She looked at me. I looked at her. As I sauntered about the ice cream shop with an itchy spoon finger, her eyes never broke their steely connection to me.
After a few minutes of intense deliberation, I went ahead with what I thought would be a simple transaction.
Me: I’ll have a scoop of the Birmingham Mud and a scoop of the salted caramel. In a cup.
Scoop girl (SG): Our scoops are pretty big. You probably don’t want two. I can do half scoops in a single cup.
The music stopped. I raised my head and stared directly into her soul. Would this dairy jockey suggest Kobayashi couldn’t finish two hot dogs? Did she not know who I am, San Francisco’s legendary Ice Cream Guzzler, the man constantly annoying friends, family and loved ones with my insatiable desire for ice cream at all hours?
Me: I think I can handle it.
SG: Are you sure? Our scoops are huge.
Me: Thanks for the warning, miss. I can handle it. In fact, put it in a waffle cup.
Several onlookers gasped and scurried away as I dipped my hand into my pocket. I was prepared to shoot…a picture of this quaint little shop because I take pictures of all the ice cream places I go to. That right there tells you I enjoy me some ice cream, and that I’m slightly pathetic.
SG: I mean, it has to go in this big plastic bowl. See, it’s big.
Me: Back where I come from, we don’t stop until the quart is empty. And then we order another quart.
SG: OK, sir, whatever you say.
Me: If you don’t stop yapping, you’ll be pouring some hot fudge and whip cream all over that frozen mountain of joy. Are you understanding me?
SG: You’re scaring me. My dad will be here soon to pick me up.
Me: I’m going to drop a couple of those peanut butter cookies on that just to show you what’s what. What do you think of that?
SG: I think I’d just like you to please pay for your ice cream, sir, and enjoy it. Please, just don’t weird me out any more.
Me: You bet I will, missy. You bet I will.
With that I gave a halfhearted salute and wandered out into the Michigan night with my melting masterpiece in tow. That’s one sixteen-year-old girl who will never again mess with my disgustingly enormous capacity for ice cream consumption.
I’m sorry you had to learn the hard way, sister. Until we meet again. And we will; oh, we will.