We don’t need no high-fallutin’ zinc spray or green tea extract. Blend some orange and lemon with a spoonful of Mike’s Hot Honey, add a touch of ginger, and sneak a big nip of whiskey for good measure. We’ll be back to the saloon in no time. Now get off the porch!
Old Major Persnickety had but one job: to guard the ice. You see, the Secretary of War had ordered a strategic ice supply to be held, even in peacetime, and it was Persnickety’s job to protect it. It was a calling that required vigilance, several layers of clothing, constant shuffling. But things had a tendency to get chilly at the Rimy Reserve, and Old Major was keen to catching colds (even when they said that the cold doesn’t actually cause colds).
After a few rounds of this, our protagonist tried for months — nay, years! — to figure out how to ward off the phlegmatory unpleasantness that was so often forthcoming. He tried juicing, he mixed spices, he spent all his Polar Points on orange powders. One day, leafing through his moleskin of ingredients and equations, he had a brainwave (that’s the opposite of a brainfreeze, you see): some vitamin-rich citrus, some immune-boosting cayenne-infused honey, some digestive-healing ginger, and some whiskey (no reason was deduced for that part). It became then, is now, and will always be, his cure for the Common Cold.
But Persnickety’s perfection would not be known to us today — and most certainly not as a sorbetto — if not for a delightful twist of fate that would push the bounds of credulity if it were not so obviously authentic. You see, just about the time that the Gold Standard was abolished, it was decided somewhere that the Rimy Reserve was a relic. So Old Major was left to collect his pension and retire, and he set off to the Belgrade Lakes region of Maine, a place where he thought no one would be a bother.
But several acres from his cabin sat the home of Charlie and Margie, whose son, Joshua, had a penchant for business and a preference for mischief. One day, Old Major was sitting on his porch when Joshua wandered through the yard, in search of acorns that he planned to offer as “hand-foraged, nature-born artisanal hot nuts” at the farmer’s market. The jovial and loquacious boy spotted Old Major and just wouldn’t stop talking. Feeling that the nut plan was a bit squirrely, Persnickety aimed to change the conversation and started telling Joshua fantastic, if embellished, stories about his decades at the Rimy Reserve. Over that visit, and many uninvited but accomodated future visits on that porch, Joshua learned of the Teapot Cube Scandal, the Tray-Packing Scheme, a legendary “Frozen Code” that was discussed among men who shipped ice, and finally, greatly, most astonishingly, Persnickety’s recipe that would cure any cold. That recipe stayed with Joshua for many years, and finally takes shape today, with Persnickety long remembered, in the sorbetto that bears his sole triumph and his most memorable name.