Ice cream and idiots make for a stupid summer

    Being around ice cream is kind of like when you meet The Sexiest Actor Alive in the supermarket: It looks really good, but it turns you into a stumbling, bumbling, not-even-close-to-being-sexy idiot.

    When I got a part-time job at a frozen yogurt shop near my apartment, I had three goals in mind:

    To get free ice cream.

    To earn a little extra cash (with which to buy ice cream).

    To get free ice cream with free toppings on it.

    I have since added an objective to my list: To not kill the next person who asks me what the fat-free flavors are.

    You see, there are seven yogurt machines, each of which holds a separate frozen yogurt flavor. Two of the machines are always full of fat-free flavors, which are always chocolate and vanilla. And because the owner of the establishment actually thought that the people who come in would be more intelligent than your average pile of shit, the names of the flavors are right there on the machines, in peppy, bright letters. And right there, right underneath the words “”chocolate”” and “”vanilla,”” is a sign that says “”Fat Free.””

    These are not S.A.T. words, people. A five-year-old could read them. There is no reason for anyone to ask what the fat-free flavors are. But this is what always happens:

    An idiot comes in. Call it a sixth sense if you will, but I can always tell which ones the idiots are. What can I say? — I have a gift.

    Anyway, this idiot will squint (even though the signs are two feet from the counter) at the frozen yogurt machines for a couple of minutes, looking confused and, well, idiotic.

    Idiot: “”So, what flavors does this frozen yogurt come in?””

    Me (smiling sweetly, being the patient, loving person that I am): “”They’re right there on the machines.””

    Idiot (nodding nonchalantly): “”Riiiiiight. But which are fat free?””

    Me (still patient and loving): “”The ones right under the sign that says, ‘Fat Free.'””

    Idiot (really excited): “”Oh yum! Peanut butter and strawberry!””

    Me (not as loving, but still smiling — I really want a tip here): “”No. Vanilla and chocolate. Those are always the fat-free flavors.””

    Idiot (no longer excited, glaring at me accusingly): “”Oh no, I don’t think so. Last week it was orange and caramel.””

    Me (this person better give me a lot of extra money, because I am still smiling): “”No. It’s always chocolate and vanilla.””

    Idiot (not believing a word of it): “”Are you sure?””

    Me (my face really hurts): “”Positive.””

    Idiot (ready to pig out): “”OK, I want a large strawberry.””

    I deal with these people all day. These are the people running the big businesses of San Diego. The same morons who can’t read a damn frozen yogurt flavor sign are the CEOs of Microsoft.

    But, to be fair, ice cream makes me stupid, too. One of my jobs (besides being nice to illiterate dieters) is to clean the yogurt machines and change the non-fat-free flavors (because, as we have established, the fat-free ones never change).

    Surprisingly, I don’t deal with machinery as well as I do with people. I know what you’re thinking: How can that be? I am so amicable! But it’s true.

    I am the kind of person who can’t work a toaster without reading the instruction manual — front-to-back — at least four times. Then I will burn the toast anyway, so I’ll call 1-800-TOAST-IT, the toll-free toast help line. Then I’ll electrocute myself trying to get new bread in, which will remind me that I don’t even like toast.

    So being in charge of machines that actually turn goo (yes, that is a very technical ice cream term) into frozen yogurt probably isn’t a good idea.

    One night, after making a brand new batch of cookies ‘n cream, I realized that the machine was broken. I discovered this after 15 minutes of pulling the handle and not getting anything out. Yeah, that took 15 minutes.

    So I called the manager.

    Me (trying not to sound alarmed, even though six Jenny Craig patients just ordered cookies ‘n cream): “”Ben, the machine is broken!””

    Ben (annoyed because he was trying to get into his girlfriend’s pants at the time): “”Did you put the flavor in?””

    Me (realizing that Jenny Craig customers are scary): “”Yes! Cookies ‘n cream!””

    Ben (trying not to show that he is impressed with my flavor): “”Did you put the suction hose in the bucket?””

    Me (God, these people are going to eat me): “”Yes! Into the cookies ‘n cream bucket!””

    Ben (holding back his praise): “”OK, did you close the door?””

    Me (wondering if I should throw Reeses Pieces at the Jenny Craig-ers to keep them at bay): “”The cookies ‘n cream door?””

    Ben (horny and pissed by now): “”Dammit Carrie, get over the cookies ‘n cream.””

    Me (really disappointed that Ben isn’t into Oreos): “”Yes, I shut the door.””

    Ben’s girlfriend must have given up on him at that point, because he really started to focus.

    Ben (is that his teeth I hear grinding?): “”Carrie, did you turn the machine on?””


    Me (light bulb going on over my head): “”OK, bye Ben!”” (Turning to the Jenny Craig people happily) “”It’s OK guys! I’m going to turn the yogurt on now!””

    I bet Ben was saying the same thing to his girlfriend right about then.

    So basically, if you eat ice cream, you’re an idiot. If you work with ice cream, you’re an idiot who gets free dessert. And if you ask me what the fat-free flavors are, I will shove a waffle cone up your ass.

    And then I will turn your yogurt on.

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