The Adventures of Polar Sam- A new weapon added to the arsenal

A polar bear, sent by his people to save their way of life, finds himself driving an ice cream truck around suburbia, on a mission to reverse global warming, one ice cream at a time


A New Weapon Added to the Arsenal

(previously…. Kid Suburbia and Doc Plaza are exchanging icy stares in a long running feud, a gunfight on the streets of suburbia… Off in the distance a familiar sound came floating through the air. They both picked up the sound of the ice cream truck jingle coming off of Pine Street. Kid Suburban broke the icy silence between them. “how bout I buy you a snowcone?”Polar Sam

“I prefer a Nutty Buddy” replied Doc, lowering his hands. “Eatin ice cream sounds better than pluggin your sorry ass”.)

Polar Sam’s Snow Cap Frozen Delights came slowing cruizin into view.  Two years ago, the Council had sent him to America, “If anybody is going to turn this global warming catastrophe around, it’ll be the Americans leading by example”, the Elders had told him. So here he was, driving around suburbia, “saving his People, one ice cream at a time”.

Up ahead he could see Doc Plaza and the Suburban Kid were at it again.   “Third time this week” Sam muttered to himself “I keep expecting to see blood, but every time ice cream seems to cool them out!  People are so weird.”

“What I’d give to be back North, sitting around an ice hole, contemplating the silence, waiting for lunch to show up.  But no, here I am in this monkey suit, sweating like a doomed glacier, without a ring seal within 3000 miles…. damn global warming!” Thank the Great Spirit they got the freezer unit going again in the cab….”…

Sam was having a particularly hard day. First thing, the jerry rigged freezer unit was on the blink. A year ago he’d had the brilliant idea to have them add an extra coil in the driver’s compartment, so it stayed good and cold while he drove around.  Every now and then it overloaded the system, or got air bubbles in the line or something.  He spent the morning at Ace Air Conditioning and Refrigeration trying to find a cool spot waiting for them to fix it.  Then he’d gotten into an argument with another customer about the ridiculousness of American’s spending on junk, and how that was causing the Chinese to build more coal plants so they can make the electricity to make more stuff, and then take their profits and buy T Bills, so Americans can buy more junk …..”Salad Shooters!” Sam had shouted, “You get salad shooters and we get more open water.  How in the Hell are we to live if we don’t have ice?”

“The usual Doc?’ Sam asked, reaching for a Nutty Buddy. “I guess so”, replied Doc Plaza.

“And a Fudgesicle Kid?” more like an answer than a question.  Sam could see they were all bent out of shape.

He tried to steer toward a more upbeat atmosphere. “Ya know, I just got in a new shipment of red snapper. And a new item, salmon flavored Push Ups!”  His word hung like an albatross suspended in the icy air.

The two men munched on their ice cream, their anger slowly melting.  Between the juxtaposition of Sam’s ice cream and frozen fish, it was hard to maintain a focus on the issue at hand.

“Salmon Push ups?” Doc Plaza broke the silence.  “Who would buy a salmon push up???”

“They’re big up North, my supplier sent me a box of samples to test the market. Always the philosopher, Sam, in his better moments, always found the right lesson, “that’s what these times call for…..innovation…tryin’ stuff……’ We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.”

“Where’d ya get that one Sam, from your supplier as well?” Kid Suburbia took a friendly jab at the big guy.

“Naw,  it was on the stick of a Peace Pop I had the other day…..Albert Einstein”

Doc Plaza concentrating on not losing the chocolate pieces breaking off, looked up from his Nutty Buddy. “ Sam, you’re always lifting the conversation to a higher perspective. We’re on the verge of shooting each other a few moments ago, and now you’re suggesting we change our perspective.  You may have fish breath, but I got to hand it to you, you’re predictably goin for the higher ground.  Ok, so where’s this new place we should be thinking from?”

Doc found his eyes focusing on the graphics on the side of the Sam’s Truck, as they had dozens of times before.  “Polar Sam’s Snow Cap Frozen Delights” across the top of the scene.  Below, a majestic snow capped peak standing behind the beautiful Taos Pueblo, five stories of cascading adobe buildings, Pueblo Creek running through the plaza.  Along the bottom the familiar words “Mixed use, mixed income neighborhoods, with Lifelong Learning and Open space …..Everywhere”

Doc raised his hand, “Wait a minute, wait a minute, don’t tell me”.  All three of them chanted together. “Mixed use, mixed income neighborhoods, with lifelong learning and open space… everywhere.”

“Who says ya can’t teach old dogs new tricks??!!” Sam exclaimed, kind of proud the motto was starting to sink in.

“I still am having a hard time seeing the benefits for me”, Kid Suburbia started up.

Sam rolled his eyes. Knowing this familiar conversation was going to take a while, he interrupted, “Hold on a second, let me get my umbrella.  Polar Bears weren’t made for this Southwest Sun!”  Reaching into the back cooler door, Sam pulled out this beach umbrella; stiff with being kept in the freezer, it was a bit hard to open, but once open, the cooling was marvelous.

“OK”, Sam started slowly, remembering the emotional landmines that lay in this topic of conversation. “All your adult life, you’ve strived to do the right thing. Go to work, provide for your family, kept your lawn mowed. Your neighbors are long time friends, you’ve earned the right to live just the way you want, helping out in the community, playing golf, visiting the grandchildren…..Your home has appreciated in value, and you’re cruising through your Golden Years…The American Dream. Life is good!

“And then this damn global warming thing comes up.  People blaming you like you’re the problem! That proposed nearby development with all the affordable housing, maybe good for the city, but all you’ll get is more traffic, people speeding through your neighborhood!”

Kid Suburbia shook his head affirming, his temperature starting to pick up, “We always get the short end of the stick!”

“OK! OK! hold on” Polar Sam pleaded.  “I got just the thing, a new product line….”  Sam reached into the Styrofoam cooler on his front seat.

“What now, lemon flavored Krill oil?!”, exclaimed Doc Plaza.   An involuntary shiver went through his body as he recalled last weeks’ ‘Hot new product’. The memory caused his upper lip to curl in disgust.

“No, no, this is the real deal.  Village in a Box!”  Sam pulled out a book sized cardboard box, with a lively village street scene on the front.  The three of them crowded under Sam’s oversized beach umbrella, and examined the front graphics.

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