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30 THE GRASSMARKET TELEPHONE: (031) 225 6464
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HLOD Melting moments
Haagen-Dazs may think they transformed ice cream from a partner for jelly at children‘s parties into an altogether more adult source of amusement but. as Catherine Fellows has discovered. Scotland saw its fair share of melting moments before said ‘super premium” product was so much as a twinkle in a marketing man‘s
eye . . .
‘. . . before she realised it and could think even to resist. he had drawn her inside the cream—coloured doors of Bertorelli's cafe. She paled with apprehension. feeling that she had finally passed the limits of respectability. that the depth of her dissipation had now been reached. and looking rcproachfully into Denis' smiling face. in a shocked tone she gasped: “()h. Denis. how could you?" . . .'
How could he indeed? Drag a nice Presbyterian girl like that into a place run by'jort'iyeners . . . and Victoria hardly cold in her grave. What was Denis thinking of'.’ Read on just a little bit further and it becomes only too
clear: Denis was thinking of ice cream and sex. Sex and ice cream. what does
the order matter. it's all the same anyway. isn‘t it'.’
'. . . now she was eating a delicious concoction of ice cream and raspberry juice. which. cunnineg blending the subtly acid CssCltCL of the fruit with the cold mellow sweetness of the ice cream. melted upon her tongue in an exquisite and unexpected delight. l'ndcr the table Denis pressed her foot gently with his. whilst his eyes
followed her naive enjoyment with a lively satisfaction.‘
Cunning/y. subtly — she didn't stand a chance did she‘.’ This kind of sensual — as ice cream. The combination was the epitome of decadence.
In l()()(1. a certain Sergeant Spence. of Glasgow police. stood itt court to deliver the following shocking testimony: he had seen girls and boys in ice cream shops smoking cigarettes. dancing to music supplied by a mouth organ. and. believe it or not, ‘kissing and cuddling away at each other"! Another line member of the constabulary felt moved to add that he had known many little girls of twelve and thirteen frequent the cafes who were now living as prostitutes. ‘Do you ask us to believe that the downfall of these women was due to ice cream shops‘." interjected the magistrate conducting the procedings. ‘I believe it is.‘ intoned the detective.
That was the real issue: women. That was why ‘these perfect iniqttities of hell itself' (read ice cream shops) were ‘ten times worse than any of the evils of the public house.‘ Women weren't allowed in pubs. but in the cafes. they were on the loose. out of the control of their fathers. (iive them one lick of ice cream and they start tapping in to that infinite ungodly reserve of sexual energy. and all hell breaks out. It‘s still the same today — as the marketing men tell us, women are easily led sensual beings. who do cra/y' things like dashing to the fridge in the middle of outrageotts seduction wasn't safely confined between the covers of popular ttoyels either. Between 1903 and NOS the number of Italian ice cream shops in (ilasgow alone had soared from 8*) to a staggering 336: the city was witnessing an unprecedented social phenomenon. The more cafes opened. the more young people flocked to them. and the more young people flocked to them. the more cafes opened. At last they had somewhere to go and enjoy themselves and. most important. to meet each other. A new era of leisure time and youth culture had arrived ~ and the city fathers didn’t like it one little bit. .\'ot only were the Italians anun (til/In/It‘x. but they were peddling a substance as totally gxurious. inessential. ephemeral -- and