Yesterday was Father’s Day, a.k.a. Post A Picture Of Your Dad From When He Was In High School And Wonder Why Everyone Back Then Looked Like They Were 36 Years Old Day. It was a day of love and respect for fathers who have earned that love and respect. How did local burger-and-custard staple Kopp’s Frozen Custard show its love and respect? With a special custard flavor, “Nuts For Daddy.” That flavor again: “Nuts For Daddy.” Not “Nuts For Dad.” “Nuts For Daddy.” Incredible.
Leading up to the big day, I knew that I would heed the siren call of “Nuts For Daddy.” (You see, I’m a dad myself—whether or not I’m a “daddy” is debatable.) I knew that I would go to Kopp’s. I knew that I would look the high school kid working the counter in the eye and say, “I’ll have ‘Nuts For Daddy,’ please.” I knew that I would eat it, and I knew that I would write about it. Mostly because I knew that I didn’t have anything else to write for Monday morning.
I dropped the ball this year by failing to do a minute-by-minute report on Locust Street Fest. Please accept as a substitute a minute-by-minute report of me eating custard.
5:05 p.m. – After a delightful afternoon of solo Father’s Day activities—getting a haircut, playing pinball at the Landmark, drinking a beer at the East Side Whole Foods which has a full bar now for some reason—I toss my kid in the car and head over to the Kopp’s on Port Washington Road. I must get “Nuts For Daddy” and write about it. The form of my coverage, however, is unclear. I briefly consider shooting a video of me eating “Nuts For Daddy” (too gross), interviewing other dads and daddies about “Nuts For Daddy” (too embarrassing), or just taking 47 pictures of “Nuts For Daddy” and calling it a day (too easy). In the end, I settle on the minute-by-minute thing. If it’s good enough for the guy who’s eaten 30,000 Big Macs, it’s good enough for “Nuts For Daddy.”
5:20 p.m. – We arrive at Kopp’s. The place is normally jumping on any given Sunday, but because it’s 23 degrees outside, things are relatively chill. Why do we live here again? Oh, right: Kopp’s!
5:28 p.m. – Following the required five minutes of “kid horsing around on those big concrete balls outside” time, we head inside. Okay, here we go. It’s time to order a dish of “Nuts For Daddy.”
5:32 p.m. – I should probably explain what makes “Nuts For Daddy,” well, “Nuts For Daddy.” The special Father’s Day concoction features “beer nuts, beer nuts, and beer nuts in a rich caramel malt custard with ribbons of our special hardening chocolate developed specially for dads.” Amazing.
5:34 p.m. – We head outside and take our first good, long look at “Nuts For Daddy.” It looks good! The nuts are accounted for, and the hint of “hardening chocolate” is indeed enticing. I snap some pictures. My kid, accustomed to her father taking 8,000 pictures of ice cream and stuff, doesn’t bat an eye.
5:36 p.m. – Kid: “I think ‘Nuts For Mommy’ would be better!” Um.
5:37 p.m. – Kid: “Dad, these nuts look great!” Um. Let’s go back inside.
5:39 p.m. – We’re back inside, sitting on one of those tiny brick benches or whatever. God bless you, Kopp’s. What a weird and wonderful place. Speaking of weird and wonderful, “Nuts For Daddy” tastes great! Nuts and daddy jokes aside, this is a rich, fun flavor that never goes off the rails. I could eat it until the end of time. Remember when Ministry sang “(Every Day Is) Halloween”? I wish (Every Day Could Be) Father’s Day, if every Father’s Day included “Nuts For Daddy.”
5:42 p.m. – Kid: “Hey! You stole my nuts!” Okay, we’re done. Let’s go!
5:48 p.m. – Following even more “kid horsing around on those big concrete balls outside” time, we nearly get run over in the parking lot by a PT Cruiser. The vehicle is driven by a dude who’s a dead ringer for Wolverine, muttonchops and all. (Note: It was not Milverine.) My obituary flashes before my eyes: “He died doing what he loved: somehow writing 900-plus words about a custard flavor called ‘Nuts For Daddy.'”
5:53 p.m. – 7 p.m. – And that’s a wrap for “Nuts For Daddy.” Fun times! My kid and I spend the next hour driving back to the East Side, singing “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,” and eating at Oakland Gyros. I mean, we only had a dish of custard at Kopp’s, so a giant gyro platter with some fries sounds pretty good right now.
At one point, my kid says something delightfully random: “On Father’s Day, all fathers have to tell their secrets. That’s what mom said.” Huh. Kid, I don’t know where you get this stuff, but good grief do I love you. Thank you for making me a father! Thank you for making me a happier person! Thank you for joining me on my ridiculous adventures! If being a parent has taught me one thing, it’s just how fleeting this all is, how precious and impossible-to-hold-onto. But I’m trying to hold onto it. I’m trying to make it last forever. I’m trying the only way I know how.
I love you, I love you, I love you, buddy, and that’s no secret.
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