There are those who eat to survive and those who eat for pleasure. There are some people, who were it not a necessity for life, would simply forget to eat. I don’t understand these people. For those of us for whom eating is pretty much recreation there are certain “high holy” days in our year. Sacred days marked off on our calendars that can’t be found in the lectionary but SHOULD.
Such a day is FREE CONE DAY at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. (Someday I will travel to the mecca that is B&J’s in the far off land called Vermont.) We who truly celebrate FREE CONE DAY believe this is one of our biggest holidays. There should be presents. There should be special T-shirts. We should seen FREE CONE DAY carols!
It came upon an ice cream shop
That glorious scoop of cold
From Ben and Jerry hand-made cones
To touch that flavor so bold.
Okay, better than that but you get the idea. Here is my new theory:
What if every day was FREE CONE DAY? What if ever single day of the year, FOR-EV-VER, you could simply walk up to the counter and say, “May I have a free ice cream cone please?”
And they give it to you? No purchase necessary. No hole punches. No coupons. Just, “I’d like an ice cream cone please.” and all they will say is “What flavor?”
You can go back as much as you want in the same day. Every day you just ask for a FREE CONE and they give it to you. I’m thinking that it would only take so long before you started asking for more than one. It might be one of those days when you cannot decide between Chunky Monkey and Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz. So you get one of each. Too many and you might get sick and not want to come back but how can you NOT come back when every day is FREE CONE DAY?
So you get a free ice cream cone and then you ask for one more in a cup, with a lid, so you can take it home with you. You might have three or four stocked up in your freezer before you get the idea “Hey, I should get one for my friend Jim.” (Or Becca or Missy or whatever)
So now, you get a free cone for yourself and one for your friend. Eventually, you just start meeting your friends at Ben & Jerry’
‘s. So now, you and all your friends are eating free cones on FREE CONE DAY at Ben & Jerry’s.
Eventually, you may start thinking you should do more than just eat your ice cream. So, you start finding ways to give more cones away. You give a free cone to strangers. You might even work out a way to bring in a busload of kids from the homeless shelter. Why stop at kids? Give free cones to people who are sitting up all night long at the hospital. Give to the people standing in line at the DMV. Give free cones away at the nursing home.
In theory you could only go back to Ben & Jerry’s so many times before there was nothing else you could do except share. I’m going to say that again for those of you skimming. Eventually, you could only go back so many times before there was nothing else you could do except share.
Isn’t this the way the gospels are supposed to work? It’s sharing. It’s being so blessed with having free cones that you just have to share. That’s religion.
So what happens? We get hung up on coupons and who can and who can’t have a cone. We make rules about how many cones you can have. We decide that certain flavors arent for everyone and MY flavor is exclusive to ME. Or maybe THIS is OUR flavor, you go have your yucky flavor over there and don’t bother us over here with our GOOD flavors.
Who would want to go through that? Then someone says, “We can only have FREE CONE DAY once a week and only at a time when most people are simply too tired to even get out of bed. MOREOVER, because you have to act a certain way or say a certain prayer…you get a smaller cone.”
Then someone would probably go out and buy a franchise and only give FREE CONE DAY to people who thought like they did and sang their songs and spoke their language and followed the FREE CONE DAY rules.
FREE CONE DAY would become a pain in the butt.