Chapter 30 – Gelidah (גְּלִידָה) (ice cream) – August 2029
"It isn't called 'the pig trough' for nothing," Tony grinned at his family. The seven DiNozzos had just ordered the huge ice cream sundae at a famous boardwalk attraction in Atlantic City.
They'd had to choose the flavors for thirty six scoops of ice cream and up to twelve toppings for the massive treat. Each person got to choose one topping and five scoops' worth of the cold dessert. The family then agreed on two additional toppings that all of them liked, plus the final scoop flavor.
"I am not sure why you had each of us choose five scoops," Ziva commented. "I do not think that I can eat that much ice cream."
LJ grinned at his Ima, "I'll eat your extras!" Everyone knew that his favorite food of all time was chocolate ice cream. Given a choice, the boy would have that for every meal, every day.
"I'm betting that Anthony and LJ will eat the most ice cream," Riv noted to her twin. "Maybe Abba next on total scoops."
Beth nodded, "Either Tali or Ima will eat the least amount. I DO think together we will finish it off though. Three dozen scoops of ice cream is nothing for this family."
Two wait-staff carried the massive stainless steel bin to the table; other staff honked party horns and sirens as the family was presented with the huge ice cream sundae. Except for Tali, the kids all waved at the other customers and savored the attention the family was getting. Tony grinned from ear to ear as Tali and Ziva just sat quietly trying to be inconspicuous in all the revelry.
One of the staff snapped a picture of the family with their spoons poised above the concoction, all of them sporting the trademark family grin. If they succeeded in emptying the trough, the family picture would be placed on the eatery's wall of fame.
"Enjoy your ice cream," the young man who had been their waiter winked at the kids and placed the check face down by Tony. "Let me know if I can get you anything else."
"Thanks." Tony picked up his spoon as the others dug in to the mountain of the frozen dessert with its myriad of toppings and flavors. "Hey, Tals, your mint chocolate chip scoop is over here," he pointed with his spoon. She traded places to reach her favorite flavor.
"Anyone see the strawberry scoop?" Beth queried the others.
Ziva looked at the scoop of mocha chip that she had requested, "It is under my scoop of mocha chip. Let me finish that and we can trade places, if you want."
Tony dug in to a scoop of chocolate covered in butterscotch syrup, "Mmm, there's plenty of chocolate for everyone." When the family ordered, each had requested chocolate, and when the total numbers of scoops were counted, over a third was chocolate scoops.
Anthony put a large spoonful of vanilla in his mouth; the others giggled at the brain-freeze expression on his face. "Dang it," the preteen mumbled as he slowly lost the numbness and regained feeling. "I guess I should pace myself…" He scooped more vanilla with hot fudge and chocolate chips on top.
LJ grinned with his mouth full; he was just happy to have his favorite food for dinner. He ordered three scoops of chocolate ice cream and two of chocolate fudge ripple, saying that he decided to "go bold" and try something different.
The family was mostly quiet as they consumed the vast amount of ice cream; after her fourth scoop, Tali backed away from the table.
"I'm full," she proclaimed. "Four scoops are enough for me." She pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and scrolled through her messages as the others continued eating.
Beth was the next one to stop eating, "Four and done. I can't eat another bite." She took out her phone and she and Tali played a game while watching the others. Riv joined her sisters a few minutes later and nudged her twin.
"I would have bet Ima would have been the first one to step back, and she's still going strong," she observed. "Who's going to quit first, Ima or Abba?"
"Four for each of us; that means two dozen for the others. An average of six scoops per person," Beth did some quick arithmetic. "No way Ima eats six scoops of ice cream…"
Tali watched their father, "I don't know; Abba's starting to look like he's had it…"
"Five scoops; I'm done," Tony announced to the family and sighed. He watched Ziva and the boys still attacking the remaining ice cream.
LJ shoved another spoonful in his mouth and grinned at his father; he was determined to be the last one eating if he had any say about it. After all, ice cream was HIS food of choice. He walked around near the end of the table near Abba, "I'm about to start scoop number six…"
"Anthony's been awful quiet," Tony observed. "Brain-freeze got to ya?"
The elder DiNozzo son just grinned at his father and shoveled more ice cream in to his mouth. He shook his head and after swallowing replied, "The less I say, the more I can eat." He spooned another bite and brought it to his mouth with a larger grin.
Ziva quietly ate another bite as she watched the boys slowing down. LJ backed away from the table and sat back in a chair.
"Six scoops; I can't eat another bite," he sighed. "It's down to Ima and Anthony."
Tali laughed, "There is NO way I would have picked Ima to be the one giving Anthony competition. Who is going to be the scoop count champion? Any bets?" She looked at the others as both Ziva and Anthony took a spoonful from the final scoop.
"I'm not betting against either one," Tony winked at his wife. "I gotta sleep with one of them…" A second spoonful from the last scoop went into two mouths. Ziva grinned and backed away.
"Six scoops plus," she announced. "I am full; Anthony the rest is yours."
Anthony held up his arms and gave his family a huge DiNozzo grin, "Victory! Almost seven scoops! I am the ice cream king!" He scraped the last of the ice cream and toppings into a final spoonful as Tony paid the check and the family got ready to leave. Each one signed the paper background for the family picture printout that would hang on the wall. Tony also got a copy to take home.
"I think we should walk the boardwalk for a bit before going back to the rental condo," Ziva steered the family towards the games, rides, and other entertainment areas of the oceanfront.