Look, Cold Stone, we need to have a talk. We got off to a bad start, now, didn’t we?
Do you remember when we met?
It was a few years ago. Went to see a movie with Lauren, Hetal and Andrew and afterwards we stopped by your counter at the Phipps location. Hetal said you were all the rage. That we could choose any topping we wanted and that your people would chop it up into the ice cream on a marble slab. Never before have so many people uttered the words “marble slab.” You’ve improved our vocabulary, Cold Stone.
But I was too blind to see that then. I was focused on my needs and my needs only. And my needs, that night, involved an order so grotesque that little children screamed when I announced it.
“Adam don’t!” pleaded Hetal, Lauren and Andrew. “It’s not worth it!”
“No,” I insisted, “It will be delicious! Give me vanilla ice cream with Twix and strawberries.”
The hush that overwhelmed your station in the mall, Cold Stone, was palpable. Everyone stared as the counterman gulped and began assembling my creation. I must have been mad! And yet I was sincere. It did sound delicious to me at the time. You can understand that, can’t you Cold Stone? And after all: you offer both toppings to the consumer, don’t you? Might you accept some small share of responsibility?
Well suffice it to say that the first spoonful went down rough. I feigned delight but I was really–like the ice cream–melting on the inside. It was awful. I vowed never to see you again. Rash? Yes. But necessary. Who knows what I would attempt if I didn’t cut myself off? Pickles in chocolate? Cabbage in Coffee? I was in a very bad place back then.
Tonight, though, Lauren and I gazed upon you at your midtown location while we studied for the bar. Your shiny new surface beckoned to me. “Come,” you seemed to be whispering, “Come again, Adam, allay your fears. I am your friend! Won’t you embrace my marble slab?”
I echoed your words: “Won’t you embrace my marble slab?”
“Excuse me?” snapped Lauren.
“Let’s go to Cold Stone!” I said, and before I knew it we were inside.
Here, now, free from the memory of the Twix-Strawberry Disaster of 2001, I was like a kid in a candy story. So was Lauren:
We skipped around in diapers and yelled “Mommy mommy I wanna a lollipop!” until the manager came out and asked if he could help us.
I let Lauren go first. I listened carefully as she placed her order. One small misstep and our connection would be forever severed.
“Mudpie,” said Lauren choosing from a list of already assembled toppings and ice cream flavors. Hers would contain coffee ice cream, chocolate syrup and brownies. A noble choice, don’t you think? You’re so enigmatic, Cold Stone. It’s like your heart is a…cold…stone.
And now I was up to bat. What would I choose? How to pick? There were so many choices.
“Ahem,” said the counter person.
“Coconut cream pie!” I said, choosing a choice that seemed promising.
Lauren shook her head. “You always pick the weird ones,” she said.
But I caught a glimmer in your eye, Cold Stone. I knew I stumbled upon something great. I watched carefully as your men got to work on their marble slab:
Vanilla ice cream, graham cracker crumbs, coconut and whipped cream. You’re the devil, you are, Cold Stone.
I was handed my cup. I gazed nervoulsy inside:
Would we make it? Will the old wounds heal?
Oh and how, Cold Stone! It was delicious. All the flavors melding like the cast of Kate and Alley. A perfect assemblage by an ice cream genius. That’s right, Cold Stone, I’m calling you a genius. Well played, my friend. I’m back on board.