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The Uncultured: The Pressing Need for More Sundae Cone Regulation

April 25, 2019

With the long list of actual problems, issues, and challenges our country is currently faced with, all of them serious and important and discussed in grave tones by anchors on cable news networks, complaining about soft-serve ice cream seems to be the height of ignorance and apathy. It’s one of those things that I feel justifies all those rants by the older set that accuse people in their twenties and younger of being too dumb and lazy for anything more complicated than fiddling with their iGalaxies or updating their TwitBooks. I get it. It’s a stupid thing to waste brain cells over. I’m sorry.

Thing is, though, I can’t help it. The inconsistency of sundae cone sizes in fast food places everywhere, fyi I’m not singling any one establishment here guys—they’re all guilty, has always bothered me. Always.

ice cream 2

All three are supposedly the same size. No, really.

The success of fast food restaurants rests on one thing, customer familiarity. It means that if I go inside a branch in Antipolo and order a JolliMac, I’d get relatively the same thing if I’d ordered one at their Pasay branch. This predictability, the mass-produced uniformity that goes hand in hand with the industrialization of the food production process, is in its own way comforting.

My JolliMac will always have what I expect it to have. There’ll be two sad sheets of lettuce inside, an abused looking slice of tomato, a 1/3 pound patty, two soft buns, and a layer of artificial “cheese food” glopped on top. While the veggies would inevitably vary in size, mostly because Nature is not an assembly line, everything we can control, we do. The meat will always weigh the same, the yellow plastic cheese will always be the same amount, and the bread will always be the same size. That’s important. That’s what you call reliability.

This, in essence, is why the wildly fluctuating amount of ice cream I get with each sundae cone bothers me so much. I’m paying the same price every time, shouldn’t I get the same amount of soft-serve as well? It’s a man-made product, after all, one entirely within our control to standardize. It’s not right that while I spend an identical amount every time, what I get in return is at the mercy of the waiter dude or dudette serving me. Also, do people still say dudette? Typing it out made me feel like a character in an Archie comic.

Look at those three sundaes in the picture up top. All of those are PHP 17, but you would never know that just by looking at them. You’d think I’d ordered different sizes, but I didn’t. The one on the left was clearly assembled by someone who should never ever be involved in any sort of engineering or architecture related work. I suspect that the itty-bitty cone in the middle was the product of a childhood that lacked the appropriate amount of hugs, and so the person who made it is now compelled to make anything and everything around him or her less fun (thus the hobbit-sized serving). The last sundae on the right, though, I’m cool with. That’s a fair cone, even if it’s a bit unbalanced. It fell to the side two seconds after I snapped its picture.

sundaae1

(L) Good (M) Good (R) Fabulous

“But Lars,” some of you are saying right now, “that’s just because different people have different techniques with twirling the cone.” I know, I agree, but that’s exactly my point. In my second picture, the first two sundae cones look fairly consistent. They’re almost the same, more or less. Clearly, the (cute) girl who made them for me has got her wrist twirling technique down. She must’ve had plenty of practice using her hands.

The triple-level work of art that is the sundae cone on the right, on the other hand, was made by somebody else. The gay manager, got that one for me. It’s large, symmetrical, and stable. Clearly, the man had much better wrist control and hand dexterity than the girl (which is to be expected, considering what he is—the manager). However, the fact that he’s so fantastic at it only presents more problems. I know if I was a customer who just received one of the, admittedly, perfectly okay sundae cones on the left, I’d still be jealous of the guys who got the vanilla tower on the other right. It’d make me feel less pretty likable for one, which can be quite a bummer.

On the risk of being labeled a communist, I’d really appreciate more parity with my ice cream. Everyone should get the same thing, all the time, every time. How hard can it be to institute a company-wide guide detailing the best way to construct a good sundae cone? Fast food giants, please train your staff and give them actual instructions, tell them where to plant the initial cream foundation, and show them how fast they have to twirl the cone in order to achieve optimal sundae height. Please?

Even better, they should just install an automated robot twirler at all their branches. I’m not making that up by the way, those things exist. It’s the only explanation as to why the frozen cup sundaes I buy from the Korean grocery stores are always the exact same height and width compared to their ice cream brothers.  They’re pumped out from some factory in Seoul, I’m sure. We just need to send a couple of spies over there to steal their technology. Maybe befriend the locals, too. I volunteer.

Though I understand that buying new equipment is always expensive, I suspect that in the long run, standardized soft-serve would actually save them quite a bit of money. If nothing else, their inventory would be a lot easier to track. It’s a win-win.

Lars Roxas Lars Roxas

Laurence is a twenty-something turtle pretending to be a writer. In the past, he has worked as a warehouse clerk, Apple genius, martial arts instructor, copywriter, editor, english teacher, and personal trainer. He can’t swim or ride a bike, but he's done Judo on three continents. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Occasionally, his stories appear in real actual books. He makes awesome waffles.

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9 comments in this post SHOW

9 responses to “The Uncultured: The Pressing Need for More Sundae Cone Regulation”

  1. banana says:

    dairy queen. always the same size. always

  2. Victoria Castillo says:

    Yup, it boils down to inadequate training, really. And I miss those days when fast food sundae cones would have the ice cream’s height from the lip of the cone even taller than the cone.

  3. A.V. says:

    I appreciate the humor and the writing style of the author. Good article. 🙂

  4. minion girl says:

    I have a serious crush on that minion. Great article!

  5. Harold Casapao says:

    Here is one sample of automated sundae cone vending machine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opFE7bwrpsU . Quite neat actually. I really hate those lousy twirled cones. Takes out the fun in eating ice cream (you’ll eventually lick your hands).

  6. Volts Sanchez says:

    It’s all about the twist of the wrist (like the list for the fist).

  7. berns says:

    go for twirl-all-u-can in family mart 😉

  8. Althea Beatrix Ruiz says:

    I think this does not only go for Sundae cones, but the actual sundaes as well. As I am typing, I am eating an Oreo Overload McFlurry which makes me regret the decision of having the overload upgrade. Compared to a regular McFlurry, there was no improvement on the ice cream amount or the Oreo content. What a waste.

  9. Litas Ditas says:

    I thought they already did that, though! I thought it was part of their training. =(

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