SPOKANE, Wash. - Ben Cohen, the Ben of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream fame, is not a fan of President Bush. Cohen is currently travelling around the country on what he is calling his "Pants on Fire" tour. Towing a 12 foot effigy of the President which features ersatz flames shooting from the trousers, Cohen is hoping to make the point that President Bush has been less than truthful with the American people.
While Cohen is hoping to make a political statement, he is still making ice cream. A new flavor called "Burning Bush" will be available just in time for the Republican Convention in late August.
"We're going to be giving this stuff away in New York, but I think the conventioneers might find it leaves a bad taste in their mouths," said Cohen.
Asked for details on the new flavor, Mr. Cohen gave a laugh. "I can't really go into a whole lot of detail right now," he said, "but I'm going to step out of the room for a few minutes." With that, and an overblown conspiratorial wink, Mr. Cohen slid a manila folder across the table and left his hotel room.
Details on "Burning Bush" and the associate marketing plans were laid out in several internal Ben & Jerry's memos. The memo entitled, "Foul Flavor for First Family," provided the following description of the new flavor:
"Burning Bush is unlike any flavor Ben & Jerry's has developed. The primary flavor is chalk and will be reminiscent of milk of magnesia. To create the burning' quality of the ice cream, sugar will be replaced with cayenne pepper. To provide texture, and to reinforce the "Bush" theme, unripened blueberries, along with blueberry leaves and stems will be used.
"The new flavor is expected to be sold primarily as a novelty during the election campaign. It will not be sold through grocers and will only be kept in very limited quantities of pint containers at Ben & Jerry's retail locations.
With a self-satisfied smirk on his face, Ben returned to the room following a 10 minute absence. "Damn," he said. "I didn't realize I left my folder in here - hope you didn't have time to read it and take notes," he laughed.
When pressed for additional details, Cohen did say that they were absolutely serious about bringing the new flavor to market. "Every dime that we make on this will be donated to Don Imus or something but to be honest, this ice cream is terrible and I don't think we're going to be selling a whole lot of it."
When told of Ben & Jerry's plans, White House spokesman Ken Lisaius said that while Mr. Bush is an avid ice cream eater, he will probably give his namesake flavor a pass. "I think that the President would veto this one."
Undeterred, Ben Cohen is moving ahead with his plans. "I think we have the necessary two-thirds majority to overturn that veto," said Cohen. He then produced a pint of the ice cream in question from the hotel mini-bar refrigerator. "Do you want to try it?" he asked, "it really is foul stuff."