The Gelato Parlor
Shannon stood there, surveying the pans of different flavored gelato in the refrigerated case.
“Let me know if you’d like to try a sample of anything”, said a friendly voice from the other side of the case.
“OK, thanks–still deciding right now”, Shannon replied, not looking up. Then she noticed something odd.
“Yes, have you decided?”
“No, not yet. I just wanted to let you know,” she said as she leaned forward, subtly pointing down at the case, then whispered, “I think something’s wrong with your Chocolate Mousse Swirl. I think it’s moldy or something, it’s…fuzzy.”
The young man behind the case looked down, smiled, then looked back up at Shannon. “Oh, no–that’s the way it should look. That’s not Chocolate Mousse Swirl: It’s Chocolate Mouse Swirl.”
Shannon stifled a gag, then stammered, “Are you serious? But…who would–?”
Just then the bell attached to the parlor’s front door jingled. Shannon looked over, then looked down as a boa constrictor slithered its way inside.
“Humphrey! What’s up? You want the usual?” The man behind the case grabbed a waffle cone and scoop, dug out two huge mounds of Chocolate Mouse Swirl, plopped them into the cone, grabbed a paper bowl and tipped the cone upside down into the bowl, made his way out from behind the case, and set the bowl down in front of the snake. “Enjoy!”
Well that answers THAT, thought Shannon. She stood there watching Humphrey unhinge his jaw in preparation for devouring the gelato cone whole, when an older woman burst through the door holding a cone and pulling a chocolate Lab on a leash behind her. She made a beeline for the refrigerated case; the young man had taken his place behind it again, waiting for Shannon to order.
The older woman shook her cone at the young man. “What is IN THIS GELATO?!”
“What kind did you order, ma’am?”
“The Banana Almond Sliver.”
“Ohhhh…ma’am, I am so sorry. That flavor is actually Banana, Almonds, Liver. I thought you were buying it for your dog.”
“OH MY GOD!”
The woman hunched herself over the nearest waste basket and started melodramatically dry-heaving. She had let go of her dog’s leash, and he was running in circles around the parlor, howling.
The young man ran out from behind the case to comfort the woman. Shannon sat down amidst the chaos and thought some more.
She decided she was probably going to go with vanilla–no surprises there. And she was going to make sure the guy used a new, clean scoop.