Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weird Signage

Weird signage #1

At Jeni's ice cream there is a small label affixed to the clear windows of the dipping cabinets. It reads:

"To maintain the clarity and beauty of your equipment please take care when cleaning. Use only clean water or a mild soap solution. Do not use harsh abrasives, chemicals, or gasoline as this may lead to CRAZING."

Gasoline?! CRAZING?!

Has anyone else ever heard of using gasoline to clean things with or more importantly has anyone ever heard of "Crazing."?

I think this company is just making stuff up.

Weird Sinage #2

On the way to Jacqui's work there is an billboard. On it is a menacing policeman pointing an accusatory finger out at passersby. The sign reads: "TURN THEM IN! Report littering and illegal dumping."

That's not necessarily the weird part, although it is a little off-putting to pointed at by a giant police officer every morning. The thing I find odd is the website dedicated to reporting offenders:


Was there no better name to be found than that? If I heard of that website I can't imagine what I would think it was for.

Seriously, nailadumper.com...who comes up with this stuff?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A public service announcement.

Thousands of people every year enjoy ice cream cones. While working at Jeni's Ice Cream I got to witness people enjoying these ice cream cones and I'll just say it, shocking as it is: people REALLY like ice cream. However, after interacting with thousands of patrons it became clear that one thing people don't like: ORDERING ice cream. People can get seriously stressed out. While working at Jeni's I would frequently see people just lose it when they step up to verbally express their frozen dairy desires. Now to be fair Jeni's has some unusual flavors. It's not as simple as just saying "One chocolate please."

Typically it sounds more like this:

"Hmmm...I think I want a...trio? Is that right? Is that what you call it? Is that the one with the three flavors...yeah? Okay, yeah I want that. What flavors do I want...OH GOSH...um well I don't know. I mean there's so many...shoot...crap...okay...um I'm sorry. Can I have a sample of the Thai Chili again...I'm sorry! Mmmmm that IS good...I don't know if it's my favorite though, you know? What about the Violet? Is that good. It sounds weird. I don't know...um...yeah I guess I'll try that...NO WAIT. PUT IT BACK! PUT IT BACK! Sorry. Um...know instead I think I'll have one scoop of the raspberry coriander, um...one scoop of the strawberry rose petal and then...oooh the last one's always so hard!...Um...(turning to spouse) Honey...honey, HONEY! What are you getting? Ooooooh, that sounds good. I'm not getting that one but can I try some of yours? Cool. Oh, sorry, yeah that last scoop...um...AHHHHH...what do you recommend?! Pear Riesling? Mmmm that sounds good. Yeah why don't you give me that. Great. Thanks. Sorry it takes me so long!"


"STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sorry. Have you started scooping yet? I'm sorry. I don't know. Yeah. I think instead...I'm just gonna have Vanilla. Thanks."


And that's just to decide the flavor of ice cream. Don't even bring CONES into the equation. That decision is the dessert equivalent of advanced calculus.

That's actually what I'd like to address in this post: CONES and specifically CONE TERMINOLOGY. In general, the terms used to describe certain cones represents a body of information that is largely unregulated and severely unorganized from a lexicographical point of view. It stresses people OUT. I've had grown men and women resort to such rudimentary cone descriptors ranging from: "pointy bottom cone", "A regular big one.", and, on a fairly consistent basis, frantic pointing gestures.

Now, since I've lived on both sides of the ice cream counter I think I might have some valuable insights into standardizing our cone language and in general furthering public ability to communicate about these edible, ingenious and above all conical ice cream receptacles. And so, under girded by hours of meticulous field research I bring you:




Also known as: waffle cone, sugar cone, little cone, baby cone, little baby cone, tiny little baby cone, kiddy cone, a weensey one, normal cone, the small one, a crunchy one, old fashioned cone, Keebler cone, and flat bottom cone.



Also known as: waffle cone, cake cone, baby waffle cone, mini waffle cone, tiny waffle cone, stripey cone, checkered cone, sharp cone, normal cone, regular cone, standard cone, old-timey cone, old school cone, little cone, and pointy bottom cone.

CONE # 3


Also known as: sugar cone, cake cone, wafer cone, big cone, fresh cone, home-made cone, large cone, monster cone, crispy cone, baked cone, regular cone, old fashioned one, good smelling one, batter cone, pocket cone, and ripple cone.


The standardized names listed here are by no means an attempt to degrade any of the colloquial endearments that have been attached to these cones over the years. The quaint regional variations, generational differences and family monikers are part of what makes the English cone language so vibrant. By all mean use whatever terms you are comfortable with as a starting point. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you are having trouble expressing your cone needs, using these standard names as a guideline to support you in your ordering might prove helpful, not to mention delicious.