#933: Milkshake Day

May 28th, 2018

She doesn’t know why the dick pics are flaccid sometimes.

I mean, she has other questions too.

Why would anyone send those in the first place? Why did the one guy who joked about how easy it would be for “some creep” to send her penile photography respond to her reply with his own cockshot and the word “Bam!” Why do men think their perfectly functional appendages have some sort of alluring aesthetic value as well?

But the photos sent unsolicited by virtue of being a woman on a dating site where the penis is as soft as the ice cream we were devouring, that’s a puzzler too.

Each year to celebrate the end of school, my teacher wife celebrates Milkshake Day. Part celebration, part limiting herself to one Margie’s Candies visit a year so she doesn’t blow up like slow-motion footage of Mount St. Helens, Milkshake Day is as traditional a kickoff for summer as Memorial Day, beach grilling or people online screaming that Chicago is a violence-laden hellhole.

There’s an ever-changing cast of attendees — at first just her, then I joined the roster, now a collection of people who happen to be free the day of including the friend who was sharing online dating woes because if my wife had been telling me about all the creeps she meets on dating sites, I’d have more questions than why the guy said “Bam!”

Over the last several years, I’ve never lived more than a few blocks from a Margie’s Candies. There are only two locations, so that’s an accomplishment. It has been a hot-day treat, an unthreatening meeting spot for blind dates, a space to show nervous out-of-towners that Chicago isn’t a violence-laden hellhole, or if it is at least it knows a good sundae.

The Margie’s on Western — the original location, not the Montrose Avenue site of Milkshake Days — has been scooping homemade ice cream since 1921. The decor and vibe of both locations has stayed firmly in the ’20s, with some nods to the century since, like old photos of when the Beatles visited the Western shop (they had Atomic Sundaes) or posters and fliers of upcoming plays, school fundraisers and local events.

Everyone comes to Margie’s on a hot day. A woman with a half-shaved head and a sleeveless T declaring gender dead as a concept waited patiently behind a family straight out of a 1950s sitcom. All races, creeds, ages waited in the snake-through-the-shop, sprawl-to-the-sidewalk line.

The shop stays the same, more or less. The crowds change. Their styles, genders, races, tastes all grow more diverse and free. But the sweet, cold taste that once fueled talks of sock hops and going steady now drives conversations about getting unrequested cock photography sent to handheld computing devices.

I wonder what people will be talking about on Milkshake Days 40 years from now.

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