I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream: “Pick A Fucking Ice Cream!*”

Amanda Flanagan tell us about her surreal encounter in the Penn State Creamery and provides insight into the thought processes of one of the most complex men of all time.

Except for the $6 and 25 minutes I’ll spend elbowing hipsters for my first 10oz of pumpkin spice latte of the season, there are very few things in life that I’m willing to wait more than 57 seconds in a line for. I once skipped out on meeting the President because the line was more that a dozen deep and I wasn’t wild about the shoes I was wearing. So yeah, my life’s definitely more of the sedentary variety.

But alas, just as all baby birds must eventually spread their wings and fly begrudgingly from their cozy full-service nests, sometimes I have to do things I don’t want to—like get off my ass and attempt to cultivate a social life. Luckily, my friends know me well enough to understand that unless they’re willing to hang out in my apartment watching old SNL tapes, the only way they’ll ever see me is if I’m promised ice cream or beer. Being that it’s apparently frowned upon to tap a keg on a late Tuesday morning, we hit the Creamery. Just as well, I don’t have much extra seating in my apartment and still really needed an excessively caloric way to drown my sorrows from the Alabama game anyway.

But oh, that line. I swear if I hadn’t already walked the 100 yards from the bus stop and skipped two meals in preparation for a deep dish of Peachy Paterno, I would have high tailed it back to my papasan and penned a strongly worded editorial to the Collegian faster than it takes the average person to find the nearest trash receptacle after “reading” the day’s Collegian. Impatient and again not too keen on my choice of footwear, I cut through to the wall freezers and grabbed a pint before turning my attention to the hoopla at the front of the line.

The near shit in my pants confirmed that it was indeed Mr. Peachy himself holding up the line. From what I could gather from the simultaneously awestruck and disgruntled Berkey scoopers and customers, dear old Joe Pa just couldn’t seem to make up his mind as to what flavor ice cream would most satisfy his hankering, despite the copious amount of advice from his entourage of coaching staff.


I had arrived just in time to hear the tail end of what appeared to be an incredibly arduous exchange of hot air, like stick-you-head-in-the-dry-ice-freezer-wedged-between-three-gallons-of -sugar-free-vanilla-and-have-it-shipped-to-some-God-awful-place-like-Nebraska-or-Pittsburgh miserable.

“I’m sorry, sir, but we just can’t let you mix flavors like that. We can let you sample the two, but ultimately you have to choose one.”

Poor girl. I bet she never thought meeting a living legend would be so exhausting and vaguely sickening.

Apparently, Coach Paterno was quite torn between Chocolate Chip and Strawberry, having switched to Strawberry only after a bad batch of Chocolate Chip left him feeling ill. Strawberry appeared quite promising for a while, restoring Joe’s faith in the tradition of the Penn State Creamery, but ultimately lost its luster.

Meanwhile, this seemingly simple decision is becoming more and more tedious by the minute, with Assistant Coach Galen Hall lobbying for a dish in one ear and Mike McQueary calling for a cone in the other. Not to mention Safeties Coach Kermit Buggs hopping around the outskirts of the group and stuttering, “Don’t forget about the sprinkles again- they matter too!” while QB Coach Jay Paterno stood steadfast and useless next to his father, despite his alleged expertise in all things ice cream.

“Boy, I’ll tell you,” I finally heard Paterno say, “If only you guys still had Sandusky Blitz. Now THAT was a flavor. You’re sure we can’t go back to that?” Sadly, no. We cannot, sir.

Ultimately, Joe settled on—what else?—Peachy Paterno, because, “It’s a tried and true Penn State tradition that’s never let anyone down before”… Also, it’s the only thing that the coaches could agree on in any way. “Joe just knows,” Jay whispered to no one in particular.

When asked later on about how he felt about his decision and if it’s a pattern he’ll stick with in the future, Paterno could only offered vague… encouragement? “Well, it wasn’t like it was a particularly good batch, but I’d probably get it again. We’ll see.” Yes. We will indeed see if I can ever get the time I spent in that God forsaken line back. (Hint: I’ve tried, and I can’t.) Bittersweet Mint, anyone?

Due to this massive delay, the Creamery closed that day in anything but the triumphant fashion that one would expect after catering to such a prominent customer, way down in profits and leaving hundreds of customers unsatisfied and still thoroughly hungry. I myself felt an overwhelming shame from the whole experience, shame that for once had nothing to do with the pint of ice cream I inhaled without even putting my spoon down or really tasting any of it… But, hey, at least I was standing, so like 60% of the calories didn’t even count, right? Alright, maybe more like 35%… Still no? Whatever.

by Amanda Flanagan

*None of this was true. I’m a lapsed-Catholic. (That is actually true.)

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Comments

  1. Cessy says:

    LOVE IT!

  2. Jim says:

    Nicely done. Very entertaining! Is “Lapsed Catholic” a new Creamery flavor? I heard its sinful!

  3. Auntie Diane says:

    Manda-Hon,
    As a second career, you should write/produce sitcoms! MISS YOU!
    Loveyameanitbye,
    Aunt Di
    p.s. Who the hell is Jim?

  4. Auntie Di says:

    Oh, just realized…it’s Uncle Jim. Sorry Unc J.
    Need more coffee.
    xoxo
    Auntie Di

  5. Fof&Jim says:

    This is really fun to see. Good going, Amanda! Shades of Uncle Bruce. Jim says That girl has talent! But he objects to some of the language….silly boy!