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Random Thoughts

Cone or cup

Hudson Cooper
Posted 6/2/23

Despite the recent occurrences of overnight frost warnings that caused many of us to bring our potted plants indoors, summer is here. As we thankfully unpack our summer clothes and sandals, there are …

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Random Thoughts

Cone or cup


Despite the recent occurrences of overnight frost warnings that caused many of us to bring our potted plants indoors, summer is here. As we thankfully unpack our summer clothes and sandals, there are other indicators that warm weather is on the way.

I recently drove to the Forestburgh Playhouse to pick up my tickets for a summer season packed with a great lineup of shows. Stuck in traffic, I realized that we are already experiencing a flood of summer visitors that are trying to figure out the slalom course of the construction of the roundabout near exit 105. I have navigated that challenge since it began. Is it a figure eight or two separate circles? Why is the construction on the Monticello side seemingly thirty feet higher than the side near McDonald’s? For that matter why is the design a secret? To my knowledge, we have not seen a drawing or any indication of what it will finally look like. Like many of us, I often take side roads to avoid that construction.

But for me the true indication that summer has arrived is the opening of the county’s ice cream shops. Ice cream is my favorite sweet treat. I eat it all year round. However, summertime gives me the opportunity to enjoy my treat, while at the same time, being entertained by others. By others, I am referring to those failing to master eating melting ice cream in a cone.

Growing up, I never mastered the art of eating ice cream in a cone. After years of trying to contain the melting ice cream, I eventually opted for the safety of eating it from a cup. Give me my favorite flavor, anything with peanut butter, put it in a cup and hand me a spoon. I will devour it without suffering the anguish of cone-eaters who have yet to develop a technique to control the melting creamy scoops.

With ice cream in a cone the clock starts the moment you leave the shop’s counter. Your first impulse is to take a small bite from the curly top of the ice cream. I recommend another way to attack your sweet treat. You should stick your tongue out and lick around the ice cream overhanging the cone’s edge. By doing so you temporarily eliminate the ice cream cascading down the outside of the cone and onto your hand. Don’t believe me? Hang around for a moment and you will see someone who did not follow my suggestion as they frantically lick down the length of the cone. Most often their next move is to go back to the counter and grab a bunch of napkins to wipe their hand.

There are hybrid ways to eat ice cream with a cone. I sometimes order my dessert in a cup and then use the empty cone as a scoop or spoon. You get the full-blown cone experience without the mess.

I have another idea about cones that I have not seen yet. Maybe they can make a cone that has a much larger circumference around the top. You can then devour multiple scoops of ice cream at your leisure. Either you spoon it out or nibble your way down the cone until you reach the ice cream. 

Eating ice cream at home presents another problem…portion control. I buy ice cream by the pint. My intention is to eat some of it and put the rest back in the freezer for another day. That rarely happens. I remove the lid, turn on the television and start eating with a spoon. I am so busy watching television to pay attention to the descending volume of ice cream in the container.

At some point I glance at the contents and realize that I have consumed a sizable portion of the ice cream. I call this situation “the pint of no return.” With a shrug I dig in and devour the ice cream until my spoon hits the bottom of the container. Then after scraping around the bottom followed by a quick lick around the inside edge of the container, I am finished. As the proverb says, “waste not, want not.”


Hudson Cooper is a resident of Sullivan County, a writer, comedian and actor.


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