In case you hadn’t guessed yet, this story was based on my first job scooping ice cream at a local Marble Slab Creamery store. I’m not sure if that franchise exists anymore, but if they don’t, well…I don’t think it was my fault. But I can’t be sure.
This story is full of inside jokes, so the humor may be lost on some. But if you’ve ever had to work customer service, if you’ve ever had to work customer service at a store that serves ice cream, and if you know what the fuck “Murphy’s Law” is, then you might get a chuckle out of it.
Enjoy the story! Just don’t order the Sweet Cream with strawberries. Trust me on this one. Order a cup of strawberry ice cream and call it a day – DBAA.
Ahsley’s first job was at the “Granite Refrigerated Plate Creamery”. It was an ice cream place and, despite its catchy name, it got a lot of business.
On her very first workday, she opened the door upon entering and heard a faint beep somewhere in the back of the store. She saw a girl in the back hop up from the strawberries she was chopping and run to the door. As soon as she saw Ahsley, a wave of relief swept over her face and she greeted her enthusiastically.
“Damn you’re early! Well, that’s good, now I’m not by myself anymore,” she bellowed from behind the fortress of ice cream.
Ahsley walked around back to the knee-high swinging doors, passed a skinny guy who was slaving away over humid, steamy irons, making cones, and was about to enter into the kitchen, when a sharp voice stopped her dead in her tracks.
“Hey! Get back here!” the lowly cone boy yipped.
“Excuse me?” Ahsley asked.
“I said get back here,” he repeated condescendingly. “You must be the new girl, right?”
“Um, yeah,” Ahsley answered nervously.
“Watch out for Megun,” he said, gesturing towards the kitchen holding a freshly made cone and a plastic pointy stick that he jabbed down into it to give it its shape. He was a skinny guy with brown hair that stuck up at his brow, blue eyes, and very feminine facial features. “She’s mean. She hit me the first day she was here ya know,” he said matter-of-factly. “In the head. She kicked me in the head.”
“I didn’t kick you, liar,” Came a voice from the swinging doors that led into the kitchen. “I tapped you behind the ear. I can’t help it if you can’t handle a woman getting the better of you, sissy,” Megun hissed.
“Don’t listen to her, she’s lying. My name’s Blaek by the way,” whispered the cone boy. “Don’t listen to Megun. She’s mean, and evil. She’s an evil man hater,” he repeated, nodding and raising his eyebrows.
“Now Blaek, just because you secretly want me doesn’t mean you can flatter me now and ask me out after my two weeks are up,” Megun retorted sarcastically.
“Yeah right, like I’d ever go out with you, whatever,” he muttered under his breath.
“Oh yeah, that’s right, I’m not fat with big boobs, how silly of me,” she sneered, disappearing back into the kitchen. As a matter of fact, she wasn’t fat with big boobs; she was skinny too, with very dark brown hair and blonde streaks that didn’t look tacky, pretty green eyes and black, thick, long eyelashes, 5’7”, and tan. Ahsley decided she’d better follow her into the back. After all, she was supposed to be training her that night.
“Hey, wait, come back! Stay here and talk Ska with me!” pleaded Blaek.
“What’s ‘Ska’?” Ahsley asked, before being hauled into the kitchen by Megun.
“You don’t know what Ska is?!? Megun, the new girl sucks! Get rid of her!” Ahsley heard him yell from all the way in the kitchen.
“Yet again, as if I need to remind you, don’t listen to Blaek,” Megun said when the two of them were alone in the kitchen.
Megun trained Ahsley on how to scoop her scoops, chop strawberries, went over how to make some of the basic specialty items, and made sure Ahsley knew where the recipe sheets were in case she forgot, which she assumed she was going to. A few customers came in from time to time, but overall it wasn’t very busy for a Saturday night. Megun was loving it. She had an avid hatred for all customers. Ahsley honestly didn’t see what was so bad about them, and she expressed her sentiment to her more experienced co-worker.
“Wait,” Megun said somberly. “That’s all I have to say; just wait.”
Just then, the door beeped, and the two girls saw a man from the voice stream cell phone store come in. As they both walked out to help him, Ahsley saw he was wearing a nametag that said “Murphy”.
“Hello Mr. Murphy,” Megun greeted with fake enthusiasm, no able to hide the unusual sadness in her eyes.
“Why hello megun,” Mr. Murphy greeted back cheerily. “Why the long face?”
“Well Mr. Murphy,” Megun began, “you know you’re one of the few customers I like, and I don’t mind you coming into the store. Yet, whenever you show up, it seems like things always go wrong. It’s almost guaranteed, like a scientific law or something,” she sighed.
“Oh, really?” He asked, intrigued.
“Well, I remember one time you came in, the yogurt machine broke down and flooded the whole back line,” she explained, gesturing over the floor with both hands.
“Oh, that’s terrible!” he exclaimed.
“And another time just as you left the store, a crowd of over thirty people came in behind you, five minutes before we were closed!” Megun cried.
“People can be so insensitive these days,” Mr. Murphy said, tisk-tisking.
“And I bet if we sat here the rest of the night I could name every single thing that’s gone wrong after you’ve showed up,” megun continued, “but I wouldn’t want to take up all of your time sir.”
“My goodness, I had no idea!” Mr. Murphy cried. “Maybe this will thwart some of my bad luck,” he said, talking a yellow fuzzy rabbit’s foot out of his pocket and handing it to megun.
“Do you promise Mr. Murphy?” Megun pleaded, taking the foot.
“On my life,” he said, snapping his fingers.
“Oh thank you Mr. Murphy, thank you so much!” Megun exclaimed, hanging the foot off of one of the handles of the yogurt machines.
***huge time lapse where Ahsley and Megun goof off in the back while Blaek makes a few cones and bugs them from time to time***
The rest of the night was quiet. The girls managed to pre-close fairly early and had practically everything done about ten minutes before closing time. Then it happened.
Blaek was about ready to leave, and Megun was hounding him about the five dollars he still owed her for cleaning up his dishes some time ago. There was thunder and lightening outside, some so violent it shook the store, but it hadn’t started raining yet.
Ahsley was staring out the swinging door windows to the kitchen when she saw them coming, even before the door beeped. It was 10:29 and 47 seconds, thirteen blissful seconds away from closing, when they all heard those three horrible screeching sounds that almost made their ears bleed.
::beep beep beep::
Megun and Ahsley rushed out to the line. The figures slowly shuffled their way in the door, one by one. Megun and Ahsley didn’t know how many there were, they just wouldn’t stop coming. But they came all the same, shuffling their feet, arms outstretched, silent and swaying, with their steely gray eyes, slightly gaping jaws, and glazed over, zombified looks. One of the figures, clad in overalls and a flannel cap, approached the ice cream and pointed to the vanilla.
“Uuh,” he grunted, jabbing his gray, clammy skinned finger against the glass, leaving a long, disgusting grease streak.
“Oh great, now I have to Windex that again!” Megun complained.
The zombie-like customer then scuffled over to the sweet cream, jabbed again, and grunted “Uuh,” giving them questioning looks.
“What does he want?” Ahsley whispered to Megun, scared out of her mind as the store continued to fill with more and more customers.
“I think he wants to know the difference between Sweet Cream and Vanilla,” Megun whispered back, a tremor of panic in her voice.
“Uuh!” He groaned, more loudly and insistently this time, banging his frail fist against the glass.
“H-h-here’s a s-s-sample for you s-s-sir,” Ahsley stammered in fright, handing him a taster spoon of sweet cream with her shaking, unsteady hand.
“Uuuh!” He bellowed, pulling back his lips from his blood red gums, slowly opening his mouth wide, and chomping down violently on the spoon, almost taking Ahsley’s hand with it. She snatched it back in horror.
“Mmm,” moaned the zombie customer with delight. “Sweeeeeet Creeeeeam,” he hissed.
“Sweeeeet Creeeeeeam,” moaned another one. The store was almost full of people by then, and they were all hissing and groaning the ice cream flavor like an episode of Jerry Springer.
“Well sir, ma’am, as you can see, we’re a little low on Sweet Cream right now, but if you’d kindly wait a few minutes for it to thaw…” Megun nervously pleaded with the creepy mob of lifeless monsters.
One from the crowd, and old lady adorned in torn, tattered rags, with sparse patches of white hair on her ash colored, liver spotted scalp, came forward. Her eyes were glazed over with a milky, translucent film, and the few teeth that she had left were just barely hanging on by the sticky saliva on her lips. “Sweeeeeeet Creeeeeeeam,” she hissed.
“Ma’am, I’m sorry-” Ahsley tried to explain.
“Sweeeeeeet Creeeeeeam…or brains!” She hissed violently, reaching over and grabbing Ahsley’s apron, trying to yank her over the counter.
“Ahh! Help me!” She screamed, grabbing on to the rabbit’s foot to keep the old lady from pulling her over the threshold into the sea of zombies. It was at that moment it dawned on the two girls that these may not be their ordinary customers.
The apron ripped loose and the old lady lost her grip on Ahsley. Ahsley took the rabbit’s foot that had just saved her life and threw it out into the heard of undead.
“Go away, just go away!” Megun screamed, grabbing Ahsley and yanking her back into the kitchen.
“Call Jamez and tell him it’s an emergency!” Megun ordered, handing Ahsley the portable phone and showing her where Jamez’s number was. “I’ll get all the sweet cream we have and throw it out to them…hurry!”
Ahsley called Jamez’s number and after several rings, he finally answered.
“Jamez, it’s an emergency! We’re being attacked by a mob of the living dead that only eat sweet cream and brains!” Ahsley screamed into the phone.
“Well, I don’t care what you serve them as long as they’re paying customers,” Jamez replied into the phone.
“But Jamez, this is an emergency! We’re all gonna die!” Ahsley shrieked.
“Just make sure my store is clean in the morning,” he said tiredly into the phone. “And remind Megun that I need her to do dipping wells tonight.” The phone clicked, and he was gone. The two girls were hopelessly trapped and all alone. All of a sudden, Ahsley heard some whimpering, coming from dry goods. She went back to see if maybe one of the zombies had snuck in somehow.
When she entered, she saw Blaek, curled up in a corner, crying. Apparently he had gotten scared when the zombies had entered and hid where he thought it was safe.
“It’s okay man, we’ll all gonna get out of this,” Ahsley tried to reassure him, thinking if she said it right she might actually believe herself. Ahsley reached out her hand, and after a moment’s hesitation, paralyzed with fear, he took it.
“I’ve thrown all of the pans out there, including the stuff in the blast freezer. It’s not enough for them, they’re starting to come in after us!” Megun panicked, running back to join Ahsley and Blaek.
“What are we going to do?” Ahsley cried, biting her fingernails.
“We have to go out the back, it’s our only hope if we don’t want our brains to become a mix-in!” Megun said, taking her and Blaek out the back way towards the dumpsters, through the maze-like hallways of the shopping center.
“How do you know where we’re going?” Ahsley asked her as they ran along a confusing path in hopes of saving their own lives.
“I’ve worked here since last summer, I know every little secret this place has to offer,” megun explained reasurredly.
When they arrived in the parking lot, the zombies were looting the inside of the store, demolishing and consuming everything in sight. They all ran to their respective cars (and truck in Blaek’s case) and hid inside for safety.
“Oh sh@!$#@t, I forgot my freebee!” Ahsley heard Megun wail as she ducked into the safety of her car.
They started their vehicles and peeled out of the parking lot one by one as fast as their wheels could take them. The last Ahsley ever saw of The Granite Refrigerated Plate Creamery was the edifice crumbling down to a pile of bricks and dust as the building collapsed, taking all of the zombies with it, thankfully (and hopefully).
The next day, Megun got fired for leaving the store unlocked. Blaek was traumatized to the point of a near-catatonic state, and had to undergo years of intense psychotherapy. Ahsley never returned to work there ever again, and received a nice cushy babysitting job, working for some lawyers. She was paid $200/week, and patronized the mall much more often than ever before.