Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour

Just sayin’. ?I’m gonna be a wordy sumbitch on this post. ?Suffering from the same disease Stephen King claims he has: ?literary elephantitis. ?But, dammit, this post is over 30 years in the making.

I came 4500 miles for one of these.


Despite Karma throwing everything at me she could. ?Bitch.

A zillion years ago when I was stationed outside of Detroit, Farrell’s had a restaurant at Oakland Mall. ?At one time they had more than 120 stores. ?By 1990, though, most of them had closed.

In the late 70s, I was much skinnier (and way better looking.) ?I’m thinking I was a lot smarter then, too, as I seem to remember I knew every fucking thing. ?Now I don’t know shit and even if I did know shit, I can’t remember it, so there’s that.

In my skinny days I was a big fan of Farrell’s ?Pig’s Trough. ?It had, oh, I don’t know, a thousand scoops of ice cream. ?A gallon of flavored syrups, whipped cream, bananas, sprinkles, cherries, and hell, cocaine as far as I know. ?They were designed for two or three people, but if you ate one by yourself, the wait staff banged gongs, blew whistles, and took the floor to apologize to the other customers for allowing a pig into their store. ?That if the other customers looked closely (the staff then pointed at your table) they were liable to see snout tracks in the bin where the ice cream once resided.

They are a few Farrell’ses (?) ?left open in California. ?The master plan was to visit one of them on Monday before we took off to Hawaii. ?But my ride around Los Angeles took way longer than I had planned. ?(I was in tourist mode and I dicked the dog for way longer than I should have.)

After I’d been in Hawaii for a day or so I remembered there was also a Farrell’s left in Hawaii. ?Turns out it’s at the Pearlridge Mall, which was just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Arizona Memorial. ?If I’d known, I’d have hopped, skipped, and jumped over there after visiting the Memorial.

On Thursday I had about forever for my plane to leave. ?I just mass-murdered some time by girl watching.




I can honestly say I’ve never “had my fill” of girl watching. ?Alas, sometimes one has to put girl watching aside to get other stuff done.

I took the rental bike back. ?Then headed into a convenience store to buy a Coke for the bus trip out to the mall.

I headed to the checkout counter with my Coke. ?The two guys in front of me were using their brand new EBT card. ?They either didn’t a clue how to swipe a card or they didn’t have enough money on the card to pay for their purchases. ?After they dicked around with it for 3 or so minutes, with the swiper guy telling the other one, “I’m just short about 22 cents!” I handed the swiper a quarter. ?”Here. ?Let’s do this.” ?He thanked me for the quarter, but kept swiping that damned card.

Finally, I took $1.50 (a dollar bill and 2 quarters — this is important) put it on the counter, held up my drink to the clerk as if to say, ‘Don’t care for whatever change is due.” and walked out the door to the bus stop.

I’m not a bus rider. ?I think I rode a bus to downtown Memphis in 1976 with my good friend Arnold Brown. ?We were on a trek to meet a local DJ who’d attained national recognition: ?WMPS’s own Rick Dees.


Yep. One and the same.

Other than that, I don’t ride a lot of buses. ?Schedules are a complete mystery and I think if I ever had to do a?bus transfer?my head would just explode.

One thing I didn’t know about buses until I hopped on one in Anchorage was the drivers were sticklers about accepting only exact change. ?And they won’t make change for you, either. ?The fare for the Honolulu bus was $2.50 one way. ?If, for example, all you have is a $5 bill, you just donated $2.50 to the cause.

I was prepared, though, for the ride to the mall. ?I’d checked the number of quarters I had with me. ?I had five of them. ?Two for the ride to the mall. ?Two for the ride from the mall to the airport. ?And a spare.

Except I’d just tossed one of those quarters to the EBT Swiper guy. ?Then I put two more of them down to buy the Coke.

That left me with two quarters. ?Fortunately, I had dimes and nickels, but I didn’t really want to fool around with loose change. ?Figured I could use the two quarters for the ride to the mall and get two more while there.

While waiting for the bus, I took two one dollar bills and the two remaining quarters and put them in my hand. ?Where I promptly dropped one of the quarters?into?my Coke.

Son of a bitch. ?I had only taken a couple of sips and it was a big ‘un. ?I wasn’t going to pour it out to fetch the quarter. ?I’d have to dig into the dimes and nickels.

When the bus came, I stepped onto the platform, reached into my pocket to grab money for the toll. ?The driver said something to me. ?If it was in English, I couldn’t understand him. ?After about the third time I shook my head in incomprehension, he pointed at my Coke. ?”No drink.”

Unbelievable. ?I stepped back off the bus, walked over the trashcan, and tossed the whole damned thing — including the quarter I’d dropped in there — and marched back to the bus.

Where I promptly dropped the last?quarter. ?It rolled under the bus as pretty as you please.

The ride to the mall took two hours. ?This same ride I had done two days before on a bicycle . . . in 90 minutes.

Again, I had time to kill. ?While I was killing time, I had to get one of my friends back in Columbus to go over to my house and check to see (1) if it had burned down and if not, then (2) check the router, please.

I had two computers I left running when I left. ?One for webcam security, the other for my video library / payroll processing server. ?Both had worked that morning, but neither were responding.

It would have been far simpler to just get call her and walk her through some things, but I detest when someone is yammering loudly in public on their phone. ?The bus was full of people and I wasn’t going to be?that guy. ?Had I been?that guy?I would have had to be a Louder Than Normal That Guy as a God Awful Thunder & Lightning Storm was beating the bus like a rented mule.


Instead of calling, we had to keep texting each other. ?It took nearly the entire two hours to get her access to my house, router, and computers. ?It turns out a storm in Columbus?knocked the power out at my house. ?She got ’em all going, though.

Once I got to the mall I turned to good old Google Maps, who, of course, took me the long way around to find Farrell’s. ?In fact, I just gave up as with every turn Google’d change its mind. ?”No, go the?other?way this time, dumbass,” (Google wanted to say.)

I called Farrell’s, told the lady who answered I couldn’t find them. ?She asked if I knew where such and such store were. ?”No, I’m sorry, but these are the stores I do see.” ?She started to direct me to the restaurant, then stopped mid-sentence and said, “Oh, I guess I should have told you: ?we’re closed.”

WHAT?”?I asked, rather forcefully.

“Yeah the storm knocked out power to our kitchen. ?So we just closed. ?We’ll probably be back in an hour or so.”

Ok, I?had?a lot of time to kill, but it wasn’t endless. ?My spare time is flitting away like my quarters. ?Fortunately, girl-watching is?endless.


Farrell’s finally opened and I sat my broad ass down in a nearly-empty restaurant. ?I ordered my Pig’s Trough. ?When it arrived, I approached the two very sweet ladies in the adjacent booth.

I?told them I could give them a long boring story (see all the shit I wrote at the beginning of this post) or I could just simply ask them to snap a picture of the Trough before I tackled it.
20150903_154902 Turns out they were former USMC journalists and they actually wanted to know some of the story behind the Trough. ?They, too, had last been in a Farrell’s nearly 30 years ago and had sought out the one in Hawaii for the same reason I did. ?They went with the “healthy salad” option — what the hell! — and admitted they were a little envious of my gluttony. ?They snapped some pix and sat back down to get away from the fat-guy-getting-fatter.

I wolfed the entire thing down in 13 minutes.


Which brought the Farrell’s staff ’round to embarrass me by making me stand in front of everyone and make piggy noises. (You can see the other customers watch the human train wreck in the picture below.)


For the record, it’s nearly impossible to embarrass me when I do something silly on purpose.


By this time, a guy joined the two ladies in the next table. ?He was Matt, Deb’s husband. ?Jeri was their decades-long friend. ?Deb and Jeri regaled Matt with tales of my riding to South Carolina. ?They asked me to join them at their table.

Matt had just retired from the Marine Corps himself. ?For the next hour or so we all laughed ?and swapped sea-stories. ?We were like old friends who hadn’t seen each other in years.


Here’s a weird. ?They asked what I do. ?I told them I owned In The Bag Massage?in Columbus. ?In the picture above Jeri is the lady with glasses. ?She said she had a niece who coincidentally was a licensed massage therapist in Columbus. ?But she had given it up to go work at a car dealer. ?I asked Jeri her niece’s name.

Guess who that niece used to work for. ?Small damned world, ain’t it?

Anyway, I wound up with three new friends, great new memories, stories to tell, and a belly full of a Pig’s Trough. ?That pretty much made up for all those lost quarters.



Read my “I’m A Dumbass” post . . .