I lived in Cohoes, NY for a few months during the two year purgatory stint I did for a health insurance company. It was closer to work, got to move out of mom’s house, etc. I was nineteen. I probably wouldn’t do it again if I had the option. No regrets or anything, just poorly conceived. Cohoes was home to Vliet Mart, a mom & pop convenience store up the street from my grungy bachelor pad. It sold what you’d normally come to find at one of these. Groceries marked up just enough to keep you from driving into Latham to go to Hannaford, lottery tickets, novelty beverages with either high alcohol or caffeine content, and ice cream. I remember this so well because this remains the last time I saw my all-time favorite, the WWF/WWE ice cream bar. Oh sweet Jesus, those things were incredible. It was vanilla ice cream, with one side dipped in chocolate, and the other a shortbread cookie. This combination of delicious ingredients may still exist in some alternately named form, but definitely lack the food dye stencil of
our favorite random pro wrestlers. The last one I had was actually my favorite tag team of all time (Edge & Christian) as if to come full circle. The bars came with a supposedly different trading card (I say this because I never got anyone other than Kane, EVER!) and even the box art came in some diminished “collect them all” sort of appeal featuring different wrestlers. They were around for years, through different “eras” of the company, logo changes, and were discontinued sometime after the re-branding to WWE.
Then CM Punk decided he wanted to shake things up a bit. During his now infamous “pipe-bomb” shoot promo this past Summer, he invoked the image of the ice cream bars, sarcastically asking where the one bearing his likeness was while genuinely asking why they got rid of them. (Like most tub-thumping straight edge, he loves junk food. His Pepsi tattoo serves as a proclamation of both.) Punk’s crusade against Big Gulp cups with Rey Mysterio on them and outward bashing of the executives of the company did the opposite of what you’d think, as the audience devoured his anti-WWE rhetoric and made sure CM Punk would not be leaving any time soon. As is the case with any rising star in the wrestling world, a great deal of how far you can go depends on your ability to sell t-shirts. (You see unlike musicians, in pro wrestling it is seen as very appropriate to wear your own t-shirt.) To that point, someone in their graphic design department completely knocked this one out of the park. Recalling the most iconic moment in his career, his new t-shirt features our beloved ice cream bars complete with Punk caricature. There is a rumored return of the actual ice cream bars themselves, but for now WWE has went and made me almost want to buy a wrestling t-shirt. ALMOST. I still enjoy hanging out in public once in a while.