The 12th of August 1983 – Middletown, New York

(found wrapped around a soggy ice cream cone)

Dear Priscilla,

I hear that congratulations are in order!

Congratulations on becoming the first customer to taste every flavor of Sweetie Pea’s fabulous ice cream.

Here at Sweetie Pea’s, we seek to provide as many choices for our customers as we can. So much of life is deprived of choice. My grandmother always said that you can’t pick your family, and you can’t pick your face or your features, but you can always pick your nose! Those were fun summers.

Point is, here at Sweetie Pea’s, you can pick anything you want. We have over 500 flavors of ice cream!

So many people feel overwhelmed by just how much freedom they have at Sweetie Pea’s Ice Cream Shoppe. Nobody ever asks why I spent so much time researching so many flavors, but I can always see the confusion float to the surface of their misty, terrified eyeballs as they gaze over the menu board. I always dreamed of amassing an arsenal of choice so great, that everyone could have what they wanted whenever they walked into my shop. I wanted to provide so many options that the anxiety of making any sweet decision would just be obliterated. Everyone should have what they want, and they shouldn’t have much trouble in getting it. That’s what I believe. Let the pressures of the world wash away and just come in and enjoy an ice cream, and have whatever flavor you’d like.

Congratulations on successfully navigating such a daunting task. So many have failed. Some refuse to make any choice, their souls entrenched in cowardice and an iron rod jammed straight up their rear.

I remember one man spat at me. He spat at me with his words, but he spat at me with his spit, too. He hocked a big loogie across the ice cream freezer, and it stuck to my earlobe. Then he cleared his throat again, but this time to speak. He started shouting about illusions, distractions and lies, and all in this weird French accent, too. Then he screamed at me: “Life isn’t about having the freedom to choose. It’s about making the choice to be free.”

Then he walked out.

He just didn’t get it. Some people will never be satisfied, I guess. It must be a real pain, a real burden to live life that way, to be always searching and always hoping to find. Not me. I’ve got all this ice cream.

And not you either, Priscilla. This is certainly an accomplishment, Priscilla. This is certainly something to be proud of.

And in honor of such an accomplishment, I present to you this certificate of congratulations.

Martin Pea, The Ice Cream King


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