While members of the U.S. Senate may be adversaries on the Senate floor, behind the scenes they often indulge in a more friendly rivalry, promoting a home state product or team. Before the 2001 Super Bowl game, I wagered on the outcome with the senators from Massachusetts, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.
If the St. Louis Rams won the game, they owed me a lobster dinner. On the other hand, if the New England Patriots won, I’d pay up with a St. Louis favorite, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.
Upon hearing of my offer, Kerry said to me, “What the hell’s frozen custard?”
I assured him that it was edible and that he should familiarize himself with this Midwest delicacy before considering a bid for the presidency. He said it appeared to him that a mere dish of ice cream was not equivalent to a New England lobster. I boasted that he would change his mind about that—in the unlikely event the Rams lost.
As it turned out, I had to “eat my words” rather than the lobster dinner. On payoff day, we gathered for the tasting of the custard. I got this great photograph of Kerry and Kennedy timidly testing the creamy mixture that had been packed in dry ice and shipped to Washington for the occasion. They loved it!
Still, their New England pride would not let them admit that Missouri custard could compete with Massachusetts lobster. It was a priceless moment.