Politics and ice cream

Bill Packard: You’re free to speak your mind, and you’re responsible for your words

Sat, 07/13/2019 - 9:00pm

I like ice cream. Back when the cholesterol scare was in full force, I had some tests as part of regular screening and there was concern about my cholesterol levels.  My mother always worried about her cholesterol, so I didn’t just dismiss the test results, but asked more questions.

Turns out just like everything else in the world there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Imagine that.  

So, after my questioning, it seemed clear to me that the professionals didn’t really have any idea about the cholesterol/ice cream connection, so I kept eating ice cream: Strawberry in a cone, with chocolate jimmies.

And here I am.

It occurs to me in this political climate that we should all think more about going to the ice cream stand. Suppose we were just sitting around doing nothing when we decided to go to Dorman’s for an ice cream. 

You already know what I’m going to order. 

Maybe you are a more of a pistachio type and you’re excited to get your treat on a warm summer day.  How would you feel if I started challenging you about your choice of ice cream?  Maybe I suggested that only morons ate pistachio ice cream. 

Perhaps I called you ignorant for wanting your pistachio ice cream in a waffle cone because I never have ice cream in a waffle cone. 

I can validate my choice of cones and also strawberry flavor because I have at least 60 years of experience and experience is valuable; therefore, I know what I’m talking about and you are an ignorant moron for ordering a pistachio ice cream in a waffle cone.  I’m sorry.  I wish I didn’t have to say that, but it’s true, and it’s your problem.

In real life, what probably happens is we go to Dorman’s, in Thomaston, or River Ducks, in Camden. We order the ice cream that we enjoy and eat it with no discussion about our choices at all. 

Politics should be the same way. 

I don’t know you, so I can’t say what you would do, but there is no way on the planet that any of your argument is going to get met to try pistachio ice cream, OK? 

Not going to happen. 

I’m going to be busy enjoying my strawberry ice cream, so I won’t have time to try to convince you try strawberry and why should I?  If everyone ordered strawberry ice cream, that might create a shortage and they might be out when I ordered. 

I don’t need that.

Here’s another ice cream scenario. Suppose we’ve got a carload and I’m buying. 

The only thing is, we all must order the same thing. 

My passengers have no skin in the game.  I’m driving and I’m buying, but you all have to order the same thing. 

All but one of us agree that a hot fudge sundae would be just the cat’s ass.  The hold out insists on a banana split. Not because there is any allergy, or physical issue with hot fudge sundaes, that one just want’s a banana split.

So, with nothing invested, our soon to be former friend insists that unless we all choose a banana split, he or she will not be a part of such an obscene event and will not support anyone else getting an ice cream sundae. In fact, they will stage a protest in front of Dorman’s against hot fudge sundaes.

That seems unreasonable to me. But that’s just me.

Knowing that you’re all dying to know how this turns out, since it’s my story and my trip to Dorman’s, the hold out screws the trip up for everyone. 

I turn the car around and drop everyone off at the school bus turnaround at Crabtree Road in Hope, with no ice cream, just because I can.

The glory of living in this country is that we have the freedom to disagree, but lately it seems that this freedom is being taken to level that is nothing short of hateful on social media. 

While you’re free to speak your mind, you’re also responsible for your words. If you’re willing to lose lifelong friends over political differences, that’s your choice, as well. 

As for me, I prefer to respectfully challenge, while sharing my position.  That should be OK.

Thanks for reading.  I’m going to get an ice cream. Strawberry, with chocolate jimmies in a regular cone.