All scream for ice cream

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

by Dr. Don Newbury

It is considered a short poem, ditty, slogan or even a hard, cold fact–we all scream for ice cream. Purists may sniff, however, insisting that initially, it was but the chorus of a simple melody introduced in 1925.
Here lately, however–with Blue Bell’s voluntary removal of its desserts from all outlets–many of its faithful have raised their voices. Screams have been ramped up to rafter-shaking levels.
Some folks–whimpers and moans awash in tears–maintain that nothing else will do. Alas, what if there’s no peaches n’ cream until 2016? Or a summer without Blue Bell?
Greatly marginalized, that’s what, the Blue Bell nation insists.
The company’s leaders–with a long history of getting it right–assure us that soon, all will be right again. This means millions who are “Blue Bell dependent” will be lifting spoons and loosening belts once more, prospective weight gain be hanged.
At some venues–such as at Globe Life Park in Arlington–where the Texas Rangers sometimes play baseball–signs apologize for Blue Bell’s absence; instead, a substitute is offered. (Never mind the cost; hey, it’s the old ballgame).
Grumps–with popular hamburger hang-outs in Burleson, Granbury, Cleburne and Stephenville–has long featured Blue Bell, and its absence has presented challenges.
Their clever signage remains in place, “heavy on the blue.” At the ice cream stop, they’re substituting “Bunny” for “Bell.” Most have accepted the substitution without comment.
To the few grumblers at Grumps–where hens’ teeth are in greater supply than critics–owner Collier Albright says they’re “doing the best they can.” For customers who feel the substitute treat tastes about as much like Blue Bell as the car “that doesn’t look like a Buick,” customers get their money back, even if they’ve licked clean both dish and spoon.
“We’re able to get the ‘blue part’ right for now, but we think the addition of ‘bell’ will be in order soon,” Albright said.
Practicing “the customer is always right” philosophy, Grumps–introduced in 2002–continues to win top prizes in the burger race.
With license plates adorning walls from wherever cars are driven, Grumps easily passes the “down home” test. Also, folks can scarf down peanuts until the world looks level. Yep, Grumps would have to add spittoons to look anymore ‘country.’.
Andy’s Frozen Custard is to Tyler what Grumps is to the communities it serves. Customers line up there–on foot and in the drive-through.
They, too, are out to win and keep customers–both with frozen custard treats and consistent, genuine effort to earn public trust.
Take the issue of customers with nut allergies, a condition our granddaughter Juliana has faced courageously since age two. This 12-year-old—and others with allergies–know that too often, their allergies are misunderstood, sometimes even treated casually. Andy’s personnel are quick to open new containers, as well as avoid contact with nuts and residue.
It turns out that visits to Andy’s have led to expansion of my vocabulary.
Recently at the drive-through, I ordered for a carload of family members. I didn’t comprehend the attendant’s question; I thought it sounded like, “Do you want puppacones?” Twice I asked her to repeat the question, since I’d never heard of “puppacones” before.
“For the two pets in the back seat,” she explained. “Most pets like our free puppy cones.”
Our two rescue dogs–Sadie and Sailor–wagged their tails. Now, when we visit Tyler, they bark when in the vicinity of Andy’s.
In short, folks at the helm at businesses such as these are “good ‘uns,” 100% dedicated to “meeting muster” in product satisfaction and safety.
They operate in the manner suggested on a restaurant sign on the wall at Highland Village in Alpine a half-century ago: “There ain’t hardly any business got these days that ain’t went out after.”
We could easily challenge the grammar, but the message is “right on.” Further, an adage reminds that we can “shear sheep many times, but can only skin ‘em once.” Though our dogs don’t savvy such lingo, their eyes at full sparkle and their tails at full wag tell me they regard puppy cones as the best treats they ever lapped lips over.

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Speaking inquiries/comments to: Web site: Archived at, newbury blog.