The Writer's Cramp 5-17-20
“So what would happen if I did that?”
“You’d ruin a perfectly good glass of my exquisite root beer, that’s what would happen.” Charles held up the glass of the last brew of the day - perfectly spiced brown and frothy root beer. He’d taken years to perfect the recipe.
“But just think of it. The contrast of the brown root beer and the white ice cream. The spicy drink and the sweet dessert. Children and adults alike will love it.”
Charles looked at Mary. He loved his wife. But sometimes she had some strange ideas.
“Mrs. Hires, our children don’t need any more reasons to eat ice cream. And drinking the root beer is not good for them.”
Mary took another glass from the cupboard. She fetched the ice cream from the icebox.
“Sit down, Charles. Let’s try this idea.”
“What do you propose?” Charles looked at the glass of root beer and the ice cream.
“Well, let’s get a spoon and put some ice cream in a glass first, then pour some root beer over it.”
Mary proceeded with the experiment. The root beer fizzed and bubbled over the ice cream in a marvelous manner as they observed.
“Hmmm. Interesting. See how the ice cream floats on top?” Mary poked at the frozen cream with her spoon. She sipped the root beer.
“How does it taste? It looks rather muddy to me.” Charles had a frown as he peered into the glass.
“Oh no, you have to try it. It’s really quite marvelous.” She drained the glass and ate the ice cream.
“Well, now Mary, how can I? You ate the experiment.”
“You’ll have to make another, Charles. You are the root beer brewmaster, after all. If we drink all the root beer, you’ll just have to make more.”
Charles proceeded to replicate Mary’s experiment. The tabletop was soon cluttered with spoons and glasses and an empty ice cream container.
“I think you’re right. This doesn’t ruin the taste of the root beer at all. In fact, it changes the taste in a most unusual way.” Charles smiled and thought for a moment. “And no matter if you put in the ice cream first or last, it still tastes the same.” He took another sip to make sure.
“Mary, what shall we call our new drink? It has to have a catchy name.”
Charles and Mary Hires sat at their kitchen table most of that night. They scribbled on dozens of pages and rejected all the names and sketches they created. Then the last thought of the evening sealed the deal, so to speak.
“Remember how the ice cream came to the top of the glass, Charles? How it just kind of floated there?”
That’s why we’ve been drinking ‘Root Beer Floats’ ever since.