Bubblegum Blues

ice cream illustration

I saw a little kid walking away from an ice cream kiosk with an ice cream in such a vivid shade of blue that it almost hurt my eyes to look at it.

Naturally, I had to try it for myself.

I approached the kiosk and asked for a single scoop in a waffle cone. Turns out it was bubblegum flavour and it was absolutely fucking delicious.

That blue shade, though… honestly, it was so bright that I felt like it burned my eyes when I looked directly at it. But I couldn’t stop looking. It was like gazing out into the Mediterranean Sea in the height of summer.

So, I stared eating this obnoxiously blue ice cream – practically guzzling it because it was so good – and I looked out to our sea. The North Sea. The one that’s always a drab shade of grey-brown. The one that always looks freezing cold and seems as though it could have turds and three-eyed fish floating around in it.

But, here’s the strange thing, it wasn’t grey-brown at all. It was blue. Blue like the Mediterranean. The very same shade of bubblegum blue as my ice cream.

And I was like, well that’s fucking weird, and then I wondered if the ice cream was just so good that it made me look at the world in a different, more positive light. Like looking through rose – or blue, I guess – tinted glasses.

I decided to head down to the beach and find out. The ice cream was dwindling by this point because it was so tasty that I couldn’t shovel it into my gob fast enough. I was berating myself for having only bought a single scoop when I should have gone all out and had a double, and probably smothered chocolate sauce and sprinkles on there for good measure. But I didn’t have long to think on it because I realised the sand was made of icing sugar.

With each step I kicked up great clouds of the stuff, and it floated around me like dust. Some of it settled on my skin like talcum powder and for a second, I thought that’s what it was. But as I licked my fingers to clean them of some ice cream dribbles that had landed there, I realised it was sweet. It was sugar. And it was making my sweaty skin all sticky and gross and, obviously, delicious.

I reached the shore and – this is where it gets really strange – the water wasn’t water at all. It was thick. Viscous. Soupy. I kicked off my shoes and stuck my toes in, and it was freezing cold. And the scent of bubblegum was intense.

So, as anyone else would if the sea turned to bubblegum scented soup, I dipped my finger in and tasted it. It tasted exactly like my ice cream. I wondered if there was a secret bubblegum ice cream factory operating under the sea and thought that maybe it had exploded. How crazy would that be?

I had to go and explore. I had to see if it was true. Plus, I could never turn away from the opportunity to swim in fucking ice cream. Who would do that? Only an idiot. I paddled out into the gloopy ice cream sea, and once I was deep enough that it reached my waist, I started scooping the stuff up by the handful and pouring it into my mouth.

Then I felt something slide against my legs and almost jumped out of my skin. I lost my balance on the squidgy sugar sand under my feet and fell over backwards. I went right under for just a second, and when I came up for air I had a fish stuck to my shoulder.

Not just any fish. Fish in ice cream would be gross. This was a gummy fish. I guess it was the little critter that swam past my legs.

He was cute! Bright red and shiny all over. I… I couldn’t resist. I took a bite right out of him and he flipped and flopped like crazy until he got free of me and disappeared again beneath the surface of the ice cream.

Man, he was tasty. Cherry flavour. I wondered if he had any friends and if they were different flavours. I had to go deeper.

Soon enough I was swimming. It’s hard work swimming through ice cream gloop, y’know? I was tiring pretty quickly, but I was determined to go further out. I tried swimming just below the surface, to get a bit of streamlining going, but ice cream has a weird habit of sucking you in. Each time I tried to lift my head up for air, I found myself choking on ice cream.

Eventually, I admitted defeat and tried wading once more, but I guess I’d made more progress than expected. I could no longer reach the sand with my feet. I had to doggy paddle, which is kind of hard to do when you’ve ice cream in your lungs and you’re struggling to suck in air.

I looked up at the sky in an attempt to keep my head above ice cream. That’s when I noticed that the clouds were pink and fluffy, like candyfloss.

Then the voices came.

There was an obnoxious engine sound, and a bunch of shouting, and next thing I knew I was being hauled up into the back of a boat and everyone was staring at me like I was crazy. Somehow, I ended up in the hospital.

I don’t know what went on that day, guys. The news said nothing about an incident at an underwater ice cream factory. But if I have one piece of advice, it’s that you should stay away from the blue, bubblegum ice cream sold at the little kiosk on the promenade. Way too many E numbers. I’ve been hungover for days.

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