bored of excitement – the griefjunkie blog 

Witch’s Hat, Criminal Mind

Dear Rachel

Yeah I like summer and all that, although I do eye it with the suspicious gaze of someone who, while not actually physically repellent, simply looks better the more clothes they have on. However, while I am a reluctant shorts-wearer I am an enthusiastic ice cream consumer, because I generally eat like someone whose parents have gone out for the evening.

As a child I was quite partial to Dalek lollies, which were something of a delicacy among the idiot children of Newham in the early 1980’s. These consisted of mint ice cream with chocolate around the outside, and the wrapper had a Dalek cartoon story on it. Strange choice really, as mint ice cream is very grown up, and I was never into Dr Who, and therefore not scared of daleks. I remain terrified of ice lollies, though, so I don’t really know what to think.

[Getting on read more will reveal genuine innovation in the field of frozen confectionary]

The only downside of the classic 99 ice cream is the cornet bit you hold it by. For me, the cornet – and all wafers, for that matter – are the confectionary equivalent of Boxing Day, as by the time you get to them the thing you were actually looking forward to is all gone, but you have to go through the motions anyway. No one ever orders a nice bowl of wafers from the dessert menu or says to the ice cream bloke yeah tell you what forget the actual ice cream, I just fancy the cornet handle to be honest. Looking back to my time shoving Dalek lollies into my face, it is hard to imagine the same sense of excitement being elicited by the approach of the wafer van. I think I have made my point.

The only way I have ever seen this state of affairs reversed is in the remarkable ‘Witch’s Hat’, made locally famous by our ice cream man, who was also the uncle of Peter Sayer, a kid in my class. What you do is get an orange sparkle lolly, a small 99, and insert the former in the latter. Once correctly harmonised, the stick of the orange sparkle lolly forms the handle of this breakthough ensemble in the field of genetically modified food, allowing the delighted customer to charge through the cornet – which, of course, forms the eponymous ‘Witch’s Hat’ – and then into a frenzy of wasp-attracting madness. You even got a joke at the end on the lolly stick, one of which was ‘What’s yellow and swings through the jungle? Tarzipan’ which, now I come to consider it after all this time, is excellent. Hopefully, the memory will bring some cheer to Peter Sayer as well, as the last I heard of him he was doing seven years for armed robbery.

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One Comment

  1. Pip

    Jul 23rd, 2009
    10:03 am

    I went to school in Nottingham, and we had the Witch’s Hat there too, although I think it was called the Traffic Cone.

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