Andy Van Dyke was there.
As well as Otto Auschwhype and Peter Jones, the latter owing Van Dyke a certain small amount of American tender as the result of a lost wager on a recent American athletic sporting event. Jones still hadn't produced and Van Dyke was speculating on the proper tact to broach the subject, if at all, for he knew well that this was supposed to be a relaxed occasion - indeed, a social one.
"Good thing the ice cream is free, huh?" Van Dyke queried in a general (and he thought harmless) way to no one in particular, but his eyes did linger upon Peter Jones for longer than what might seem normal... or socially acceptable.
"Yes, very much so," Auschwhype merrily chimed in, smacking his lips as he inserted the little wooden paddle smeared with ice cream back into his snug spout that was wedged between two fat cheeks. "And it's quite good," he was so moved as to add.
Peter Jones glared at Van Dyke for just a moment, taken slightly aback by his own paranoia, but then in an instant decided that surely the guy could not be inferring anything more than the simple delight in being able to partake in free ice cream on such a mild spring evening.
"What kind of ice cream do they got over there?" Van Dyke inquired and Auschwhype quickly responded, "Ooh, they're down to only vanilla I'm afraid."
"Vanilla!" Van Dyke roared, not exactly outraged but clearly irritated, and he followed up with, "Ya mean they don't got any chocolate?"
Peter Jones quickly tightened his lips around his own just-inserted spoon.
"I'm afraid our friend here snatched up the last one," Auschwhype said with an affable grin gazing at the guilty culprit as brown iced milk dribbled out of one corner of Peter Jones' mouth, a sight which was amazingly akin to that of a naughty cat getting caught with a mouse tail sticking out of it's closed jaws.
Damn you Jones Van Dyke thought to himself but before he could conjure a physical response there came a tap upon his shoulder. It was none other than Felicia Abercrombie, head of the PTA and reeking of a flowery perfume in which she had recently fumigated herself in a covert effort to overwhelm all other senses in hopes of deflecting judgmental eyes away from her burgeoning ass.
"Are we all enjoying the free ice cream?" she innocently inquired, and Auschwhype of course eagerly volunteered, "Oh yes, quite so, delicious and very much appreciated."
Peter Jones just nodded as he licked away the remains of the lingering evidence.
Van Dyke glared and Auschwhype continued.
"Are seconds allowed?"
"Why of course, help yourself while it lasts, because once it's gone, like they always say, it's gone," and now she chuckled the deep fat lady's chuckle, “and please be sure to stop off at the donation booth if you get the chance. The kids would all appreciate it."
She was giving them her best I-gotcha-smile but the mighty Auschwhype's own smile had been wiped clear away.
But come on Auschwhype, this is America, you should know by now that nothing comes completely for free.
So what is the true purpose of an Ice Cream Social anyway?
Is it only to summon all good people together at the end of the school year in hopes of celebrating their children's accomplishments and the inevitable passage into a new grade? (It should be mentioned however that three children had failed to advance, but those particular identities shall not be revealed until June when Felicia Abercrombie and her burgeoning ass will be sequestered far away on some remote beach).
Is it simply to allow folks a frosted dairy treat as suitable reward for their direct participation all year long, for their tireless efforts and determination in helping a local public institution maintain at least the bare minimum of necessities for a proper a public education? Pencils, books, chalk, plenty of erasers and one big-ass paddle with which to swat naughty tails?
Is it to offer the chance for older uninvited boys to be loud and unruly if only to ensure that their former teachers fully understand that they are still very much alive? At this very moment there is a lit cherry bomb in the public restroom urinal where Auschwhype has recently gravitated towards in hopes that his sudden urgent cramping shall soon be relieved.
Is it to give Ted Wilkerson the opportunity to pull up to the scheduled event in his shiny new red Corvette or perhaps allow the freshly divorced Charlene Thacker first dibs at claiming a new husband (and hopefully not yours)? She’s the buxom gal standing over there with Becky Willow underneath the glow of the late afternoon sun and in her short shorts those long firm legs remind Van Dyke that pure and smooth vanilla isn't such a bad thing after all.
Is it to get total strangers to become acquaintances, acquaintances to become friends, and friends to become jealous rivals? Are there debts to be paid, underhanded compliments to be extended, pointy inferences to be received?
After the cherry bomb blew there came a strange bellow from deep within the urinal bowels. Shortly thereafter a bored Peter Jones scurried off to the badminton court and a dark cloud blotted out the sun.
Or is the true purpose of an Ice Cream Social simply to allow the school district to spend a small sum of money in hopes of attracting larger sums of money somewhere down the rocky road?
Only this is for certain: in front of a handful of the assembled, Andy Van Dyke chose to turn to Felicia Abercrombie, nod toward a figure retiring to the badminton court, and suggest rather loudly “Please fetch my donation from Peter Jones... the guy owes me FIFTY."
Whatever the true purpose of the ice cream social, the local Dairy Mart vendor surely appreciates the business.