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LAP Investigates: The Ice Cream Shoppe

issue #7

Here at LAP, we keep our finger on the pulse of all the latest controversies and sources of political discord. Perhaps the most significant and polarizing issue facing the modern world has come to a head recently, and in an unprecedented exposé, we’ve gone undercover at the very source of the conflict—no, not Ukraine—the local ice cream shoppe.

One weekend afternoon, when the weather was forecasted to be hot, but not so hot you want to take off all of your clothes and sit in the air conditioning like the Coca-Cola bear in his trailer on a fifteen minute break, LAP correspondents donned jorts and a tee shirt they didn’t care about spilling ice cream on and breached the ice cream shoppe fortress to get a first-hand look at cone prejudice.

Cone prejudice has been taking place in neighborhood ice cream parlors for decades, but with the pro-bowl pundits staking their claim in the ice cream world and with the up-and-coming waffle bowl party quickly gaining momentum, LAP knew that now was the perfect moment to investigate this historic cone clash.

Blending in amidst a grass-stained little league team celebrating its fifth consecutive loss, a group of mothers desperate to silence their spawn for ten minutes, a few couples on dates, and a group of teenagers who were hoping no one would see them there, LAP witnessed the complexities of the cutthroat cone arena.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.16.58 AMThe first few ice cream orders seemed innocuous: one woman ordered a soft serve vanilla cone, a young man asked for two scoops of mint chocolate chip in a waffle cone, but things quickly became heated when a young woman requested three scoops of cake batter in a cone, but also asked for a spoon.

Masquerading as an ordinary ice cream enthusiast, one LAP correspondant quietly confronted the woman about her choices.

LAP: I see you have a cone and a spoon. What’s the purpose of that? Does it make it taste better?

Spoonie Luv: Oh, I don’t know that it makes it taste better, but it just makes it more manageable. Cones can get messy! Besides, I don’t want anyone to see me licking my ice cream.

LAP: So, why didn’t you just get a bowl if you’re using a spoon anyway?

Spoonie Luv: Well, I still want to eat the cone, of course!

Fascinating. It appeared that cone moderates were nervous about being completely alienated from the pro-bowl population. Oddly enough, in using a spoon this young, naïve woman was only showcasing her internalized ice cream cone shame; it’s common knowledge that the prospect of public ice cream fellatio is the most widely accepted tenet of cone ideology—not far behind completely freaking out when a structurally compromised cone starts leaking from the bottom.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.14.56 AMOur spoon analysis was cut short by something truly shocking: instead of getting a spoon with his cone, one gentleman had taken it a step further and actually dumped his ice cream cone into a bowl upside-down.

LAP: Sir, I see you’ve taken a lovingly scooped ice cream cone and mushed it in a bowl, what happened here?

Cone bowler: Eating an ice cream cone is such a pain what with holding the cone upright and keeping the ice cream from melting down the sides… It’s easier this way.

LAP: Sure, I understand. Why not just get a bowl?

Cone bowler: I suppose I could… But I still want to eat the cone.

It seemed the cone ambivalent were well-represented at the ice cream shoppe today, but at the counter our first cone dissenter had appeared, grimacing in disgust when the cashier asked if she wanted a waffle cone or a bowl.

Bowl betrothed: BOWL!!!! NO CONE. BOWL.

LAP: You really prefer the cup to the cone?

Bowl betrothed: Oh yeah, I don’t need any extra calories.

LAP: Oh. Has it occurred to you that the bowl you’re getting is still going to be filled with ice cream?

LAP was at risk for completely blowing its cover, so our investigators decided to observe the goings-on at a few tables with people who had already begun eating their ice cream. One little girl was proudly eating her bubblegum ice cream from the confounding waffle bowl—perhaps the most contentious of all methods of ice cream delivery. Ah, the innocence of youth.

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 5.43.41 AMLAP: That looks yummy! Don’t you like cones, though?

Tiny bowl activist: Yessss! ESPECIALLY IF THERE ARE SPRINKLES!!!!!!!!

LAP: Okay, but why did your mommy get you a bowl made of cone ingredients? Does she not love you?

Tiny bowl activist: I’m gonna eat the bowl all up.

LAP: But couldn’t you have done the exact same thing with a cone, perhaps more effectively?

Tiny bowl activist: I like spoons.

Clearly, LAP and this tiny activist had reached an impasse. There’s no reasoning with some of these radicals.

LAP left the ice cream shoppe that day with more questions than answers. It’s clear that most people want to eat a cone, but many are hesitant to venture out into the cone-loving world without the familiar security of a spoon in their hand. It’s clear we still have a long way to come, but at LAP we’re optimistic that someday we might live in a world where people will order a bowl of ice cream and ask to dump it in a cone.

If only cone lovers and bowl enthusiasts could realize what they have in common–not eating ice cream with their fingers like a barbarian–perhaps we could finally scoop together some understanding.



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About Katie (16 Articles)
Katie Hoffman is a writer living in the suburbs of Chicago. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @bykatiehoffman.

42 Comments on LAP Investigates: The Ice Cream Shoppe

  1. Yes, bread bowl gone dessert. The spoon more carefully manages the drip pattern on the T-shirt, too, in my life, Katie.


    • I’m very much pro-cone. It can be tricky, and sometimes it doesn’t go as planned, but I think it’s worth it in the end.


  2. At least it was real ice cream and not frozen yogurt. I mean, if my only option is frozen yogurt, I ain’t gonna pass it up. But when compared to ice cream, it is NOTHING.


    • AGREED. If I know I’m going to a froyo only establishment, I’ll be satisfied, but if you get anything other than ice cream at an ice cream place, you’re doing it wrong.


  3. This made me laugh so hard! I love your style of writing, and the spoon/cone dilemma is a constant struggle in my life. So is going outside when it’s above 74 degrees….


  4. The Cone Bowler is my arch nemesis….


  5. I’m loving the bowl made out of cone! I always feel under quite a time pressure with a cone, it can drip down the outside, it can sometimes drip out of the bottom, this bowl cone seems a good answer and definitely better than just a bowl because eating a regular bowl really hurts your teeth I find. I do think this cone bowl would benefit by being lined with a layer of chocolate though, that would help with ensuring the ice-cream didn’t make the cone go soggy and leak before you get to eat it.


    • I suppose there is a bit of a rush when you’re eating from a cone, but aren’t you in a rush in general because it’s ice cream and is quickly turning into soup? I fully admit I inhale my food, but I thought eating it as quickly as possible was just common ice cream etiquette.

      Though I can’t argue with covering the bowl in chocolate. That might be what it takes to make it worth it.


      • Yes, I agree, a certain amount of rush is necessary, especially if you’re eating it outside on a sunny day, but I want the rush to result in no dripping, I don’t want to rush AND have dripping ya know?


  6. Yes to cones with spoons! It’s nice to be able to moderate the amount of ice cream to cone ratio with every bite.


    • It just seems so unnatural to me. if you have a cone in your hand, you’re eating with your mouth. That’s just the way the world works.


  7. Cone only is the green choice, surely? All those little disposable spoons mount up in landfills across the globe. Spooners are just environmentally irresponsible. Unless feeding ice cream to a toddler, when the spoon off-sets the number of baby wipes necessary to mope up a cone-only mess.


    • Cone only is the clear winner for me. The mess, the rush–I don’t care. I’m going for it. There aren’t many foods where it’s socially acceptable to only use your mouth. If we all start sticking spoons in our cones, pretty soon that’ll become the only socially-acceptable method of ice cream consumption.

      And great point about the spooners being environmentally irresponsible! I agree!


  8. I had to google jorts. Thank you for my “learn something new every day” moment.


  9. Now I want ice-cream…


  10. If all those people want is just a cone to eat, I’m gonna start my own cone store and just sell cones. And I’m going to put them right next to the ice cream stores and freeze all their profits! – Mr. Freeze


  11. kathyzeman // May 29, 2014 at 2:45 pm //

    Journalism at its best.


  12. Cone bowlers are frustrating. The only legitimate reason for cone bowling is to keep a child from wearing his ice cream when his cone is melting faster than he can eat.

    Ice cream cones are the enemy of facial hair.


    • Definitely. With kids, pretty much anything goes with the cone/bowl combo. I can’t speak to the facial hair thing (not that I would admit it even if I could), but I could see how that would be challenging. I find that there a lot of men that are just anti-cone. I think a lot of guys think it’s effeminate.


  13. Spoon. I also like a certain kind of cone but not sure what type it is – they’re cylindrical, sometimes with metal around the top edge, and usually made of cardboard… what are those?


  14. I prefer the ice cream sandwich. Didn’t see that coming did ya!?!


  15. I could go for some ice cream cone fellatio right about now. So like, do you have to eat it from the top or the bottom? Or is eating it from the bottom a different thing?


  16. My God! How did you manage to interview Spoonie Luv, who is obviously my supervisor at work, while I was walking with her and trying just as hard to crack open what she considered to be perfectly sound ice cream-eating logic? Or am I secretly you? Did I write this article? Your picture doesn’t look like me, so… Eh, stupid ice cream headaches.

    Seriously, I was that close to grabbing her cone away, licking away all the excess ice cream that her spoon was totally inadequate to keep from dripping all over, and give it back to her. Because I love her and want her to understand how to eat coned ice cream. Is “coned” a word? It is to me.

    For myself, I rarely patronize parlors, but when I do, I go the Bowl route – albeit not screaming in all caps at the counterpeople for one – because I prefer ice cream that’s melted just enough to be like a shake. When it gets to that point, I stir it up well, then drink it.

    Don’t judge me!!


  17. Spoons all the way. Because if you try to put hot fudge on a cone, it just runs off.


  18. Thank Dog you’re out there fighting the good fight for the rest of us, Katie Hoffman.
    Well done.


  19. I’m not a political person so I won’t take a public stand on this important issue, but I know the entire world appreciates your efforts to raise our consciousness about the important issues of the day.
    By the way, is today Saturday? Oh good. I think I’ll go get some ice cream.


  20. Funny interviews. Tiny bowl activist was the best! I prefer my ice cream in shake form, so cup and straw. I literally suck. Thanks for the laughs!


  21. Once I discovered waffle cones it was cones all the way for me. Those light, papery cones they had when I was a kid always crumbled and broke and more often then not ended up with the pavement getting the ice cream.


  22. Hilarious! I want them all now! 🙂


  23. What fresh hell is this? I’ve never seen anyone make such horrible decisions. The best thing about ice cream shoppes is that you can consume every single thing they give you– I’m just thinking of the environment here.


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