Wilton Warrior Words: Confessions of a sweet tooth

Libby Connolly

Libby Connolly

Hearst Connecticut Media

Here’s a sick joke: Someone with a rampant sweet tooth working at an ice cream store. The punch line? Me, it is me.

During a year of unprecedented change, my steady work at Gofer Ice Cream has remained a sweet constant in life. The rich smell of waffle cones, enhanced by the blowing fan that breathes to life when you walk in the door, is enough to brighten just about any mood. Adjusting to work during the pandemic has developed into a beautiful lesson, honestly. We have learned how to wield our scoopers and conquer the milkshake machine with our latex gloves as a new variable in the equation. We have learned to put the right amount of enthusiasm in our eyes to make sure that customers know that, underneath our masks, we are actually smiling. We have learned to decipher incoherent, muffled ice cream orders underneath masks, no longer assisted by the powers of mouth reading.

Of course, I miss when my four friends would flock into the shop and provide some brief laughs and companionship during a late Friday night shift. I miss flashing one last (visible) smile as I hand off a large cone to its new owner, and I definitely miss the blissful ignorance of a time when I never had to watch confusion wash across a four-year-old’s face when their mother reminds them to pull up their mask. There are undeniable differences; but above all, it has truly been a great escape from reality when, for four fleeting hours, I actually have the ability to enact genuine good during times muddled with chaos.

Throughout my year and change working at Gofer, I have begun to pick up on some commonalities for the orders that I see on a daily basis. For example, I would almost always attribute a small cup of cotton candy, topped with gummies of some sort, with an eager young child. That’s not to say that an adult is prohibited from the order; the colorful melody of pink and blue tie-dye cotton candy ice cream, topped with an exotic ecosystem of gummy bears, gummy worms, (or gummy frogs for the ambitious, go-getters) is the epitome of fun, youthful, and imaginative taste buds. In fact, I have one friend (hey, Maddie) that is a loyal fan of this order. However, there is a certain image of a hopeful kid peering behind the counter, grabbing at the cup with two stubby hands and excitedly rushing out the door, that is forever tied to this order.

I can almost always spot a die-hard-chocolate-lover from a mile away when they order “Chocolate Chocolate Chunk”- extra points if it is topped with hot fudge, cookie crumble, or chocolate sprinkles. While the original, classic hard-serve chocolate flavor in itself is enticing, a true chocolate fan simply could not avoid the allure of the alliterative magnificence that is “Chocolate Chocolate Chunk.”

Now, I have heard some controversy regarding mint-flavored ice cream (Controversy? Ice cream flavors? Yes, I know, ridiculous). Some certain, pessimistic critics believe that if you order mint-flavored ice cream, it is no different than squeezing a tube of toothpaste down your throat. However, I cannot think of a better example in proving that notion wrong than both Mint Chocolate Chip and Mint Oreo. These two flavors singlehandedly maintain the backbone of dignity for the mint-ice cream-loving community.

Finally, we have some orders that venture outside the hard-serve freezer. The malt milkshakes are for lovers of the classics, those that prefer retro booth diners and watch “Grease” religiously. Razzles, while popular, are quite an innovative choice. Some people might be indecisive, perhaps, and opt for a razzle to choose a variety of toppings to mix into their frozen treat. Banana splits and hot fudge sundaes are nothing short of a vibrant display of creativity and individuality; these are my personal favorite to make, each one being so unique and giving me an opportunity to showcase my ability to create a perfectly-balanced medley of ice cream, fudge, whipped cream, and assorted toppings (always a cherry perched on top).

Honestly, I could go on and on with analyzing order demographics. Each shift is basically a new cluster of data for me to factor into the imaginary database cultivated in my mind. Personally, my favorite flavors alternate between Sea Salt Caramel Oreo and Coffee Oreo. Clearly, there’s a common theme of oreo going on here, but it is a constant battle between satiating my sweet tooth with the caramel, or getting my incessant caffeine fix with the coffee ice cream. However, I will spare you the time, and instead offer an enticing opportunity to come stop by Gofer, say hi, and maybe even skew some of my preconceived notions about ice cream orders.