Ice Cream

It’s not easy being green.  I know this phrase has become trite over the years but I’m old enough to remember when Kermit the Frog said it for the first time.  Of course lately it is used to illustrate how difficult it is to be environmentally conscious, and as with many topics I have a story about that.

l wanted to get ice cream.  The problem is that I really like chocolate malts, and they’re served in a styrofoam cup with a plastic spoon.  Two bad things to throw away.  Boo. A couple scoops in a sugar cone is much greener; I would just discard the wrapper around the cone, plus maybe a paper napkin.

But here’s the deal:  I’ve often doubted my cone-eating prowess and I now have confirmation that I’m just not that coordinated.

One thing to keep in mind is that generally people prefer ice cream when it’s hot outside.  But if you have something that’s frozen, and the outside temperature is in the 80s then it tends to melt.  Like, really quickly.  I do know that much about physics. I feel there is a smaller window of opportunity when consuming an ice cream cone, compared with other frozen confections.

I guess they didn’t hear me when I ordered two scoops; I ended up with three. (I kind of wondered why it was so expensive.)  I’m certainly not complaining at having an abundance of lactose but it did present an additional handicap of having more than I expected, when even a normal amount was challenging enough to eat within the given time and temperature parameters.

Scene:  Me with ginormous ice cream cone, trying to remove myself from the hot parking lot to find some green space to savor my treat.  I am trying to coordinate walking and licking in a circular pattern around the cone so that the dessert does not drip down to my elbows and get wasted.

I guess this configuration of factors just wasn’t humorous enough because then it started raining. And my nose was running. I had to eat this thing so fast I could barely taste it which is sort of the opposite point of having ice cream in the first place. It occurred to me that an afternoon outing for some sugary goodness shouldn’t be stressful. I felt sure I would end up featured on one of those internet memes with the caption: “You’re doing it wrong.”

But what are my options? I guess I could take the styrofoam bowl and recycle it later, assuming that the recycling place accepts styrofoam. Do I bring my own bowl and try to convince them to fill it, health codes aside? Should I wait until it’s cold enough to wear a coat to get ice cream, at which point I would most likely drip it on my gloves and then have to wash them? Or do I only get ice cream from the grocery store—while more economical, I do miss out on the opportunity to support a local business. Then there’s this issue of the carton disposal, unless I get the huge tub in the reusable container (which is pretty cool since it has a handle).

(I bet you’re wondering what happens when I try to order a pizza. Actually that’s pretty straightforward—order pizza, consume, recycle box. Notice I did not include the step of “finish leftovers” because there usually aren’t any.)

If I were to cease my treks to the local ice cream stand, deciding that the drama that accompanies cones was not worth the hassle then I would not have stories like these to tell. I guess I would have to find something else to write about about because “I recycled a bowl” just isn’t that interesting.

But the fact remains that even if you are inadequately dressed for the cold rain, and you have fluid running out of your nasal cavity, and your forearms are sticky with a signature homemade flavor, and you’re trying to not get hit by a car while all this is happening—you’re still eating ice cream. Outside. On a summer day. And that’s a good thing, and a happy ending to any story.