Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Once a year or so, for the past, say, two decades, I get a sudden craving for a Peanut Buster Parfait at Dairy Queen. Like the Taco Bell of Ian Pike’s youth, my hankering for the layers of peanuts, hot fudge, and soft serve comes with a big dose of nostalgia. The funny thing is, I don’t think I ever had a Peanut Buster Parfait to myself. On trips to our local DQ, my older brother got the PBP, and I always got a cherry dipped cone. The once or twice when I tried to change my order, my mother said no because it would be too much for me to eat, but she did insist that my brother give me a bite or two.
I think my occasional craving for that Peanut Buster Parfait is as much a desire to have what I couldn’t as a kid as it is to return to a fond memory. But this craving hits only when I am nowhere near a Dairy Queen. There were none that I knew of in Brooklyn, certainly none in the tiny coastal Japanese town where I resided for two years, and as far as I knew, none in San Diego. I didn’t look for it. As it turns out, there are at least ten in the county. The craving is elusive and infrequent, and might not even be an actual craving. Even during my (sometimes twice) yearly trips to Boise, Idaho, where I know I can find a Dairy Queen, it never occurs to me to go.
Recently, I came across a Dairy Queen in a little strip mall in Tierrasanta. I didn’t go in right away, but I happily took note of the location. A few days later, after a mommy-daughter dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant, I took my little girl for her first dipped cone. And I, of course, ordered a Peanut Buster Parfait for myself.
The first bite was as satisfying as the answer to a craving ought to be. I loved the combination of the salty peanuts, the warm sticky fudge, and the cold ice cream. It was like the first few minutes of a blind date with a hot guy where the body gets turned on, and the brain thinks he could be the one. But before too long, you realize that first minute was as good as it's ever going to get. Maybe it turns out he's arrogant or not too bright. Whatever it is, you realize you're more into the idea of a blind date with a hot guy than you are into this particular date or this particular guy. On some occasions, hot sex with a dimwit might be ok. But not tonight.
Better luck next time, I guess.
The little one, on the other hand, loved her chocolate dipped cone.