our local shopping centre, one of the "Wendy's" chain. It is neatly placed in an area where there is maximum foot traffic - and it seems to do excellent business despite the prices charged. The icecream appears to come in all the colours of the rainbow - yes there is blue icecream - and a number of forms. There are also "icecream cakes", over-large muffins and doughnuts. The doughnuts are the iced variety - more bright blue icing, almost flourescent pink icing, brilliant lime green icing, chocolate brown icing, all with sprinkles should you want them.
I have never bought anything there. Comments from other adults suggest that the goods sold there please children more than they do adults. Certainly the children patronise the place. Some of the teens hang out there - or at the tiny sushi bar if they are trying to appear health conscious. The rest disappear across the busy main road to the two fast food outlets where chips, among other delights, are available.
During the two week Easter break from school these places have been even busier than usual.
On our return yesterday from other errands my young neighbour, Ms Whirlwind, and I called in to the local shopping centre for groceries. On our way in we passed Wendy's without a comment. Her tastes in icecream run to the better quality icecream or gelati at another more distant outlet. It is an occasional Sunday treat she shares with her father.
On the way out she stopped and said, "Look." There, standing by a pusher was a small girl of about three with a melting icecream in both hands. She was holding it right into her even smaller brother's face. He took a messy lick. She had a messy lick and held it out to him. He had another messy lick. They kept taking alternate messy licks, all the time smiling and giggling at the other.
Ms Whirlwind grinned and said, "Watching that is better fun than buying it."