Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Cookie O Puss? Fudgie the Whale? The Ghost of Tom Carvel Lives On

So little did I know when perusing The Gothamist today that a repressed childhood memory might spring up out of my already overwrought artistic consciousness, catching me unaware, leaving me gasping in terror, clutching at the very edges of sanity, contemplating its significance. The Gothamist mentioned:

"To celebrate their 70th anniversary, Carvel Ice Cream is attempting to build the world's largest ice cream pie in Union Square right now. They started at 9AM, and Gothamist hears they are giving out free pies!

"As many people who grew up in areas where there were Carvel ice cream stores, the theme song was 'Car-vel...Fresh...Ice...Cream,' (The Corsair shudders) and the most beloved ice cream cakes were Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss, who must the coolest ice cream cake ever. As legend has it, Cookie Puss was a St. Patrick's Day cake ('Cookie O'Puss'). The Beastie Boys even wrote a song called Cookie Puss. And, as one commenter points out, Tom Carvel invented soft-serve ice cream AND did the voice-overs for the Carvel commericals."

Okay, you say, what is this overblown drama about sundry processed milk products? Is The Corsair lactose intolerant? Why doesn't he eat his fear? Hardly.

Tom Carvel freaked the fucking hell out of me when I was a kid. I've never told anyone about this, so, here goes ...

Every time those low rent commercials came on, usually on the local channels, with that sepulchral, asthmatic-wheezy voice of Tom Carvel, one foot in the grave, issuing forth emphazematic pleas for me to buy a fucking "Fudgie the Whale," or a goddamned "Cookie O' Puss," concoction, I .. I .. it ... it gives me the fucking willies, is what it does. I just freaked out, man, I couldn't handle it. (shivers)

There was something distinctly trailer-trash-creepy about Carvel, as if Dairy Queen would be a step up. One might imagine that Crystal Meth might go over well with a Cookie O Puss, no?

Whenever I passed by a Carvel as a child, I saw Archie and Edith Bunker mingling with reckless youth with no shirts on smoking Marlboro's with their free hand, feeling up their loose girlfriends with the other. All in a night of fun at Carvel (thems good eats).

I've tried to make this blog a refutation of that haphazard lifestyle, that ... David Lynchian Carvelness. I call it Americana Horror.

And what about that squidlike voice-that-could-break-glass: Cookie O' Puss? Was that supposed to be cute? Were we supposed to want to eat something with that voice, and that flawed in it's basic industrial design?

I, for one, will be far, far away from Union Square. Thank you Gothamist, for helping me relive that ghastly childhood horror.

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