Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hope Springs Eternal

Normally I like chocolate, but I don't really love it any more than I love other sugary delights. However, there are certain times when hormones dictate that chocolate is the most important and essential food on earth. Today was one of those times, and the only thing that could fulfill my craving was heapin' helpin' of Baskin Robbins rocky road ice cream.

You'd think that would be a simple cure, right? In most of the country it would be. Unfortunately, here in the Kissimmee Tourist Corridor, the closest Baskin Robbins to Celebration is also a bastion of confusion where I've never...literally never...had a smooth transaction.

I'm not talking about simple errors, like counting out the wrong change or starting to scoop the wrong flavor. Oh, no, that sort of faux pas is much to simple for my local ice cream shop. Here's an example of the sort of insanity that awaits an innocent ice cream shopper:

I once went into the shop and requested a pint of ice cream. After a lengthy search, the clerk informed me that they were all out of pint containers. Now, I know they weigh the pints rather than relying on container size, so I asked to confirm that and the clerk said yes, that's true. Next, I asked, "So can't you just put a pint's worth of ice cream into a quart container?"

I could hear Jeopardy music playing faintly in the background as that concept slowly sunk in. Finally the clerk agreed and weighed me up a pint of my preferred frozen indulgence. Then he brought it to the register and rang it up at the quart price! Seriously, in the two seconds it takes you to walk from the freezer to the cash register, how can you forget how much ice cream you just scooped up?

That was just the culmination of a series of Three Stooge-like shopping experiences, and after that I pretty much gave up on Baskin Robbins ice cream. But they say hope springs eternal, and today, in a hormone fueled frenzy, I decided to take a chance.

My husband rolled his eyes knowingly when I said, "It's been a long, long time. Surely there can be one day when I get ice cream here and things actually go smoothly."

My hope soared even higher when I entered the store and discovered that I was the only customer. Normally, I'm the victim of some big screw-up after waiting for at least half a dozen other customers to go through their own screw-ups. My order was very simple: a two scoop sundae with rocky road and pralines and cream ice cream and marshmallow sauce.

The first indication of trouble was, "We're all out of marshmallow till the truck comes tomorrow." I told myself, "Okay, I can deal with that. I'll just order hot fudge."

The second indication was when the clerk couldn't get any sauce to come out of the dispenser. Then she said she had to heat it up so it would take a few minutes. Okay, it's pretty bizarre when an ice cream shop has been open for several hours, yet apparently never turned on the hot fudge heater, but I could deal with that too.

The minutes ticked away, but when the clerk tried again, the fudge still wasn't budging. She finally got someone else who I think pumped it out with a combination of muscle strength and sheer force of will. By now, the sauce wasn't all that appetizing to me, but I was in too deep. I could only watch helplessly as a thick, gooey string of brown glop was laced onto my sundae.

In the meantime, several other people had come into the shop, and they milled around impatiently while the hot fudge drama played out in front of them. I sympathized, as I was normally in their position. At least today I got my abuse without having to wait for it.

As I ate my sundae, I discovered there was nothing "hot" about the fudge. Somehow I doubt that fudge dispenser actually works like it's supposed to. I ate around the solidified sauce and took comfort in the fact that my rocky road and pralines and cream were as good as usual.

I supposed it will be a long time before I try that shop again. I'm sure an "again" will come because hope does indeed spring eternal. They say the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results, so I may just be certifiable by the time I give up on fulfilling my Baskin Robbins cravings.

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