by Al Drinkle
Earlier this week when the weather was really nice, I was out of doors imbibing kombucha, the brewing of which is a recently-acquired hobby of my wife. I was completely absorbed by a shocking book on the history of punk music called Please Kill Me and its unsettling effect isn't indicative of naivete on my part - I've read Marquis de Sade extensively, but this is real. And real entertaining. So there I was, alarmingly sober and inviting sunburn, spellbound by the depravity of the American punk pioneers.
Just then, my aghast focus was interrupted by a nostalgic sound. It was only cheesy children's music bleeping from a loudspeaker, but its effect was like a time machine and all of a sudden I was 7-years-old again, gripping a fistful of coins and sprinting down the street alongside other sweet-toothed lycanthro-youths... Chasing the ice cream man!!! What memories! What an exciting time of day, with dinner almost over and the siren song of frozen treats piercing the air!
Back in real time now, I put my book down and watched the neighbourhood kids burst into action, presumably scrambling to their parents in order to milk them for money quickly enough to catch up with the rolling icebox before it moved on. I was almost tempted to join them, if only for sentimental reasons, but instead I went inside to my own icebox and selected a bottle of wine.
I set up Raw Power by the Stooges on a portable speaker and stepped back outside with a glass of André and Michel Quenard's Chignin - refreshingly austere wine from Savoie in eastern France on the Swiss border. I sipped as I watched the kids meander back down the sidewalk, enchanted by their ice cream treats. I felt nostalgia, but no envy. The love of frozen desserts may not fade with age, but it can be superseded by the charm of bracing Alpine wine, and the latter makes for better balm of the soul in a depraved world.