With all the uproar over the Rodin exhibit at the Museum of Art, I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that I am writing a column about ice cream. Specifically, about the Ben & Jerry’s situation at Smith’s.
Ben & Jerry’s, as you know, is by far the best ice cream ever created by human beings without the aid of witchcraft. It is well-documented that the reason the Israelites loved their manna so much was that it tasted like Chunky Monkey. Separately, I don’t care much for Ben or Jerry, but together, they make my taste buds stand up and rejoice.
So whenever I go shopping, I buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup. It’s rather expensive, but it’s OK, because I only go shopping about once a quarter anyway.
I know it’s uncharacteristic of me to wander off on tangents, but I would like to explain why I never go shopping. It’s because I never cook. This, in turn, is because I’m so terribly lazy, and besides, I’m always too hungry to cook. If I had the foresight to know that at 6 p.m. I’m going to be hungry so I should start preparing something beforehand, that would be one thing, but I lack such vision. Besides, it’s such a hassle to cook. First I got lazy to the point that I would only cook food that could be microwaved. Then, I got so lazy that I would only cook food that didn’t need any preparation at all — fast food or things out of boxes or cellophane. Bologna sandwiches also fell into this category, but only if I didn’t put any condiments on them.
Now I’ve gotten so lazy that I won’t cook, I won’t microwave, I won’t even open packages. I only want food that is completely ready to eat. Even fast food is too much effort, because I’m not about to get off my lazy rear and go pick it up. The only thing I can eat now is pizza, because they’ll bring it right to me. They’ll even take my credit card number over the phone, which I have memorized, so I don’t even have to stand up or find my wallet. Within a year I’ll be to the point where I’ll only eat food if someone puts it in my mouth and helps me chew it and then massages my throat until I swallow. I am pretty sure that the newspaper articles concerning my death, whenever that is, will contain the words “neighbors,” “unusual odor,” and “fire department.”
Anyway, the conflict in our story comes a few weeks ago, when Smith’s had a sale on Ben & Jerry’s. Perhaps you recall that over the summer, Smith’s underwent a major, Wilkinson Center-style renovation, the end result of which was that everything was moved to a different part of the store, and the prices were raised. Maybe they thought we wouldn’t notice the price thing. Maybe they hoped that after we’d gone through all the trouble of finding the Pop-Tarts in their new location, we wouldn’t realize that they now cost 10 cents more than they used to. That’s progress, I guess.
Anyway, while the renovation process was going on, they did their best to make the store presentable, but they occasionally failed. The hours between midnight and 6 a.m. were particularly disastrous, as this was the time that the notoriously prankish Box Pixies would come out from hiding and strew boxes all over the aisles. Add to this all the construction, and you sometimes had quite a mess. (Of course, it still wasn’t as bad as the Food 4 Less late-night scene, where shoppers are regularly maimed by forklifts operated by the guys from your high school auto shop class.)
Anyway (that’s the key word in this column), one night during the renovation I went to do my quarterly shopping at Smith’s. It was about 2 a.m., but the aisles that were being worked on at the moment had been cleared, and the products had been temporarily moved somewhere else. I had no problem finding anything until I came to an important item on my list: CORNDOGS.
Corndogs are a major staple of my diet, as they provide important nutrients from two food groups. The outside part provides “corn,” from the fruits and vegetables group, and the hot dog itself provides essential vitamins and minerals from the eyelashes and toenails group. I certainly could not leave Smith’s without purchasing a box of frozen corndogs.
Well, the aisle that contained the corndogs was blocked off at both ends, and the corndogs had not been relocated. I could see them, beyond the barricades, staring out and taunting me from the freezer window. Needless to say, the Box Pixies were of no help. In frustration, I finally just left my cart in the aisle and went to Food 4 Less instead, where I obtained the corndogs and escaped with minor injuries.
The point of this is to establish that my relationship with Smith’s was already less-than-satisfactory, and the Ben & Jerry’s incident, which I’m sure I will be discussing shortly, didn’t help any.
I’m a member of Smith’s exclusive “Fresh Values” club, wherein you give them your name and address and in return you get a card that gets you discounts on selected products, and which also enables them to trace your whereabouts via radar. The card has proven quite handy insofar as it has saved me a great deal of money on products that I would not have purchased at all had they not been on sale.
Imagine my great excitement, then, when I saw an ad in the paper mentioning that Ben & Jerry’s was to be on sale for “Fresh Values” members only! The regular price was $3.09 ($2.99 before the renovation), but now, for a limited time only, it was going for $1.99! I was more excited than I have ever been in my entire life. I jumped in my car, Pedro, and sped down to Smith’s to take advantage of this fine offer before they thought better of it.
Imagine my great disappointment, then, when I arrived in time to discover that I was not the only one who had been made privy to this juicy tidbit of information. All of the Ben & Jerry’s was gone, except for the nasty flavors like Coffee Crunch and Gravel ‘n’ Mint.
The point of all this, I think, is that I really like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and that I’m not always completely thrilled with Smith’s, and that I really don’t care very much whether the museum shows sculptures of naked people or not.