glass tops of the freezers.About 40% of the popsicles and other frozen novelties have prices written on them. The rest appear to be a crapshoot, though we later found out there were some prices listed on the wall just inside the front door.

Some.

In addition to the Iron Man and Dora the Explorer-shaped popsicles and Fudgesicles, the warehouse is full of unique taste experiences that practically dare you to shell out five bucks for a dozen frozen mango and chile pops:Or eggnog and raisin dessert bars:Or cucumber and chile-sicles:After much debate, we settled on a few boxes and took them to the front, still half-expecting to be escorted into a backroom where I'd be knocked over the head and sold into Malaysian slavery. Instead, the sale went smoothly, thouh my receipt was printed on a dot matrix printer which left me harboring a fear that we'd stepped through a wormhole into 1987. I only found comfort in the fact that 1987 wouldn't have stickers advertising Iron Man 2 tie-in popsicles.

Speaking of those stickers, perhaps the highlight of the visit was on the way out when I noticed a wall of little cubbyholes holding the stickers that labeled the freezer cases. They were free for ice cream men to slap on their trucks or carts to show customers their wares.

And if something is free...We rushed home so nothing would melt and quickly realized just how much we'd bought.After some rearranging and deciding to start thawing stuff for the next three nights of dinners, we finally made room, but still need to thin out the pile. With great big piles of popsicles comes the great big pile of responsibility to eat them.Spider sense tingli--no, wait... that's an ice cream headache.

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