When the Popsicle Princesses arrive at theTime Out Chicago
offices for an interview, they immediately hoist a picnic basket and
distribute their wares—the Gloria Gaynor (whole blueberries, lemon zest
and juiced berries), the Madonna (strawberry and basil syrup), the
Kathleen Hanna (mango with a hit of cayenne)—to passersby in the foyer.
“Would you like a pop?” they ask me. A hand-labeled, multicolored fruit
pop made by two women wearing matching red gingham shirts and cutoffs?
Only David Brooks is a big enough killjoy to refuse.
Popsicle Princesses are Liz Wolferman and Emma Nolley, a renegade pair
of 23-year-olds whose mission is to bring ice pops, made in batches of
30 and transported in that picnic basket on the back of a
sometimes-functioning tricycle, to the streets. Their role model: the
tamale guy. “We were just fed up with the laws of vending in Chicago,”
says Nolley, “and we were like, You know what, those tamale guys are
out there doing it, and we love that, and they go to the bar, run
around, and everyone gets so excited. Can we do that, too?”
One of my favorite things to do is feed people. It’s hard to be in a bad mood at a meeting when there are delicious cookies. People get bitchy when their blood sugar gets low and in a high-stress work environment, man, some days you just want a treat you don’t have to stand in line for or figure out if you’ve got enough change in your pocket for or whatever. Plus, and this is the selfish part, baking and cooking give me a sense of accomplishment distinct from wrestling all day with a paragraph that just won’t work.
A co-worker and I once, during a particularly bitching 18-hour day in which everybody in the office seemed to be about to blow a gasket, went out and bought two boxes ofDilly Bars at the Dairy Queen and distributed them around. We just couldn’t take the crabbiness anymore and ice cream seemed the simplest thing to do. While it didn’t solve anybody’s marital disputes or make their financial problems disappear or help them meet their deadlines, it did, at the very least, make it hard to complain, as our mouths were full.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some farmer’s market peaches as need making into a pie. That strawberry basil thing sounds amazing, too. NOM NOM NOM.