As a child, we are always warned to not take candy from strangers. Twenty years later, what if a stranger offers you free crickets? Not a situation most people must face, but I am not “most people”.
Coming out of the subway on Wall Street, I saw a Van Leeuwen ice cream truck (if you recall, I reviewed their ice cream a ways back: goo.gl/eX0Oe1) I was highly intrigued. After all, do white collar workers really eat that much artisan ice cream?
Hark! I smell a trap!
A woman in a red shirt came over to me, and with as little interest as a person could possibly muster, she told me that I looked confused. I corrected her. I was not confused, but merely curious. She didn’t care. She explained something to me about The Economist. This is a magazine that believes there will be 11 Billion people on Earth eventually; an amount that the Earth cannot sustain. Therefore, the best option for food at that point will be insects. Therein comes the bit: they will give me a free scoop of ice cream as long as I will have them serve it with crickets on top. Plus, if I sign up for a subscription of their fine apocalypse-forecasting magazine (for only $12 a month!) I will receive a red, leather notebook… for free!
Let’s see if I have this correct- if I, a vegan animal rights activist am willing to eat insects and buy a magazine, I will receive a leather book and ice cream… for free.
She had her little ice cream lady shake up her cricket jar in hopes of enticing me. Yep. They sure were crickets. They weren’t lying about that.
Not one to ignore my spidey (or crickety?) senses, I scanned the menu, despite the discouraging sales pitch. As luck would have it, they did offer dairy-free peanut butter ice cream…. Okay, lady, let’s play.
With a grin, I turned back to her and replied, “I’m not eating those creatures. But I do want dairy-free peanut butter ice cream. So, here’s what I will do: I will give the cricket ice cream to someone in need. I will receive, in turn for my mitzvah a non-buggy ice cream… for free. Everyone will be happy.”
She insisted further that the ice cream is only free complete with bugs.
I persisted, informing her that I will not only hear out her spiel and continue to support the wonderful Van Leeuwen Ice Cream company, but I will also make sure the homeless man knows of the great magazine subscription deal they’re offering. All this for the tiny payment of an ice cream sans infestation. Quite the deal of the century.
She took a moment and looked over at her scooping friend. There was no line, no other customers, and no one within earshot who cared…. Within moments, I had two cups of dairy-free ice cream. One with extra protein (and legs) and one with nothing but a red spoon on top. I think this was a good negotiation.
That is, until I remembered that I don’t eat Van Leeuwen ice cream because it crumbles and leaves me with an aftertaste. C’est la vie!
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