As relaxing as summer ought to be I always feel more wound up than ever despite having more daylight hours to check off my boxes. Fielding questions, refereeing, pumping flat tires, demonstrating how to properly set a volleyball, and spending an hour each day reviewing the past year’s schoolwork with the three older kids in-between cooking healthy meals, laundry, and housekeeping, makes for a day simply chock-full of tedious non-stimuli. So like other hyperengaged aspiring creative types, I often squeeze in my work hours, after hours.
Twenty years ago I saw Rob Becker’s, Defending the Caveman, the longest running solo play in Broadway history. In his exploration of inherent gender-specific behavior, Becker hypothesized that women have 20,000 words to use up each day…and I rarely make my quota when school’s out. It’s only July and I’m already linguistically constipated–starved for adult interaction. Particularly the easy company of precious old friends who are also dually slammed and short on time.

So our household met my buddy and her family in Historic Annapolis recently for a quick catch up in between errands. Our children played together on the Maryland State House lawn while we briefly discussed the best way to cook fresh artichokes, how to correctly pronounce "tagine" and why I always manage to confuse Tangier with Morocco. Unfortunately, I emulate my father in that regard….once I get something wrong it no doubt sticks then I get it wrong for all eternity.
It was ninety-four degrees and unforgivably humid so my husband, a frozen confectionary addict, suggested we hit up Ben & Jerry’s. My buddy responded, "They closed over a year ago…Annapolis Ice Cream Company moved in across the street and stole their business".
I couldn’t believe my ears. A local creamery had kicked Ben & Jerry’s off of Main Street America? But how could that behemoth be taken down by such a mouse?
That was before their velvety, oleaginous (17% butterfat!) salted caramel happened to my mouth. I didn’t know ice cream could taste that good. It had been made fresh that morning, on the premises. Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio! (my all-time favorite flavor) didn’t even dance around the edge of the satisfaction pooling on my tongue. It was melting faster than I could eat it and I licked my digits like sauce on ribs.
In a consumer-driven economy the people decide what they want, where they want it, and how much they are willing to pay. In the case of the small single salted carmel cone at $3, the price was more than agreeable because the quality local dairy and small batch ever-changing flavors speak for themselves. There was a line out the door and every seat was taken. And that’s the beauty of free markets–there will always be demand for high-quality innovative products at a mutually beneficial price.
Mom and Pop can play capitalism and win…even if taking on the beloved hippie-dippy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream juggernaut.
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