by Lori-Anne Charlton from Kelowna, BC
The afternoon of August 1, 1993, couldn’t have been a better day for a Beach Boys concert. The temperature was hovering around 40 C and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. My sister, Kelly, and I jumped into her little white MGB, top down, of course, and drove across Kelowna to an area now known as The Bluff - a large clearing on Kelowna’s Westside.
It was an important summer, and not just because of the concert. It was the summer that the two of us really became sisters, friends even, rather than one another’s nemesis. I was 22, home for the summer from college, and she was almost 20, finished high school and about to be married.
Neither of us were very big Beach Boys fans, though we knew most of their music from TV commercials and movie soundtracks. Of course that didn’t matter as much as the fact that a big name band was finally coming to Kelowna and we had scored the tickets off the radio. Adventure beckoned and we were eager to follow.
We got there early and staked out a prime piece of property near the front of the stage. With no shade falling our way, we soon grew uncomfortably hot. My alabaster skin soon took on a pinkish hue. My sister, who burns much less easily, kept spritzing herself with a spray bottle of water she brought, to keep herself cool and work on her tan while we waited for the show to begin.
With about 15 minutes to go before the opening act would take the stage, I heard a tantalizing sound. It was the sound of little bells ringing on the front of a Dickie-Dee bicycle.
I headed over and ordered a giant, colourful Spacesicle. I waited until I got back to our blanket before tearing off the thin, protective wrapping. Fresh from the freezer, blue, red and white.
My mouth wrapped eagerly around it. But instead of gliding smoothly, as it should, between my lips and over my tongue, it stuck fast, sealing the circumference of my mouth.
My first reaction was horror, which soon gave way to a twinge of panic. I had heard about kids who lick metal pipes in the dead of winter and rip off half their tongue, but this was different. It wasn’t winter, and the instrument of my torture was a supposedly innocuous Popsicle.
As frightened as I was, I was even more embarrassed. The seal was tight, all the way around, and the Spacesicle was not small, which made things a tad uncomfortable. Knowing it would have to eventually melt, I tried to remain inconspicuous and concentrate on salivating to melt the dry ice. When that didn’t work, I grabbed Kelly’s spritzer and began spraying around and round my mouth. When Kelly noticed, her eyes grew wide and, instead of doing something useful like blocking the view from the people all around, she started to laugh. Hard. That got the attention of our neighbours, a group of older ladies given to hysteria, who began to panic and shriek at Kelly that she needed to rush me to the First-Aid Station. I wanted to disappear.
We got up and walked away, her laughing and me salivating and spritzing like a mad thing. Eventually, my top lip came free, enabling me to finally breath through my mouth, to further encourage defrosting. It finally came free just in time for the music to start.
It was a good concert, aside from the freezer burn and chapped, peeling lips. But I can never hear the Beach Boys, even today, without remembering the day I froze my lips to a giant Spacesicle.