On the road again

Published 3:17 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Willie Nelson had a great song by the name of ‘On the Road Again.” The second line is “Just can’t wait to get on the road again.” Willie may feel like that, but sometimes there’s no place like home. Donna Sue and I are on the road again to Birmingham. Another doctor’s appointment at the great UAB Hospital consortium.

I feel like I could drive that 250 miles with my eyes closed, but I won’t. You understand.

One stretch of the road is from Dothan to Montgomery and it’s a part of the four-lane US 231. One thing I see that brings back memories are many Mom and Pop motels. Most of us stay in chain “hotels” these days, but long ago the Hi-Way Motel or the Shady Grove Motor Court or one of my favorites of all time, The House of Nuts Motor Lodge in Camilla, Ga, dotted the travel ways of our nation. There are still a few out there. How do they stay in business?

The half-way point of our trip comes around Troy, Alabama. Nature calls, if you know what I mean. As we approached the part of Troy that occupies US 231, I had a hankering for an ice cream cone. Donna Sue googled 31 Flavors and found that one was on our way. We figured they’d have a bathroom also. Bingo!

Baskin-Robbins popularized the 31 Flavors long ago. For my boring life and money, they’re wasting time on about 28 flavors. As a lifelong lover of ice cream, there’s only three flavors that ought to exist: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Donna Sue, of course, being raised in the city, disagrees. She thinks I’m behind the times. Imagine that.

Still, when the nice lady behind the counter asked me what I would like, I was busy looking for the vanilla, the chocolate, and the strawberry. Of course there is no such thing as ice cream at 31 Flavors that would go by such simple names. It can’t be strawberry, it has to be “Very Berry.”

Chocolate is too mundane, too unimaginative. So, it’s Chocolate Fudge or Chocolate Mousse. Actually, they did have a plain chocolate, but added the descriptive “Classic.”

I got the strawberry and it was delicious. “One scoop,” I said.

“Would you like a waffle cone, a pretzel cone, a sugar cone, or a wafer cone?” she asked.

Of course I got the wafer cone. That’s the one I have gotten for all of my years. No newfangled cone for this pioneer and I’m sure the lady was placating me when she said, “Oh, that’s my favorite, too.”

Donna Sue got the Jamoca Almond Fudge and topped it off with a scoop of Pistachio. Heresy! At least she got a wafer cone.

The price? Oh well, if I wondered how Mom and Pop motels stayed in business, I didn’t have to wonder about Baskin-Robbins. I put my dollar bill back in my wallet and handed the lady my credit card. It went through so the card company must have increased my limit.

Now, here is the important part. How do you eat your ice cream in a cone? Do you lick it or do you take bites out of it? Plus, do you push the ice cream down with your tongue so that the bottom of the wafer cone eventually is filled with ice cream?

One more problem for many men. If you have a mustache as I do, how do you keep the ice cream from getting all in and over your mustache? Impossible, just lick it off.

So many questions but, in the end, my strawberry ice cream cone was a delight all the way to the bottom of the wafer cone!