Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s San Jose

Since there is a Ben & Jerry’s near his Santa Clara office, Peter found out yesterday that it was free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s. Hey, we love ice cream, and we love free ice cream even more, especially when it comes from a yummy ice cream vendor like Ben & Jerry’s.

And so we went downtown for dinner. Judging by the line outside the Ben & Jerry’s, we were clearly not the only people excited about free ice cream:

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Our Ben & Jerry’s is only a block away from the San Jose State University campus, so we weren’t surprised that most of the people in line and enjoying the ice cream were college aged. Here are two guys enjoying their cones outside the store:

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We decided to be slightly responsible parents and make our children eat some food first. As it happens, one of the area’s most beloved pizza franchises, Pizza My Heart, is right next door. It’s decorated with surfboards and autographed pictures of famous surfers inside:

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We liked it better when it was Pizza a Go Go and an ordinary type of pizza. Now it has thin-crust pizza that somehow seems greasier. But it’s still good. I had a slice of the Super Veggie, but had to get the Pesto instead when Kelly started picking the artichokes off for herself.

After we’d finished, we joined the Ben & Jerry’s line. Free Cone Day wasn’t just about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream: it was an actual event. The San Jose State University radio station was playing music and handing out posters and club invitations. A nondescript, overly broad nonprofit organization had a table with pamphlets but no person to represent the organization. I took a sticker and stuck it on Kelly any way.

The Democratic Party also had a volunteer out to register new voters:voter-registration.jpg

I asked him if he was here because of the students (who, when they do vote, tend to veer left), and he said yes, but also that the Democratic Party had planned to have a similar registration drive at the other Ben & Jerry’s in San Jose. Peter hadn’t seen a voter registration drive at the Ben & Jerry’s in Santa Clara, but its crowd was also different: mostly business professionals happy for ice cream.

The store was out of most of its flavors by the time we got in, but they still had great flavors. We were surprised by the indecisive college students pondering the shortened menu, because we knew exactly what we wanted. One of the clerks advised someone in line behind us not to curse in front of our little kids; after a summer at Great America amusement park, where Fuck Patois is the major parlance, I’ve grown deaf to it. But I appreciated the concern.

Anyway, the counter clerks were bustling and happy, and we quickly got some great ice cream that we enjoyed immensely. And the scene outside the store was an added bonus.

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