You know when you experience a life event and then you eat or drink something afterwards and you forever after associate that food with that event? I worry that the synapses of my brain created one of those connections today with chocolate milkshakes and from here on out I may associate this chocolatey delight with the proceedings of today. I had what you could call a traumatic day and while I was still processing it all, I decided to celebrate it with a cool, refreshing, chocolate milkshake. This could be trouble.
In general, I would say I’m not a milkshake fanatic. I like them and I’ll give them a try every now and then if interestingly tempted, but I’m never seeking them out. I probably went through the first 30 years of my life without having one (with the exception of a few Friendly Fribbles which are not technically shakes). I’m not sure why exactly. What’s not to like about ice cream and milk? But I just never got excited about them. Nowadays I’ll give them a try every now and then and I’m never disappointed – it’s just never something I crave. I think I’d rather just have the ice cream.
My day started in Providence where I had to swing by one of our restaurants for a photoshoot. I wasn’t taking the pictures (nor was I the model), but I helped coordinate everything and was there to follow through. It was a beautiful sunny day on the banks of the Seekonk River and it was an interesting way to start the day. I was done by noon and headed back over to our offices in Warwick. Then, after a few grueling hours of work, I left early because I had to go back to Portsmouth for my yearly physical. I made the appointment last year when I was unemployed at which time they probably asked me what my schedule was like for a date that was over a year away. As far as I knew, it was pretty wide open. I agreed and then promptly forgot about it. Then I got the reminder call two days before (a reminder text actually – I love modern technology) and I figured it was too late to change now. So, I left work early and arrived promptly at the doctor’s office at 3:30.
Surprisingly, I didn’t have to wait too long. I got right in and the fluffer started taking care of me right away. I’m not sure if that person is a nurse or just a trained technician, but she greeted me, took my vital signs, checked my height and weight, and gave me instructions on how to put on my Johnny Coat. Before she left the room, I made sure I clarified if I was supposed to strip everything off or if I could keep my underwear on. I had visions of greeting my doctor with a little Basic Instinct leg cross. She told me to take everything off but the underwear was cool with me (these are actually the same rules they have for me at Dunkin’ Donuts). I waited a little bit for the doctor, but it really wasn’t too long before she knocked and entered. She went over all the info that was on her screen about me. We chatted about my general health and how I’ve been feeling. All was nice. Then she just wanted to listen to my heart and my breathing (they always want to listen to your breathing when you’re an asthmatic). Then things started to take a turn. She started gently feeling around my neck for any swollen glands. She pressed around my abdomen for anything unusual. Then she said she was going to check for any unusual moles or skin conditions. Suddenly she was peeking at all parts of my skin and my personal space was shrinking. And then, as I knew it would be, it was time for more exploration. As politely as she could and with all the professionalism one could expect, she said it was time to check my prostrate. While she said this, the gloves were coming on. Then my doctor dropped one of those casual lines that only a doctor could deliver without laughing: “First I’m going to check your testicles.” They were both still there and from whatever her juggling them was able to prove to her, they seemed alright. Then it was time to turn on my side.
Lying on an exam room table on your side is never comfortable. The paper that covers the table starts bunching up. The table is in an incline position so you’re lying at an awkward angle. And then of course, you can hear the “floop” sound of lube coming out of the tube. It’s on. Again, my doctor couldn’t be more professional and even coaxed me with a few gentle whispers of “relax.” Apparently I was resisting down there. But my doctor is not one who takes no for an answer, even by the most stubborn of sphincters, so she persisted. I was now her finger puppet. It was over in seconds. All seemed to be ok in there (and I think she checked my back molars too as long as she was in that deep). I sat up and adjusted my Johnny Coat. She took of the gloves and added it to her scrapbook. There was an awkward goodbye. I invited her to come have a chocolate shake with me. She declined and I was left in the cold emptiness of an exam room to slip my clothes back on along with my dignity. I walked out, head held high, and proceeded to my car with the slight sensation of lubrication dripping from my haunches.
I went to Anna D’s cafe which is less than a mile away on East Main Road. This is a cafe and ice cream shop that has been changing over the last few years. They have expanded their cafe side and now offer lots of great paninis, sandwiches, baked goods and coffee. They have a good breakfast too. The food is always great although the wait for everything can tend to get long. I guess they are still working out the kinks. For the summer, they open their ice cream shop which is an annex to their restaurant building. The ice cream building is a small spot, almost like a garage, with just the necessities inside for serving ice cream. It has the counter where you order and behind that are the coolers for the tubs of ice cream. Plus there’s a little table on the side for the waffle cones and the blenders. The building has a small outside deck with tables and umbrellas and it’s a nice spot to sit and enjoy your ice cream as you look out over the fields across the busy street. It’s a popular spot but still fails to drive the Frosty Freez level of ice cream business. I went inside and there were two guys getting cones. They looked like they worked for a landscaping company and I was happy for them that they rewarded themselves with some cool ice cream after a long, hot day. While I waited, another guy came in behind me who was old and impatient.
I ordered my two chocolate milkshakes – the extra was for Lola (not my doctor). The clerk asked if I wanted chocolate syrup and I said yes. I thought that was an odd question, like being asked if I’d like tequila in my margarita, but I guess there must be an anti-syrup community out there. I’m not a member, so I said load me up. She scooped out the chocolate ice cream having to lean way over into the ice cream cooler to get each scoop. I thought she was going to fall in. Then she put it all in the blender along with the milk and the syrup. Impatient guy behind me was getting antsy and then he joked with me saying I was going to spoil my dinner. I punched him in the face. The ice cream girl gave me my shakes and I was back outside in the sun to enjoy.
As always, they didn’t disappoint. It was actually just what I wanted. Sweetness, coolness, and chocolateyness all in one handy container. It was well-made too – not too thick so that I couldn’t suck it up a straw, but not too watery so that you couldn’t tell it was ice cream. I finished it by the time I got home, making those trying-to-get-the-last-drop slurp noises with the straw as I got out of the car. I gave Lola hers too and she was appreciative. She was in the middle of writing so I tried not to disturb her, but she was excited to get a chocolate milkshake delivery in the middle of her day. I went into the other room and relaxed after cleaning up a little. Today was a yet another day I wished we had a bidet. My belly was now full with the delight of a chocolate shake and I was a little happier for it all.
Like I said, I’m never the one reaching for a chocolate shake but when I do get them, I am pleasantly surprised every time. As a fan of ice cream, there’s not much not to like about them. They give you the joy of ice cream in an easily deliverable system. I may have to switch to becoming a shake guy. Then again, the next time I order a shake I may get a sense-memory sensation in my lower regions. I may try to lie on my side. I think I can work through all that however. The taste of sweetness through the lips, especially with such deep chocolate tones, can overcome any thoughts of uneasiness or trauma. Nothing bad happened today, I was just getting tested and that’s never something we should be afraid about or ashamed of. It’s life. It’s getting older. It’s taking care of yourself. That’s worth celebrating so I am glad I could end this little journey with the joy of a chocolate shake. If I think about it, I’ll take the advice my doctor bestowed upon me as she daintily placed a digit to where few digits have gone before: “Just Relax. It will be over in a minute.”
Next up: National Peanut Day