>My mother and I are engaged in a healthy debate about Carvel. She insists that years ago, there was a Carvel on the corner of Crawford and Dempster in Skokie. I am certain that Carvel was a NYC tri-state area franchise (or I should say quad-state because I think it was only in NY, CT, NJ, and PA). According to The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste by Jane and Michael Stern, a book given to my by a friend which I treasure, there were 25 Carvel ice cream shops on the East Coast by the early 1950s. Great, but what about after that? The article only goes on to describe his horrible radio ads.

Because I really like being right, I went to the Carvel website to try and learn more about the history of Carvel. Thus I was confronted by an image of my nemesis Cookie Puss:

Damn, I don’t see how people do not find this thing scary as hell. Forget the vacant stare. He is just a giant face, and his arms are on the side of his face! I know he is from space and all, but that is some freaky shit!

Getting over my fear of Cookie Puss, I also learned that Carvel set the Guiness World Record™ for Largest Ice Cream Scoop Pyramid in 2002 and in honor of the company’s 70th birthday, set the Celebrates Guinness World Record for the Largest Ice Cream Cake in 2004. I did not find out when they expanded west, but it seems like it was not until the 1990s when they began selling ice cream cakes (not scary ones like Cookie Puss, but innocuous ones like Fudgie the Whale) in grocery stores.

I really believe that the Chicago area was safe from Cookie Puss until the past few years or so. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know. I plan to call corporate HQ on Monday and find out for sure. Seriously, Fudgie the Whale is now my Moby Dick and I am Ahab out to prove my point.

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