We make a lot of ice in the South because we are a hot people. The summer makes us crazy so we drink a lot. We eat a lot, and then drink a lot of cold drinks with the ice that we make at home or buy at 7/11 or from those little white self-serve ice machines that dot the landscape. They are our igloos. They can be seen from the air. They are always painted white with red, blue, and black letters with the obligatory penguin. The newer machines dispense both large and small bags – mainly cubed -- and take credit cards.
We sip or gulp ice-cold drinks with our favorite foods. Like lemon ice-box pie, which reminds me of family fishing days after school in the spring, and the fish fries that we had every other Saturday in the summer at Bill Drane’s camp house on the Luxapalila River. He had a pier which served as a boat dock and a platform for diving and swimming. There were paper towel-lined platters of fried filets of crappie, bass, and catfish, hush puppies served with homemade tartar sauce. There were home-cut french fries and Heinz ketchup, tangy sweet-and-sour slaw with cold lemon ice-box pie. The adults had bourbon and whiskey. We kids had Cokes and sweet tea and lemonade.
Once I got a fish bone lodged in my throat. I motioned for my father to help me. He grabbed the back of my head, went into my mouth and throat with his fingers which were covered with a piece of white bread, and he pulled out that bone. I spat up blood, and my dad announced to everyone, “He’ll be just fine.” My mother handed me a cube of ice. “Here, son. Cool your throat with this.” It always worked.
Author Bio: John Dorroh never fell into an active volcano or caught a hummingbird. However, he did manage to bake bread with Austrian monks and drink a healthy portion of their beer. Two of his poems were nominated for Best of the Net, and several others appeared in journals such as Feral, Burningword, Os Pressan, and North Dakota Quarterly. He is a Gulf-coaster currently living in the Midwest. BTW, when's he's drinking Coca-cola, he calls it a Coke. Everything else is a soda. (He drinks way too much Coke Zero.)