I remember how much I wanted - no needed - the Dippin Dots Icecream when I was a kid. I only ever saw it in these giant vending machines - which helped aid in the awesomeness - at the Kennedy Space Center, where of course they were advertised as the "ice cream of the future!". I always imagined kids in bright pastel one-piece clothing running around through clear tubes in space, chasing after a hovering ice cream truck driving through some floating space metropolis, shoveling the adorable little beads of dairy goodness into their futuristic mouths. So of course I had to have it too. I would always tug on my mom as we passed by, pleading for it, and I would always get the same response: that it was too expensive, and that for less money my mom would buy me a carton of icecream on the way home. But that...that was devastatingly "present". How was I supposed to be like Buzz Aldrin if I was stuck eating normal icecream scoops? So I would always pout - "Mom! I don't care that it costs like 5 dollars! It's in little beads- like styrofoam packaging! ASTRONAUTS EAT IT! I. NEED. IT!"
Of course that amazing Franklin and Bash style rebuttal got me no where, and each time I would eat my cornily space-themed kids meal in silent malice, chewing the space nuggets with scorn, imagining them to be the souls of each lucky kid I watched march up to the machine and walk away with a precious bit of Dippin Dots in their cupped hands.
Years later, as an adult I found myself again, face to face with the wonderous Dippin Dots machine. I stared into it's glass menagerie and hugged the over-sized vending machine, whispering to the selection buttons,
"We meet again!"
But this time there was no mother to say no.
This time I had my own money.
This time. I would be victorious.
I giddily fed the machine my money, not noticing the passerbys who eyed me with "wtf" glances, as I most likely sang a made up song about the amazing-ness of Dippin Dots while I punched in my selection. And then, as if mana from heaven, the machine lovingly dropped a little plastic cup into my hands. I skipped away, looking down at my prize thinking,
"Future - I have arrived!"
And promptly ripped the plastic lining off the top, ready for my mind to be blown....
And then.....my world was shattered.
Because you see...the main allure to Dippin Dots is that you get a mixed flavor, and then the food greets your eyes with joyous pinks and browns and whites, or greens, or whatever flavor you picked - and you feel like you've hopped into a Delorian and sped off the to future. But I...I had picked Vanilla......Vanilla. What kind of future kid am I?!
So all that greeted my over-excited eyes was a tiny plastic bowl filled with...tiny plastic-looking color-less beads. It looked like a McDonald's ball pit that had the all the fun sucked out of it. To protect my fragile space dream, I rallied a plastic smile to match and thought - "It's future ice cream! Everything's white and grey in the future!"
And then I tried a bite.
And then put the spoon down.
And apologized to my mother. Because it tasted like styrofoam.
I walked away from the Dippin Dots machine that day, 5 dollars poorer and disappointed.
And I thought - "Poor, poor astronauts."