Friday, August 28, 2009

Would Michiko Kakutani Like a Double Chocolate with Sprinkles from the Whippi Dip?

I love Lorrie Moore's work and am pleased that her novel, A Gate at the Stairs (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009), received a positive review in today's New York Times from the eminence grise herself, Michiko Kakutaki. But I wonder if Ms. Kakutani could be more condescending toward the "emotionally reticent" among us who live out here in "flyover country," as she calls it.

I say this as someone who lives in a Midwestern town too small to even have a Dairy Queen--the culinary destination which Ms. Kakutani considers the very apex of the Heartland experience. Instead of Dairy Queen, we have Miss Lisa's, and two miles down the road, The Whippi Dip. Once a week in the summer, I fire up the John Deere, load the kids in the hay wagon, and head to the Whippi Dip for a double chocolate with sprinkles.

Normally, we try to be home before dark. But once in a while, we go a little crazy, just to see the bright lights.

Please note--waffle cones are not permitted west of the Delaware Water Gap; so if that's your pleasure, bring your own.

You can read the review, here.


Blogger Radish King said...

I love Laurie Moore, every single time and that photo of the Whippi Dip is really amazing like something Jesus plopped down in the desert. My son likes it too. It reminds us both of Repo Man, one of the best movies ever made.


wv: citiess

9:20 PM  
Blogger Macy Swain said...

Oh my gawd, I agree with Radish King about that photo. Dammit, man. And I also agree about the "flyover" remark, over which I groaned this morning over my Bob Evans breakfast while a drenching rain made everybody run back and forth from their old Flint trucks and the overweight waitresses wanted to make sure we were all okay. I was grateful for my NY Times, for which I plunked down two bucks with relief at the corner coffee shop. My worst fear was that they might not have them any more. But hell, first day back after a summer in LA I had a very fine Midwest Friday. And I NEVER fly over it. I stop here. So I agree -- thanks, Greg.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Keith Wilson said...

I love that the most prominent thing on the sign that I can see if french fries.

I mean, french fries are good. But I can't imagine stopping for french fires over, say, cold drinks, ice cream, or hamburgers.

Maybe it's just me.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Matthew W. Schmeer said...

I almost blew tea out my nose when I hit "But once in a while, we go a little crazy, just to see the bright lights."

I, too, disdain the flyover country remark, but I'd rather focus on the ice cream stores!

I grew up in St. Louis and now live in Kansas City. Dairy Queens in both places are relegated to strip malls and staffed by mindless teenage drones. But drive a bit out into the country, and by God, the ice cream and burgers and fries actually taste better, the staff is friendly, and the stands are spic-n-span clean. Maybe it has something to do with the country air and rural work ethic.

Where I grew up in Webster Groves (a suburb of St. Louis), our only option other than DQ was a Velvet Freeze, which had two flavors of sherbet: orange and green. Not lime. Green. VF was a bastardization of Baskin-Robbins and DQ, and was an okay place to hang out, play Pac Man and Donkey Kong, and slurp down a shake.

But a few miles down the road was Ted Drews. And that place is legend.

But DQ, VF, and Ted Drews were never as cool looking as the Whippi Dip.

Here's a good book about growing up in the midwest with a lonely ice cream stand as the only hot spot:

Last Dance at the Frosty Queen, by Richard Uhlig

Don't let the "young adult" classification fool you; this is a good book about living in the middle of nowhere and dying to get out. Yes, it is a bit cliched and it won't change your life, but it's still worth your read. One of my former creative writing students used to date the author back in the day, and it was she who passed the book along to me.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Thou has forsaken Dairy Treat and yon Dairy Creme! For shame!

If you're going to go to Muskegon for soft serve, you might as well head over to FROSTY OASIS...where the turtle is king!

4:54 PM  

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