Big Daddy Special

Once when we were children swimming at the lake, Father summoned us to the car. It was time to head home, but we whined and protested. Father, a wise man who never raised his voice but always had a strategy, said simply, “Come quickly, children, and if you behave, we’ll stop at the Dairy Queen for a Big Daddy Special.”

“Dairy Queen! Oh boy! Big Daddy Special!” we screamed piling into the car. “What’s in the Special, Dad? Is it really Special?”

“Oh, it’s really Special. But no jumping about on the way, or it’s straight home we go.” Father always spoke in measured tones that gave assurance of a Man. We loved him and feared him just a little... one of his strategies, no doubt.

As we cruised the highway, we sat dreaming what the Big Daddy Special might be. “Maybe the Triple Scoop Hot Fudge Trough,” I whispered to my sister. “No, I want the Cherry-Whipped-Cream Gunboat,” she whimpered. Visions of sugar plums swirling, we turned in at the DQ.

“Wait here,” said Father, “I’ll be right back.” And back he came, carrying a DQ paper tray with three nickel cones stuck in it... each a dollop of frozen custard in a tiny waffle cup.

Our screams of betrayal echoed across the DQ lot, but Father handed out the cones and silenced us with a glare.

“Now listen, children,” he said. “Three things to remember here. First, be grateful for what you get. Second, you get what you need, not what you want. And third, getting what you need is what’s best for you.”

We ate our nickel cones in silence. Indeed, the cold, white custard was sweet, refreshing, and filling enough.

Decades have passed. And now in 2015, we have all to consider the horrors visited upon the world by the lures, deceptions, and demands of organized religion.

Drawn by the promise of Life-Everlasting, Cherry-Gunboat, Big-Daddy-Paradise-Specials, we behave greedily, cleaving to dogmas that hate the infidel and demand crusades, jihads, and bloodshed. BUT THERE IS NO BIG-DADDY-SPECIAL; WE HAVE BEEN DECEIVED.

There may, however, be a nickel cone at the end of the ride if we are lucky and behave. We may live to see children and grandchildren grow up around us, or share with friends the gifts of long life in a peaceful setting with time to enter our souls and discover the deceptions of Time. That’s all we get; that’s all we need; that’s what’s best for us; and we surely should be grateful. And the nice thing about the nickel cone? It’s real, and you get it HERE.