Ice Cream

Submitted by Warren Woods to Contest #7 in response to: Write a story infused with dark humor.... view prompt

By anybody’s measure he was not intelligent. He was incapable of making informed decisions or conclusions. There wasn’t a subject in which he was versed. Just nonsense and blank space in his mind. At a young age he was put in classes with the other slow learners. Him and the others worked at a slower pace and covered less subject matter than the rest of the students. He knew of his enrollment in the special classes, it’s not like anyone tried to hide it. It didn’t matter to him anyway. Throughout his or her life, a mentally deficient person is aware of their unintelligence to some degree. He was no different. Except that he had gotten dumber as time progressed. He couldn’t take care of himself or others, not even his dog. His only real acclaim was his ability to eat ice cream like a hungry farm animal. How on earth the instinct to reproduce transcends unintelligence is beyond anyone’s explanation, really. 

“This your dog, sir?”

“This dog.”

“Yes, this dog right here.”

The ice cream slowly dripped down the side of his hand and onto the linoleum floor. 

“Ya, this doggie’s mine.”

“Well, you can’t have dogs inside the building, sir.” 

“Oh. Why.”

“It’s against company policy, I’m afraid.”

The dumb man stared dead-eyed at the manager of the ice cream shop as another drop of melted ice cream hit the ground. By now the dog noticed and began to lick the floor thoroughly.

“Sir, I need to ask you to step outside with your dog. You can enjoy your ice cream outside at a table.”

“It’s hot outside though I ain’t goin’ just let me finnish my cone and be on my way. Look issalready melting indoors it ain’t even that hot in here.”

“I understand, but I’ve been over this before with you, sir. Other times, in the past. You need to either leave your dog outside the store or you need to start thinking about leaving your dog at home when you come here for ice cream.”

“I ain’t been told that not ever I can’t come here without him he’ll pee on the carpet if I leave him at home then I’ll really be in trouble with mom.”

“Sir, I’m going to ask you one more time, nicely, and then I’ll be notifying the police.”

By now, the cashier had stopped what she was doing and was watching the situation unfold. A young mom and her daughter were watching from a nearby table in the store. The radio played 50’s bebop and the ceiling fan whizzed and slowly gyrated above their heads.

The dumb man had cleared the ice cream down to the cone by now. Ice cream continued to drip from the bottom of his wrist onto the same spot on the ground. The dog continued to lick the same spot on the ground, eyes closed and tail wagging. The dog did not know it was the subject by which this entire altercation started nor did it care. The same could be said about the dumb man. 

“Look I’m halfway done here already with this cone just lemme finnish.”

The manager’s face turned red and he turned and marched toward the telephone mounted on the wall behind the counter. He watched the dumb man as he lifted the receiver to his ear and dialed the police. The dumb man was now chomping on the edge of the cone, eyes closed, oblivous of the manager’s actions. The dog was now licking the crumbs from the cone off of the floor. Eyes still closed, tail still wagging. 

The manager spoke quietly and calmly to the police operator. The conversation was brief. He hurriedly placed the receiver back on the wall mount and walked back to the dumb man and his dog. He could not believe the utter ignorance of the dumb man. Is this man’s mission to anger me, to sabotage my store, to ruin my day, to cause a scene? He stared at the dumb man in contemplation.

“I’ve contacted the police, they are on the way.”

“Jayy-sus relax I’m done anyway.”

The dumb man took the remainder of the soggy cone and bent down and fed it to the dog, dropping more crumbs and ice cream onto the floor. When the dog was done, he looked up at the dumb man, signaling that it was time to leave. The dumb man walked out with his dog but before reaching for the door, he wadded up his wet sticky napkin and threw it into the trash but it did not go in and instead hit the edge of the bright red waste basket and landed on the floor next to the wall. The dumb man turned and looked into the manager’s eyes to see if he had noticed. By now the manager was red with anger and unable to speak. The dumb man exited the shop with his dog and turned and walked down the sidewalk towards home. 

“Some people.” The dumb man said aloud to his dog.

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