The Ice Cream Man

The Ice Cream Man

A Story by Jacob Clifford
"

Warning: Mature language, in both English and French

"
Jimmy took in the scenes as he walked. France certainly did look beautiful this time of year.
He was taking a year off after getting his degree. He told his parents it was to "find himself", but in reality, he was just buying time until he had to be an adult. Working a full-time job, paying rent, and being a responsible member of society? No thanks! He would take college frat parties any day.
He brought his girlfriend, Laura, with him on the trip. Incidentally enough, they had met in beginning French their freshman year of college. She had taken to it much better than he. All the same, they were both having fun exploring Paris, holding hands as they walked through the streets.
As they came around the corner, he saw a short man selling ice cream. Jimmy smiled. What better way to hold onto his youth than to buy ice cream? He told Laura he would be right back and approached the stand, and the man looked at him.
He said, "Bonjour, monsieur." Hello, sir
He almost smiled at him but remembered that everyone outside of America apparently hates life and never smiles. He gave him a polite look. "Bonjour.  Je prends une glace, s'il vous plaît. Une boule de la vanille et une boule de la fraise." Hello, I'll have an ice cream, please. One scope of vanilla and one scoop of strawberry.
The man started scooping the ice cream into a bowl.
"Oh, non non non, monsieur." Jimmy wanted a cone, but he didn't know the word. "Uh, je voudrais . . . erm, un con?" I would like . . . a cone?
The man's eyes widened and he gave Jimmy a look, like he'd just killed his family. Jimmy had to resist rolling his eyes. Why couldn't everyone just speak English?
Jimmy mimed holding a cone with one hand, and with his other, he vigorously pointed to where the ice cream should go. All the while, he repeated, "Con. Con. Je voudrais un con." How hard could it be to understand that?
The ice cream man's face hardened. He refused to look Jimmy in the eye as he finished scooping the ice cream. When he finally shoved the bowl into Jimmy's hands, he angrily mumbled something under his breath.
Jimmy shrugged and walked away. It wasn't his fault if these Parisians couldn't handle people not memorizing their precious language.
"Hey, Laura," he said as he returned to his girlfriend. "What's the French word for 'cone'?"
"Cône." They resumed walking.
"Huh." He took a bite of his ice cream. It wasn't even that good. "Does 'con' mean anything?"
She raised an eyebrow. Jimmy always thought she looked so sexy when she did that. "Um, yeah. It means 'c**t'."
Jimmy stopped walking.
"Why?" Laura asked.
"I owe that ice cream man an apology."

© 2019 Jacob Clifford


Author's Note

Jacob Clifford
My French is a bit rusty, so to any French speakers, please forgive any mistakes and feel free to correct me. Regardless, I hope you all enjoy.

My Review

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Featured Review

Comparing Jimmy's behavior to that of me and my fellow sailors on shore leave, (back in the seventies) I have to give him "A" for effort. Lord knows what horrible things some have said. The confusion over those two similarly spelled words is certainly funny, though. Perhaps a wiser Jimmy will now ask Laura to do the ordering, or at least monitor his speech when he does. No doubt, the incident will be the subject of many laughs in times to come.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

4 Years Ago

A commendable effort, to be sure, though I suspect the ice cream man doesn’t appreciate it. And I .. read more



Reviews

This was so funny, Clifford. No problem for me with the rusty French, I don’t understand a word of it anyway yet I was with the story and laughing along on the hapless ice-cream man’s mortification! I hope he didn’t hit Jimmy when he went up to him again 😹. I liked Jimmy’s internal dialogue too! A great, fun read for me! Kudos!

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

I'm glad you enjoyed. I don't think I've ever felt so sorry for one of my unnamed characters as I do.. read more
DIVYA

3 Years Ago

You’re welcome Clifford.
I really enjoyed this write, nice imagery and detail

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Thank you.
Clifford,
Your story is hilarious. Great build up to the punchline. Very creative story telling.
Peace,
Richie b.






Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Many thanks, Richie. Glad you enjoy.
I live in Texas so the majority language spoken here is spanish. when I try to speak the language I always make sure to smile at the end to let them know I tried my best. No harm no foul. the best part of the story was Jimmy going back to apologize to the vendor.that shows his character

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

4 Years Ago

Thanks for stopping by, KC. My French is at best offensive, so I can relate somewhat. Fortunately, m.. read more
ROFL! Laughing so much rn! I'm leaving for France this week so this was a timely read on what not to say when buying icecream! Fantastically amusing story Clifford. Thanks for sharing. :)

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

4 Years Ago

I'm glad you found my story amusing, and I'm glad you learned an important culturally-sensitive less.. read more
This story is so satisfying on so many levels! It's one of your best little vignettes ever. It's like you're getting better & better at these short-short stories. It's not just that your writing is perfect, but it's the ideas you come up with, to write about, & how you approach each fun little twist with excellent flow & timing. I'd completely forgotten about that feeling after college, where you aren't ready to grow up yet. That's such a fun topic, I might try to write a little ditty about it myself someday (scribbling on my "writing ideas" notepad)! You're always very inspiring to me! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 4 Years Ago


θεά 

4 Years Ago

Sorry to intrude, but I absolutely agree with Margie's sentiments on this. *butts out sheepishly*
barleygirl

4 Years Ago

I'm always welcoming of any discussion . . . *smile*
Jacob Clifford

4 Years Ago

So flattering! I'm always thrilled when people enjoy my writing, and I'm more so thrilled I could be.. read more
Oh dear lord! What a delightful little read on the ardors and frustrations of getting the faux amis de français correct. What a fantastically breezy write this is. I do feel you should follow up with the protagonist's brushes with his quotidien. It would make for quite a series.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

4 Years Ago

There truly is nothing worse than false friends! Especially when one like Jimmy, having a basic unde.. read more
θεά 

4 Years Ago

Always a pleasure.
Comparing Jimmy's behavior to that of me and my fellow sailors on shore leave, (back in the seventies) I have to give him "A" for effort. Lord knows what horrible things some have said. The confusion over those two similarly spelled words is certainly funny, though. Perhaps a wiser Jimmy will now ask Laura to do the ordering, or at least monitor his speech when he does. No doubt, the incident will be the subject of many laughs in times to come.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

4 Years Ago

A commendable effort, to be sure, though I suspect the ice cream man doesn’t appreciate it. And I .. read more
Hah, poor ice cream man. You know even i thought of writing a story with a similar theme...the confusions arising due to the sundries of languages that exist. I might write that now, so...thank you!
I really enjoyed this one. Keep sharing!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

4 Years Ago

I'm glad you enjoyed! Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts. I think it would be fun to see y.. read more
Zoya

4 Years Ago

You're welcome
Aw, Jimmy has just entered that world of, you sure that's the meaning.
The sad thing is. We always fall on the words. Everyone should speak English.
Though for some reason, we're great at accents.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

4 Years Ago

The world of linguistics is a slippery slope, my friend. Thank you for stopping by.

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Added on April 5, 2018
Last Updated on January 23, 2019

Author

Jacob Clifford
Jacob Clifford

MN



About
Thank you, my Cafe family, for all that you have done for me. This has been a wonderful period of my life. If any of you ever want to reach me, feel free to send me an email at [email protected] more..

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