The year was 1991. The United States had just brought peace to war-torn Iraq. Murphy Brown was about to get knocked up and bring shame on America. Color Me Badd wanted to sex us up. And I spent a lot of time with my best friend Danny.
This was one of the first years that I had occasional spending money of my own, and enough trust from my parents to go on bike rides. That led to a lot of 7-11 purchases, as I was still too young to prefer quality to quantity. That held true in all areas of my life. The same instincts that spurred me to purchase a "Thirsty-Two-Ounce" fountain soda also led me to play Mario 3 well past the point where my thumbs were sore and calloused. It's the same reason our class trip to Great America ended with us running around the park at top speed, trying to squeeze in just one more ride on the Vortex, despite our Rip-Roaring-Rapids-soaked clothing and lingering headaches from previous frantic Vortex rides. Quantity over quality.
The same was true for jokes. If an inside joke was funny, repeating it fifty times could only add to the funniness. Danny invented one that we later repeated as much as we could; that is, until we legitimately feared physical harm. Here's how it went:
When we heard the distinctive jingle of the ice cream truck coming down our suburban street, we'd immediately go the curb and wave our arms. When we'd flagged down the ice cream man, Danny would usually take the lead, because I was much more of a pussy. He'd ask himself, "What do I want? What would I like?" as he slowly scanned the menu. Danny would milk this as long as possible, because drawing the joke out was more important than timing. Quantity over quality.
Finally, he'd pretend to make a decision. "I would like... hmmm... I would like...hmmm..."
And then the zinger:
"I would like...for you to go away!"
And then we would run inside laughing, while the ice cream man fumed, and drove away as angrily, or as angrily as you can when your vehicle is playing "Pop Goes the Weasel" at top volume. Later we'd drink tall beverages comprised of eight ounces each of Coke, root beer, 7-up, and orange soda (no ice!) and feel like kings. To the heart, tick tock, ya don't stop, at least until the ice cream man will no longer pull over at your house.