by Mark Graham
produced by The Puff
(Editor's Note - This "piece" was originally
constructed for a fledgling website called Toast.com that was
never launched. The "piece" was never completed, so
please don't scoff at its overall lack of quality. Thank you)
At the risk of sounding trite, the 90s are worst ever. Grunge and
email. Bagel wars. Nouveau gangster films and DirectTV. Doom and
frappamochajavachinos (with lowfat skim milk, of course). Cell
phones and cigar chic. All of these things just scream "90s".
The 1990s are bland to a fault; at least the 80s had some
audacity and boldness. But before you go and grab your gas
siphoning gear, salvation is upon us. Redemption, thy name is
Sitting on my couch writing this, I'm envisioning YOUR reaction
to the last sentence...you're sitting there goin' "What the
fuck!?! Dippin' Dots? First of all, what are they? Secondly, what
does any of this have to do with the 90s being worst ever?"
As a student of life, I realize that visionaries such as Galileo,
Van Gogh and myself can never be truly appreciated during their
lifetimes. But to paraphrase the great Leonard Cohen, "I
seen the future baby, it is Dippin' Dots."
For those not in-the-know, Dippin' Dots are the self-proclaimed
"Future of Ice Cream." As far as I can tell, they're
only available at the Mecca of Movies, the Star Southfield
Theater. Purchasing and consuming Dippin' Dots is an event that
can and will change the way you live your life. For three lousy
George Washingtons, you can indulge yourself in sheer dairy bliss
(albeit artificial dairy bliss). The experience is breathtaking.
It is as wonderous as the duck phone on "Silver Spoons,"
as inspiring as Rocky's victory over Ivan Drago, and better than
recess on your birthday.
Closing in on the vending machine, I envisioned the apes of
Kubrick's "2001" approaching the monolith which granted
them the power of higher thought, and consequently, evolutionary
greatness. This comparison is in no means a mockery or an
overstatement; my life has truly changed since this pivotal
moment. Advised by my younger brother that I've "gotta try
them Dippin' Dots," I found myself on the way out of the
theater with a couple of extra bucks burning a hole in my pocket.
I somewhat skeptically made my way over to the vending machine
and inserted my three dollars. Instead of your standard rotating
ring that conveniently drops your Twix onto hard metal (effectively
reducing your beloved Twix to cookie crumble), this machine is
all about technology. With a Darth Vader-esque whoosh, a trap-door
opens to reveal Dippin' Dots in all their marvel and glory, not
unlike the pods of the "Alien" series. A robotic arm
appears, and with a vacuum rush, the Dippin' Dots defy gravity,
shooting skyward to attach themselves to the Robot Arm. Moments
later, Robot Arm delivers the goods onto a soft, styrofoam pad
and the real fun begins.
With complimentary plastic spoon in-tow, I hesitantly opened the
polyeurethane package. The hesitancy I felt, in retrospect, was
largely caused by fear of the unknown; the non-descript packaging
leaves a lot to the imagination. You have to understand that, at
this point, I haven't even seen what the actual physical product
looks like. The package shows what look to be miniscule (were
talking 5mm diameter max) spheres resting on the face of the moon.
Retro packaging, to be sure, but I think the Retro-nod was
constructed purposefully. Minds could easily implode if the good
folks at Dippin' Dots spent as much time marketing as they did in
R&D. But I digress. Peering into the package, hundreds of
miniature vanilla spheres glistened in the flourescent lighting,
bearing a slight resemblance to the interior contents of a bean
bag chair. I plunged my spoon into the package with fervor and
began to eat.
The initial moments of Dippin' Dot consumption are admittedly
underwhelming. Your taste buds register the flavor as mere ice,
lacking any special zest entirely. Fear not, loyal readers, for
this sensation lasts no more than 2 seconds before exploding with
frenzied intensity. The freezing sensation on your tongue
transforms strangely into warmth. The ice taste magically morphs
into the taste of ice cream. And this is not your run of the mill
generic ice cream taste, either. It is richer and creamier than
even Haagen-Daaz can boast. I hadn't felt this much excitement
with a food product since my discovery of Candy Coated Tart 'N'
Tinies. As good as the first bite was, the jubilant feeling
lasted throughout every bite. The life expectancy of Dippin' Dots
(pre-meltage) is, at most, 5 minutes, so you have your work cut
out for you. But like Pringles (or crack, for that matter), once
you pop, you just can't stop. You're hooked, and your life is
Any writer knows that the difficulty of formulating the beginning
of a story can only be topped by the difficulty of devising a
proper ending to his or her story. I candidly admit to you that I'm
at a loss for words. I was convinced that living in the 90s was a
bland and mostly meaningless existence. The feelings of wonder,
excitement and anticipation of the future I experienced growing
up in the 80s was being crowded out by the disillusionment and
ennui that only post-college life can offer. "I'll Tumble 4
Ya" had turned into "Black Hole Sun." As Moby once
said, "Everything is wrong today." I was beginning to
agree with Mr. Moby, then I saw the light. Dippin' Dots have
shown me that all technology does not contribute to the
destruction of interpersonal communication. Who would've ever
thought that something produced at 320dF below zero could bring
so much happiness to so many people? If there is any justice in
the world, Dippin' Dots vending machines will soon replace the
local McDonald's as the place for people to meet and greet, to
talk and to love. And you know what? After Dippin' Dots, I'm
beginning to think anything is possible.
Any writer worth his salt does investigative research before
printing an article, only most do it before writing the article.
In the quest to make my article seem poorly thought out (as well
as obviously poorly written), I discovered Dippin' Dots has a
website. For more information, check out Dippindots.com.
Swear To God.