Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Conversations With Ben #17: Ice Cream Man

Rol: I went into a local newsagents to get some Formula 1 cards that Sam is collecting. Didn't get any. Instead, I got a 5 minute lecture on how he's been a newsagent all his life and he doesn't stock trading cards because he's seen too many kids throw away money on them and blah blah blah blah blah. It was like something out of League of Gentlemen.

Ben: He sounds more like he hates kids. Probably doesn't like them in his shop at all.

I remember the days of collecting stickers for my Beano Panini sticker books and my Simpsons one.

Running around the house desperate to do chores, no matter how small, so I could get another 30p and run to the shop to get another pack.

I'm so old it was Empire Strikes Back.

That dotard in your newsagent's doesn't know what he's on about. I still have my two stickerbooks. Can't bring myself to throw them away because of the memories of putting it together. I only ever see it when I'm moving but it sparks pleasant memories and I spend a good ten minutes looking through. I still remember which ones were so rare and the excitement of finding them.

Yeah, I still have a couple of mine too.

It was a hilarious scene though. He was still lecturing me as I left the shop. I wish I'd said to him, "how many newspapers are you selling these days, mate?"

You should have gone full bell-end and started mimicking him in the most obnoxious voice with exaggerated hand gestures...

I love miserable shopkeepers though. I still remember the local coffee shop I dared to go in at 3.30 (he closed at 4). He audibly groaned as I walked in and said, "I hope you don't want coffee 'cos I'm cleaning the machine now."

Still, we need to support our local businesses!

Definitely. But it's definitely helpful if they aren't dicks.

You work in customer service in an age where you can get almost anything delivered. All I need is a smile and I'm sold.

Did he at least have a mini freezer full of 10p Mr Freezes?

I wasn't about to start inspecting the things he chose worthy of selling: too busy listening to what he wouldn't sell. I bet he had some dodgy magazines behind the counter. He's probably not heard of the internet.

I really want an ice pop now.

One thing that I really miss as a vegan is a choc ice

I can get Magnums and shop own brand ones and luxury style non dairy ice-creams that mimic a Magnum but I want a choc ice.

Something that has no pretensions.

In a paper bag, usually broken. Cheapest shit on earth. I want that.

We had dairy free ice cream this afternoon.

It was horrible

What brand? There's some shockers.

Poncy ice cream shop that's opened up in the centre of the village. Only sells DF.


I guess so. Sam liked the bubblegum flavour, but the mango I had was minging.

Gritty and ice shards?

No, it was smooth enough. Just tasted artificial. I like a nice sorbet, but this wasn't it.

Can't comment as haven't tried it. But I'd say that's less to do with non dairy and more to do with the flavour that the shop uses. Poorly made vegan ice cream usually is gritty or has ice shards in because non dairy milks have xantham gum in to thicken and stop separation which if you don't freeze it properly separates the water and turns it into some weird ice.

Left a nasty taste in my mouth, can still taste it now. Like those drinks full of aspartame.

That'll just be the flavouring. Probably used a low sugar one. Ugh.

I really want a choc ice now.

There's a Top 10 songs for you. Ones that mention choc ices. Or ice creams. No repeating dishes. i.e. no two sundae songs.

I know Kano had a lyric somewhere with Choc Ice in...

Here you go...

 All ice cream songs. Failed miserably on choc ices.

Needs to be more specific.

E.g. Cone.


Knickerbocker Glory.

Choc ice.


Strawberry split.

I'll need more time for that.

I'm sure Kelis must have a song about licking ice creams...

Just trying to challenge you...

I will accept cone and waffle cone as two separate ones.

Also a tub of ice cream.

Not something like "two scoops" as that doesn't define the sort of ice-cream.

Magic Whip is the worst Blur album. So I'm not going there.

I'd completely forgot that one exists.

If you struggle, I will also accept half of them to be ice lollies, but they must refer to the product itself and not just use the word. I.e. "fab" and "zoom" must refer to the ice lolly Fab and not an adjective and zoom must refer to that bitching ice lolly and not the verb.

Also, please don't say "bitchin", even ironically.

Zooms are pretty good though, aren't they? Do they still make them?

I've no idea what you're talking about.

Those and fab lollies fuelled my childhood.

And Mini Milks.

Never liked a Feast.

Nobbly Bobblies were a treat when the ice cream van came, though.

Bennet - Mum Has Gone To Iceland contains a reference to "ice cream topping"...

Don't suppose you'll allow one of the Top Five Greatest TV Theme Tunes of all time?

There's a Cadbury's Flake here... the most important bit of a 99...

I feel like a 99 is ubiquitous enough to be referenced as a whole...

Ian Dury's Blackmail Man has Raspberry Ripple in it... but he's using rhyming slang to refer to himself

That's one. 

That's two.

John Grant - Marz... lots of ice cream flavours in that, surely?

I'll accept that one grudgingly.

It's more confectionery but, yeah.

Vanilla Ice, obviously...

If that's a link explaining sexual practices, I'm not clicking on it.

John Cougar Mellencamp - Jack & Diane... behind the Tastee Freez...

Tastee freez is a shop.

Selling soft scoop ice cream.

We're on about frozen desserts. Not locations to buy frozen desserts.

Otherwise Rabbit would count as it mentions Sainsbury's.

Sainsbury's isn't an ice cream shop.

They sell ice-cream.

I'm not playing unless you allow me Jack & Diane.

You can have Jack and Diane.

That's the only one involving an ice-cream shack allowed.

Thank you. I will move on from that source now.

I feel like you're too focused on generic ice cream. I don't want a Farm Foods Neapolitan. I want a variety of frozen treats.

The King Blues - Getting Out Of Here has Cornettos in it. Your sort of band. Very political. I saw them supporting Bragg once.

I saw them a number of years ago. They changed direction I think. I think the singer became a rapper.

Yeah. I think he got sick of nobody listening.

That's me done. I've exhausted this topic.

Banana Splits?

Louise hated when I introduced Sam to the Banana Splits.

Love the Banana Splits. When I was about 7 they reran their Saturday morning show on cartoon network. With all the skits and the shows within them.

I can't say I ever got the appeal, beyond the theme song.

I think it's the chaotic nature of them.

Especially when every other presenter was trying to be more cool.

Even at an early age you were rebelling against the system.

I think I've said but I loved the slapstick nature of The Three Stooges, Mr Bean, Tom and Jerry. And this was a set of shows that were presented by these silly creatures. The go kart bit always cracked me up.

I found them a bit scary. Still do.


  1. I really want a choc ice now. Or a Mini Milk.

  2. I’ve missed your chats with Ben - This was an epic one.

    We stopped for an ice cream this afternoon - Rum and Raisin for me and Brownie for Mr WIAA. Very nice. I always have a few Nobbly Bobblies in the freezer too. My lolly of choice.

    Anyway, good to have the two of you back.

  3. In my young day we had chewing gum with The Beatles and James Bond cards (some of the latter were pretty raunchy Bond girls) and there was one chewing gum that included Confederate dollars - or maybe I dreamed that.

    Are there any songs about Mivvis?

    Time Out magazine has a list of the best and worst ice creams and ice lollies:


    1. I still have those Beatles cards that came with chewing gum (although my mum wouldn't let me have chewing gum so I think they came to me via my cousins) - Anyway have been meaning to find the archive box that contains them for a while and share them on my blog.

      The archive box will also contain my Olympic sticker books and books from Brooke Bond that are filled with cards collected from their packets of tea (famous inventors/their inventions, famous ships, history of fashion).

    2. I can't find any songs about Mivvis, Lynchie, but I'm glad you both joined us in our card collecting habits.

  4. When this Yank thinks of British ice-cream confections, Cornettos are the first to pop into my head. This is due to the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy and the song Just One Cornetto by Pookiesnackenburger... a classic from Stiff Records.

    1. A new one on me, Brian, though Ben claimed to know it.

      Not sure how they got away with stealing the jingle from the Cornetto ad and turning it into folk-punk nonsense. Not sure what Pavarotti made of that either.


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