The following parody was inspired by the recent presidential debates I have been watching. I quickly noticed how casually the word “war” was being tossed around by the candidates and it made me realize how much that same word has been tossed around the news media…
“That’s it,” John Blackburn says through his gritted teeth. “This is war.” Sylvester takes a step back in awe.
“Wait, what?” he says radiating with confusion. “All I said was that I respectfully disagree with your position on vanilla standing as a clear front runner for best flavor of ice cream.”
“Exactly,” John says. “It’s not oven an argument. It’s obvious that vanilla is the best ever flavor of ice cream. Ever. I mean, just look at it in relation to all of the other ice cream flavors. Not only is it the base for every other flavor, but it is by far the most common. Just look at all the different ice cream-based products out there; milkshakes, root beer floats, sorbet, gelato, you name it. Every single one of those started with the flavor of what? The answer is and forever will be vanilla. It all starts with vanilla. It’s how it’s been since the beginning.”
Sylvester looks around the ice cream stand to see if anyone else is listening. The lady standing in line behind them has an impatient but slightly interested look on her face. The end of a leash is in her right hand and the other end is attached to a corgi who is breathing heavily with its tongue hanging out and looking back and forth between the ice cream counter and the lady. The man at the counter looks at John.
“Sir,” he says.
“Just hold on a second,” John snaps back. Sylvester looks back at John.
“Just order some vanilla,” he says. “I could care less.”
“Seriously?” John readily responds. “You seriously don’t see what I’m arguing?”
“I just want to order some ice cream.”
“Why?” John says, his voice beginning to slightly raise. The woman’s show of interesting is quickly deteriorating and the look of frustration begins to take its place.
“Why don’t you think vanilla is the best flavor of ice cream?”
“Because I don’t think that vanilla is all that great. Now either order or I’m going to take your place in line.”
“You can’t stand there and blatantly offend me like that without giving me a reason why. Why do you think vanilla is not the best flavor?”
“Fine, vanilla is the best flavor,” Sylvester says.
“Oh, come on,” John says through a laugh of frustration.
“Sir,” the kid on the other side of the counter says. “What can I help – ”
“Don’t sir me,” John says. “I’ll order when I’m good and ready.” He turns back to Sylvester. “It takes more than one to start a war and it takes more than one to end it.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Sylvester says. The dog barks and looks over at the ice cream stand. The woman pulls on the leash and leads the dog away muttering under her breath.
“Sir, you just – ” the man at the counter begins.
“You can wait,” John says.
“If I tell you why vanilla isn’t very good, will that get you to let it go?” Sylvester asks.
“Depends on what”
“Depends on what your reason is.”
“Okay, vanilla is boring. If I’m going to pay money for ice cream, I want it to be as rich and as messy, filled with as much candy and caramel as possible. Eating vanilla is like drinking water when there is a can of Mountain Dew right in front of you.”
“You son of a bitch,” John yells. “Vanilla is so much better than water! Did you know that it was originally extracted from the orchid and derives from the Spanish for ‘vainilla?’ It has so much rich history and so many different uses, the finest and most favorable of these many uses comes in the form of ice cream It is the default flavor of ice cream.” By this time, the man behind the counter has disappeared and no one else is standing in line. Sylvester and John are the only ones left within a fifty yard radius of that the ice cream stand.
“I’ll tell you what,” Sylvester says. “I’ll admit that vanilla is the greatest flavor of ice cream ever if you go behind that counter and scoop me a cup of it yourself.”
“I’m about this close to throwing the back of my knuckles right into your ugly, disrespectful face.”
Sylvester face forms a sly smile. “Rocky road, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, rainbow, cookie dough…” He says slowly.
“What are you doing?” John asks.
“Naming all of the flavors better than vanilla. Chocolate, strawberry…”
– – –
“I’ll tell you what,” John says across the dinner table to his girlfriend Cindy. “I met the worst guy today. He had the nerve to chime in and tell me that vanilla ice cream is not the best flavor of ice cream ever created.”
“So what?” Cindy says casually.
“So what?” John says.
“Yeah, so what? I don’t think vanilla is the best. I prefer chocolate.”
“Cindy,” John says through his teeth. “You just started yourself a war.”
– – –
Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, Mike Salow was killed in action while fighting for his country. In an actual war.