Tuesday, April 25, 2006

No Excuses

the three amigos
Originally uploaded by eatsdirt.
It was free cone day at Ben and Jerry's stores across America today. This garnered a small amount of media attention on what must have been an otherwise slow news day.

Every year when I hear about free cone day, I think about the best and worst excuse in the entire world.

I was in college, visiting my friend at the University of Greensboro. Greensboro, N.C. is not without its charms, but it also has no shortage of heroin addicts, shady massage parlor and "health spas" and an extremely gregarious selection of street characters.

Greensboro is ground zero for the tobacco industry, and many stores sell individual cigarettes for maybe a quarter apiece. It is entirely likely that when someone asks you for change to get a cigarette, he is going to spin around and do exactly that as soon as you give him the quarter.

At least, the Marinator always did. The Marinator kept one cigarette behind his ear at all times. Whenever he got another one, he would take the cigarette from behind his ear, light it, and replace it with the fresh cigarette.

It was the kind of afternoon where you have to drive the temperature instead of the speed limit. The hot dog's breath of southern summer had not yet kicked in, but two bottles of Thunderbird had. Eric and I were draped in full effect over the park bench in front of the Ben and Jerry's, idly discussing the concept of an ice cream cone.Ben and Jerry's
The Marinator hustled out of the alleyway like he was late to work, barely saying "a-ight, fellas" on his way into the ice cream store. We sat up, ready for action.

The scene played itself out in silent pantomime. The Marinator was pleading at the counter with hands clasped and slumped, humble posture. The clerk shook his head slowly, resolutely, saying No.

The Marinator grew agitated, hopping up and gesticulating wildly. He was shouting, but we couldn't hear a damn thing. He pounded on the counter with his fist, marched up to his favorite flavor and punched the glass in front for emphasis. The clerk shouted back, pointing to the door. Cords stuck out of his pink neck. People came out of the back.

The Marinator made to split, then did a wicked pump-fake and bum-rushed the man behind the counter. Two guys from the back grabbed him and frog-marched him to the street, kicking and silently howling behind the thick glass.

They shoved him into the road and jerked the door shut behind him, locking it. One clerk grabbed the phone and quickly dialed.

The Marinator bounced off the pavement like he had a rubber ass. He smoothed his hair, touched the cigarette behind his ear and looked at us for a second, shrugging. Then he did a rapid about-face and screamed at the store, shouting,

"Motherfuckers! I was SICK on free cone day!"


At 8:09 PM, Blogger Needtsza said...

I can't believe I fucking missed Free Cone Day.


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