A story that began with the coercions of my buddy and Urban Tulsa Weekly arts writer Holly Wall has ended in a tragic picture of addiction.
The woman from now on known to me as Wallrus took my kid and I to the 41st Street Plaza at RiverParks for lunch Monday afternoon, where she was nice enough to buy us a sno cone to share.
At least, I thought she was being nice. Now I see she's part of a top-secret underground troupe to convert us all into shaved-ice-and-syrup-slurping idiots.
After partaking of her ingenious combination of Tiger's Blood (if you were a kid during the '90s, you know the strawberry/coconut flavor combination I'm talking about) and mango flavors and falling in love with the slushy sweetness that is sno cone all over again, I knew I had to try a cone from this spot in southtown that had caught my eye.
All four times I'd driven through the 91st and Memorial intersection within the past few years (just because I work on the border of south Tulsa doesn't mean I have to actually go there) I noticed a huge line - we're talking 30-40 Okies deep - sprouting from this little white-and-blue sno cone shack called Josh's.
I know, right? In the words of one of my all-time favorite Tulsa media icons, "Hey - What's the deal?"
Since I'd always been of the camp that proclaimed hot fudge ice cream sundae from Braum's as the cool summer treat of champions, I never thought twice about stopping long enough to stand in line and see what all the fuss was about.
That was, until the night following my passionate reunion with the sno cone that was mildly inappropriate considering the setting (a children's park - think: the old Herbal Essences commercials).
All three members of my little family and I used 20 minutes of our lives - 20 minutes we'll never, ever get back - to stand in line to order a couple of wacky, technicolor sno cones from Josh's.
I mean, doesn't this kid look like he's in need of a sno cone?
In dire need, I'd say. Anyone with a soul who sees this photo is bound to feel an ancient urge to throw sugary treats at it. I am human, too, I swear.
Just look at that menu board. With that many flavor options, especially Tulsa-centric ones like Golden Eagle and Blue Hurricane, my imagination was in overdrive. I needed the entire 20 minutes just to figure out what the heck I was going to do with the power to purchase just two sno selections.
Plus, I had a good time chatting with the preteens behind me in line about what exactly made the sno cones from this particular stand better than any others in town.
"The ice is, like, shaved better. It's finer, or something."
"They have more flavors than anyone."
"They have toppings. I always get gummi bears. They're 50 cents."
Pure gold, folks. Unmitigated preteen wisdom.
Something else about which most preteens are wise: Social media. Josh apparently knows this. That's why he's not only on Facebook, but also Myspace and Twitter.
Oh, Twitter. How I love thee.
As for that 20 minutes that was sucked into the black abyss of time I've spent during this life waiting in lines?
Refreshingly, icily, crunchily, sweetly, good-enough-that-you-wanna-watch-Nicktoons worth it.
...even if half my Crunch cone (doused with cranberry and fruit punch syrups) will never know the satisfaction of being the object of my satisfaction.
I'm sorry, but it's all about me. It's the addict's mindset.
Come to find out, Josh's is indie. It all started in 2005 at 71st and Garnett when some early-twenty-something kid thought it be a good idea to open a sno cone stand. Two summers ago, another shack popped up at 91st and Memorial. The lines outside the two shacks have been growing ever since.
As someone who couldn't more officially be in her mid-twenties, I was the second-oldest person in the 30-deep line at Josh's. I felt matronly. I mean, my shorts came down to my knees, and my paper-white calves illuminated the bare, pigmented, cellulite-free upper thighs of all the other girls. Also, I'm pretty sure I was the only one in line without braces.
No matter. No amount of girlish giggling or compulsions to buy a minivan or hyper-awareness of my newly minted mom butt could keep me away from that which is Josh's Sno Shack.
Hey, Josh? Where have you been all my life?