That's it folks, wrap it up. Pack it in. Summer is over before it's even begun.
In what can only be described as a salt-in-the-wounds blow, the straw that broke the camel's back, it has emerged this morning that there is a shortage of 99 Flakes in Ireland, thus threatening the existence of the most famous of ice-cream treats on these shores.
Those familiar with the ice-cream industry have expressed fears that 99 cone enthusiasts may be left wanting by mid-June.
During a time where so much is uncertainty, the 99 cone remains an enduring symbol of the Irish summertime. It comes in many iterations: vanilla ice-cream melting down the hands of children who can barely carry the cone under its weight, or a forgotten cone smashed on a pavement after tragedy strikes, or perhaps a quick stop in the petrol station on the way home from work for a treat, windows down and summer hits blaring as you ponder over the eternal choice – start with the flake, or leave it until the end?
To have this stripped away from us is just another cruel twist of faith as we trudge through the pandemic. To have it taken just at the exact moment the majority of us will get our vaccines and enter the real world again, well, that's just a low blow we won't put up with.
Between a shortage of flakes and a widespread weather app conspiracy, it really feels like someone is trying to ruin what little semblance of a summer that we might have: without bags of cans outside or by the canal, and monster 99 ice-cream cones, there is little to distinguish the summer months from all the rest. Is nothing sacred?
A spokesperson for Mondalez, multinational owner of 99 Flake producer Cadbury's, said "We are seeing a recent increase in demand for our Cadbury 99 Flake in Ireland. The product is still available to order and we’re continuing to work closely with our customers."
It seems now the fate of our summer is out of our hands. The nation holds its breath.