Tuesday, June 30, 2020

We all scream.

Last night after dinner my wife looked at me with her doe eyes and said something like, “I’m in the mood for some ice cream.”

“There’s probably some in the fridge,” I mumbled.

“No, asshat,” she said lovingly “you finished it, remember?”

“My bad,” I dissembled.

“Why don’t you run down to the ice-cream shop and pick up a couple of pints?”

It wasn’t a request.

So, I threw a leash on Whiskey and decided to walk the two-miles to a little shop, or maybe it was a shoppe, we had seen by the side of the road, “Cows and Effect” I think its name was.

I got there just before they were about to close for the evening and I put on a mask and walked up to the window to order.

“Hi, I’d like a pint of blackberry swirl,” I said.

The white-hatted man behind the plexi pointed to a touch screen.

“That’s how you order,” he insisted.

“It’s just one pint. Can’t I just tell you what I want?”

He only laughed, turned and walked to the back to separate sprinkles by color.

“Can’t I just tell you what I want,” I repeated.

He walked back to the window and scowled at me.

“You have to get with the program,” he admonished. “Cows and Effect is not an ice-cream shop.”

“You do sell ice cream, yes?”

He ignored that.

“We’re not an ice cream shop,” he repeated. “We’re a technology company that sells frozen confection solutions.”


He pointed again at the touch screen.

“Frozen confection solutions?” I questioned.

“Well, by definition ice cream is cream, sugar, salt, flavoring and egg yolks. We also serve frozen yogurt, ice milk, gelato and ‘dippin’ dots.’ Frozen confection solutions is much more comprehensive. Ice cream, as a phrase, is elitist and exclusionary.”

“I see,” I lied.

I typed on the touch screen and ordered a pint of blackberry swirl. In a minute he was back with a quart of mint chip.

“That’s not what I wanted,” I said.

“You must have ordered wrong,” he answered. He turned abruptly and went to the back to sort different artisanal fudge sauces according to their cacao content and viscosity.

I walked slowly home, the mint chip dripping through the bag.

The frozen confection solution was a bit unfrozen by the time  my wife and I sat down to enjoy our dessert. But there’s nothing quite as delicious at the end of a hard day than a nice lukewarm bowl of technology.

Even if the whole experience did remind me a bit of when I worked in what used to be the advertising industry.

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