LE MARS, IOWA– Hundreds of pilgrims have been making a journey to Le Mars, Iowa this weekend. And it wasn’t just to have a scoop or two of pistachio nut ice cream on a waffle cone in this town known as The Ice-Cream Capitol of the World. They were coming to hopefully catch a glimpse of the image of Jesus Christ in a cement ice cream cone sculpture.
All the fuss and clamor stems from what a local farmer saw earlier this week.
“I seen it,” said local hog farmer Alvin Vandergrunt. “There was nothing there Wednesday when I brought the kids to town for haircuts. Then Thursday night me and the missus drove by, and sure enough, there was our Lord and Savior staring back at us from an ice cream cone! It was just as plain as the nose on your face, it was.
“Well, I called up the radio station and the newspaper and told them about what I was seeing. You know, I don’t think they believed me at first. And I can’t say that I blame them, really. But they soon saw for themselves, they did. They got the word out. And pretty soon there was folks driving by and stopping to gawk. By Friday there was four car-fulls of Baptists from Sioux City that made the drive up here to see Jesus before he disappeared. I even got a call from CBN, that Christian Broadcast TV Network. I think they’re gonna send a reporter up here.
“And . . . hey look, he’s back! You see him, dontcha?” Vandurgrunt was pointing and gesturing to Saturday morning visitors to this charming northwest Iowa community. They stopped to gaze at the Jesus Cone, as well as likely to warily observe the now-shouting hog farmer with the wild eyes and high-pitched voice. Some nodded, some gasped, and some shushed and pulled their questioning children away from Vandergrunt and the alleged Son of God.
More visitors came by to look. Important ones, I suppose.
The rightwing political organization Northwest Iowa Con-Servatives sent a group of its members along with Congressman Steve King to the site to verify the vision. They were said by a few onlookers to have gasped aloud and fallen to their knees in awe. A local banker who didn’t want his name used for the story for fear of being victimized by hate crimes said the congressman from Kiron tried to speak in tongues.
“But it just sounded like all he was saying was ‘Blah-blah-blah, gays are evil, blah-blah, send the Mexicans back to Mexico, blah-blah-blah, This here is White’s territory, blah-blah-blah, I am a friend of Satan, blah-blah.”
The banker said several of the Con-Servatives drug King away to the ice cream parlor across the street, while others proclaimed that the vision must surely be a sign that President Trump will prevail in the holy war against Canada, the Muslims, and the Washington Post.
Theresa Lugwhump, executive director of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce, has been seen doing a “Happy Dance” in the middle of Central Avenue, the town’s main street. When I finally got a chance to talk to her, she was taking a break from her promotion duties in a local tavern called the Jitters Joint, which her husband owns.
Chamber, churches push Savior and Ice Cream for “Jesus Is Just Alright Days”
“Honey,” Lugwhump stated, “Le Mars is planning to capitalize on the appearance of the Son of God the rest of the summer, providing He decides to stick around. We’ll even have another special ice cream festival on July 25-27. We’re gonna call it ‘Jesus is Just Alright Days’. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people, will flood the streets of this town that weekend. The saved and the wanna be saved as well as those just looking for a good time are already reserving motel rooms here. I’ll betcha folks will have to settle on getting a
room or a camping space in Akron, Westfield, Chatsworth, Kingsley, McNally, Hinton, or even Brunsville.”
About then the pastor of the Reformed Church of Groveling Agony and sometimes street entertainer, Reverend Bob, stopped by the Jitters Joint for his regular afternoon bottle of Kilian’s Irish Red. I asked the reverend what he thought about all the commotion that Ice Cream Jesus, as the sighting was now being called, was causing and also about the upcoming ‘Jesus Is Just Alright Days’ scheduled for next month.
“I’m tickled, I tell you,” the pastor said giddily. “We haven’t had this much attention paid to our village since we used to have those Ku Klux Klan marches and rallies here back in the 1920s! That hooded carrying on kinda got outa hand, what with the cross burnings and shootings and all. But we sure got those Catholics to quiet down and a bunch of them moved to Sioux Falls and Sioux City. But, yeah, old ‘Ice Cream Jesus’ is doing a real good thing for us and the unchurched.”
At this Reverend Bob tilts his head and eyes up a bit and says, “Thank you, Jeheesus!”
And what about July’s Jesus Is Just Alright Days?
Last Supper Cheesecake Ice Cream
The cleric said he is looking forward to it. He said the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor, which just reopened this weekend after undergoing extensive remodeling last fall and winter, will be offering a new flavor of ice cream that weekend called Last Supper Cheesecake. “It should taste divine,” Reverend Bob whispered conspiratorily.
The good reverend had to take a few seconds to compose himself after laughing uproariously at his joke. He ordered another Kilian’s Irish Red from the bartender and took a long swig.
“Even agnostics and atheists are welcome here that weekend in July,” the pastor said. “But not gays!” Then after a short pause, he said with a wink of his eye, “Just kidding. We’ll have a big tent over behind the ice cream parlor where Michele Bachman’s husband will be doing conversion therapy.”