I came home last night to a house full of children who were, in turn, full of ice cream. Superman ice cream, to be specific. You know the stuff, right? Superman ice cream might also be called “multi-color”, “rainbow”, or perhaps “pride”, though I don’t tend to think of it in those terms. Superman ice cream is a perfect mix of blue, yellow, red, pink, green, aquamarine, chartreuse, canary, violet (purple) and, I think more yellow. How did they pack so much into so little? Well, I can’t be certain, but I can certainly speculate.
…It was a normal, sunny and amazingly bright day at the IceyCream Brand Ice Cream Factory. In fact, it was a perfect day for eating their own brand of ice cream called “IceyCream”, which management required all employees to call it, both at work and at home, so as to set it apart from normal run-of-the-mill “Ice Cream” that was no better than old milk from Big Lots (in their eyes, at least). IceyCream brand ice cream was known for its quality control measures used in the creation and manufacture of the frozen stuff, which is what made the happenings of this particular day so strange. The IceyCream machine was working overtime, even working for the weekend, producing its typical line of flavors, all according to where the flavor selector lever was set. “BLU” for blueberry; “RED” for strawberry, “YEL” for a sort of lemon-banana flavor and “GRN” for mint chocolate chip, though the chocolate chip dispenser was acting up that day. This was a malfunction that was, in retrospect, a warning about the impending danger of a horrible ice cream accident that no one would soon forget.
Old Tom was training the new guy, Clark, on the proper method for selecting ice cream flavors to be dispensed by the machine.
“Ya see, Clark, ya set it on B-L-U for blue and R-E-D for strawberry”, Old Tom said, as if repeating a script he knew all too well.
“I bet “Y-E-L” is for when you want the machine to yell” Clark said, his tongue firmly placed in his cheek. This brought no pleasure to Old Tom, who suddenly blurted out “I quit” and proceeded to leave the IceyCream factory. Not only did he not want to put up with Clark’s antics as the new guy, he also wanted to get out and enjoy that bright sunny day I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. This left Clark, the new guy, holding the lever. He regretted his attempt at humor but knew that when he got home and told his wife about it she would most certainly laugh. Or quit. No, no. She’ll laugh. “Probably out loud” Clark said, ironically, out loud. No one could hear him, though. He was the new guy in the IceyCream factory. All alone. His hand on the lever.
Suddenly, the lever lurched down to “ALL”. He suddenly remembered Old Tom’s words that happened earlier in the training process but are just coming to light now.
“Don’t never put the lever on “A-L-L” Old Tom preached. Clark smiled at the rhyme scheme that Old Tom inadvertently laid out, repeating it in a sing-song voice that probably started building the case against himself. Clark never thought to inquire about why. He was about to find out.
The IceyCream machine squealed angrily as it started pumping out all kinds of crazy ice cream.
“This machine is pumping out all kinds of crazy ice cream” Clark exclaimed, only to correct himself immediately: “by which I mean ‘IceyCream'” He was beaming with pride at his cleverness, walking out of the factory to tell his wife about how much people at work think he’s funny and should have been a stand up comic.
Clark walked out, never to return to the factory that was now creating all kinds of crazy IceyCream — every flavor mushed together in one magical frozen stew, filling the entire IceyCream factory with this never before seen concoction of terror. Eventually, the factory was condemned, deemed a curious hazard by a people who only like one flavor of ice cream and not all flavors. “Too colorful” they all exclaimed as they put up a fence around the IceyCream factory, its walls the only thing holding back the Technicolor mix of dessert that was a simple mistake by the new guy. Why did they even have an “ALL” setting? It’s like putting a “drive into stuff” button on the dashboard of your Pontiac. Senseless.
With the real estate market being what it was, who’s going to buy a big factory full of multi-colored ice cream? Oh, I’ll tell you:
Superman. It’s where he lives now. He worked with the bank to get a mortgage to fit his unique needs, what with him not actually having a job and all. In fact, he makes his money by selling his own brand of ice cream, which still flows in abundance form the machine with the lever stuck on “ALL”, the lever, machine and factory that he owns, to stores around the world. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s called… Neapolitan.
Not many people bought Superman’s ice cream at first. The name made no sense. So, he changed it to “Superman” ice cream, though he himself does not have all of these colors. It just made more sense than Neapolitan. I mean, seriously — what is that? What is a “Neapolitan?” Someone from Neapol? Is it a combination of the word “Neat” and “Metropolitan”, like “I think Metro-Detroit is neat. It’s Neapolitan.
I don’t know about you, but I think Superman did a wise thing, putting his own name on this ice cream. Of course, he doesn’t make all his money from ice cream sales. He had to get a job, supplementing his income as a reporter for some daily newspaper. He had to choose a stage name, since Superman was already known as a winning ice cream brand. He chose Clark, of course, since it was his lever mistake that gave him his success. His last name, Kent, came only as a result of not being able to properly spell the word “Neapolitan” on the job application.
This was nearly 30 years ago. Today, Superman is living off the residuals in sunny Nevada, as a result of selling his good name to a line of shoddy exercise equipment. His ice cream flavor is now property of KIA motors, and the factory will be featured in an upcoming Michael Moore documentary.
And that is how we get Superman ice cream.