Cherry Water Ice Causes Brain Damage: Lies My Father Told Me for His Own Amusement

Let me start by saying my dad is a great person and a great father. I am lucky that I had an amazing childhood thanks to my parents; however. . .

My dad possesses what we’ll call a “unique” sense of humor–one that I have inherited for sure. When I was five, I was just getting into picking out my own albums. Dad told me that if it was a boy singer, it was called an “album.” If it was a girl singer, it was an “al-blum.” Imagine my chagrin when I ran outside and asked my friends, “Hey, did you hear the new Pat Benatar Al-Blum?” 

When I was three years old, my dad worked on the weekend evenings. When I asked why he wasn’t home at those times, he replied, “Because I’m Superman on the weekends. Don’t tell your friends.” He went on to show me a picture of him on the beach with his button down shirt opening to reveal a superman shirt underneath. Wow! This had to be true! So, of course, I ran and told my friends. Don’t think they bought it but I did. I really can’t say how long it was until I figured out it was a second job. Still to this day, I like to think it’s true.

And my all-time favorite. . . When we were kids, my dad had a white Pontiac with white interior. It was the 70s and I’m sure that was considered practical and stylish at the time. We often would go to the playground “down the lakes” (for you Philly folks). On the way home, we always stopped at Italiano’s to get water ice. My flavor of choice was cherry. White interior. I was a messy kid. See where I’m going here? The red water ice stains started accumulating in the car’s precious snow white interior. My dad’s keen sense of problem-solving thought up a solution. Since lemon obviously doesn’t stain as bad as cherry, he went with this. “Hey, I heard on the news that cherry water ice causes brain damage.” Panicked, I stammered, “What flavor doesn’t cause brain damage, Daddy?” “Lemon.” To this day, I still don’t think I’ve had a cherry water ice. But of course, cherry water ice doesn’t cause brain damage. It really doesn’t, right?

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