“Hi, welcome to Frost Top! How are you doing today?”
“I’m doing fine, how about yourself?”
“I’m pretty good. What can I get for you today?”
“Mmm, how about that Peanut Butter Cup Perfection?”
“Okay, what size would you like? Like It, Love It, or Gotta Have It?”
“Give me the…Love It, I guess.”
“Okay, would you like a waffle bowl or cone, or just the cup?”
“I’ll have a waffle bowl.”
“Plain or dipped in chocolate?”
“Dipped in chocolate.”
“Do you want plain chocolate, almonds, sprinkles, or coconut on that waffle?”
“Man, too many choices! Um, almonds.”
Take about 8 ounces of chocolate ice cream and a chocolate-and-almond-covered waffle bowl over to the marble slab. Throw into the ice cream one Reese’s peanut butter cup, a spoonful of peanut butter, and about an ounce of chocolate fudge (two figure eights). Do the mixing (don’t mash it, the individual ingredients should be apparent), throw it into the waffle with a spoon and give it to the customer. Be sure to make some chit-chat with the customer all the while, talk about the weather, tell some jokes, see what their day was like (don’t worry about how boring their or your life is). Hit pound, your clerk number, pound, Love It Signature Dipped button, don’t forget to ask if they want any drinks—no?—then hit total.
“That’ll be $6.34 please, sir.”
He gives you a twenty, hit the twenty button and give him his change. He tips you one dollar to get you to sing. (Try not to remember that after the tips are divided up that you are singing for a quarter, like a street performer). Sing to the tune of the Oompa Loompa song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:
Frost Top Ice Cream, isn’t it good?
Waffle cones and mix-ins, get some you should
Eat it up and then get some more
We’ll see you tomorrow at our front door
He laughs and you say:
“Thank you. Have a great day!”
“All right you do the same.”
Repeat. Remember, if there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean.
Okay, so we’ve gotten through your basic training. You’ve got your visor, your apron, nametag, khaki pants, and oh good look at that haircut. Now that’s respectable. Looks like you’re ready to get out there and start selling some ice cream. Remember, don’t eat any ice cream unless you use one of your tickets. Don’t eat it here unless you’re on break and definitely don’t eat anything when you’re behind the counter (the damn health code, you know). I don’t know if the owner has told you this yet, but it’s pretty special that you have this job. When they built this place, they placed bible verses underneath the wallpaper. And then Sheila once had a dream that she came into the store and saw Jesus behind the counter serving ice cream, so take that as you will. I’m not saying you’re like Jesus for working here, but just consider what that means. Treat every person with respect, even if they don’t deserve it. Even if they treat you like their little monkey. If you ever encounter Mr. Saturday Night, be sure to treat him with extra care. He’s one of our best customers. Who’s Mr. Saturday Night? Don’t worry, you’ll know him once you’ve served him. He comes in every Saturday night and gets the same thing: a Gotta-Have-It size chocolate ice cream with peanuts, strawberries, peanut butter, and two Reese’s cups served in a to-go cup with no lid. And he always tips well, really well. Man, we were a little worried after the incident that he wouldn’t be coming back and he wasn’t for a while. But he started coming back about two weeks ago and we knew it was okay then. What incident? Well, I shouldn’t talk about it. You can ask someone else. I’ll just say it involved the guy you’re replacing and is the reason he no longer works here or lives outside of protective custody. Okay, has anyone shown you how to take a cake order yet?
Friday Night Shift Leader
What happened with Mr. Saturday Night? Oh you don’t even want me to get into that. Kevin was fucking crazy…nutso. He was always talking about Mr. Saturday Night, always trying to ask us shit about him. I was always like ‘Shit I don’t know anything about that guy. I don’t even know his name. He always just comes in here on Saturday nights and gets the same thing. Why the fuck do you care so much about him, you have the hots for him or something?’ and then he’d get all quiet and go in the back and do dishes or something. He was always doing dishes or cleaning something when we didn’t have customers. We’d always be chilling in the back or messing around up here and he’d just be scrubbing away at something. I don’t think he liked the rest of us, or he was just shy or something. But he always wanted the Saturday night shift and I always happened to get that shift with him so I saw the shit go down. At some point he would always just started claiming Mr. Saturday Night and rush to the counter to serve him. If Mr. Saturday Night was served by somebody else, Kevin would get all mad the rest of the night and just be a little asshole. I didn’t think it was anything crazy, though. He was just real interested in Mr. Saturday Night. Then that one Saturday that Kevin specifically requested off. I thought that I was going to get a break from him for once. But then he came in at 5:00 like it was his shift. But he didn’t go to the back or get changed or anything. He just sat at a table and waited. Didn’t say hi to any of us working that night or anything. Just sat there and waited. Then Mr. Saturday Night came, got his usual, ate it, and left. And Kevin left right after him. And that’s all I saw.
Yeah, I guess you could say I knew Kevin the best of anyone at this place. I don’t know, we were usually the only guys working so maybe he thought he could talk to me. What’d he say about Mr. Saturday Night? Well, he was first like just curious about the guy always wondering why he came here every week, whether he was married, divorced, whether he went to church. Then the questions just got more frequent, he started talking about the guy on weeknights, long after we had last seen him. He started making up these crazy-ass stories about Mr. Saturday Night: he used to be a serial killer and the ice cream helped him deal with that, he was divorced and the ice cream was the only thing he looked forward to, all this crazy shit. I didn’t work the night he followed Mr. Saturday Night home, but I heard about it. I worked with him the Friday night before and he was the worst I’d ever seen him. He talked the whole night about what he thought Mr. Saturday Night’s life was like. He said once that he was definitely going to find out, but I thought he was just going to ask the guy about his life, not follow him home. I don’t know what he found out about Mr. Saturday Night, but I hope it was worth it. I invited Kevin to my house once to play video games and he brought a poem for our English class with him that he wanted me to edit. It was about Mr. Saturday Night and it was pretty creepy. He just kept talking about how much he admired Mr. Saturday Night for finding joy in his routine or something like that. He left the poem at my house, you want to see it? It’s pretty sad. When’s the next time we work together? Yeah, I’ll bring it Monday.
From “Mr. Saturday Night” by Kevin Wilcox
My father goes to church on Saturday night.
Mr. Saturday Night comes to my place.
I say hello.
The normal words.
Saturday Night Special comes to mind.
I see his eyes,
He sees mine.
I mix it slowly
Wanting to give every element
Its place in the cream.
Some people mash it up, destroy everything.
I take care with him.
I ask him how his night goes.
I want to hear clues to his existence.
I want to hear the sadness.
I want to know a life more rote than mine.
But he smiles.
And he still smiles
When I ring him up
And undercharge him.
And he still smiles
When he sits alone and enjoys.
I wish I could smile like that.
And I wish I could…
Monday Afternoon Shift Leader
Hey, can you make four large strawberry milkshakes to go? What are you reading? Anyways, the milkshake guy called in again. And make sure those cups are as full as they can be, he said we shorted him last time. He tips like there’s no tomorrow so don’t worry about wasting ice cream; just make sure those cups are full.