Title: A Trip to Zero Zest for Ice Cream

Date Occurred: Friday, April 5, 2019

Date Written: April 5, 2019

Written by: Joel T. Kant

Copyright (c) 2019 by Joel T. Kant


Holly asked me, "Are you going put this up on your web site?"

I responded, "A trip here for ice cream?"

Carol laughed at this.

Holly also laughed and explained, "Not a trip to Zero Zest. What we were talking about with our trip to England."

I answered, "I cannot write up your trip to England. I wasn't there!"

With it about sixty degrees although mid-Spring in Parma, Ohio on April 5, 2019, we had gone to get ice cream at a seasonal place called Zero Zest. (Fig. 1) It is boarded up every winter, then opens around the end of March.

Zero Zest

Figure One: Zero Zest

Although not too cold on this Friday evening, just last Sunday, we got a snowstorm. I had to use the snowblower before going off to do my bible study at Parma Lutheran Church. Cold weather like this can apparently cause problems with people wanting ice cream or soft serve. To attempt to keep customers coming, on the tree-lawn outside Zero Zest looking like some sort of political ad is a sign claiming it is never too cold for Zero Zest. (Fig. 2) Earlier in this week, there would have been snow under this sign.

Sign Claiming It is Never too Cold for Zero Zest

Figure Two: Sign Claiming It is Never too Cold for Zero Zest

While we can walk to Zero Zest as it is about a mile away, this evening I drove us there in the twenty-six-year-old Saturn.

Earlier in the evening as we got close in the car, Holly said, "There's no place to park."

With it being a warm evening, it seemed that many people had a similar idea as the parking lot was crowded. However, obscured by the building until we got around it, there were some open parking spots, though. (Fig. 3)

My Saturn in the Zero Zest Parking Lot

Figure Three: My Saturn in the Zero Zest Parking Lot

What Holly meant about what I should be getting ready for my web site is that from March 20, 2019 through March 27, 2019, she and Carol had flown to England. Carol's high school Laurel has a different spring break than where I teach at Cuyahoga Community College. Therefore, I had not been on the trip to England, but was here in Cleveland teaching my electronics classes.

For Carol, the highlight of their trip was visiting Oxford. (Fig. 4) Carol had been showing me photographs that she had taken on her Apple iPhone when Holly had asked me about putting this information up on my web site.

Carol at New College Oxford

Figure Four: Carol at New College Oxford

[Selfie taken by Katharina E. Kant, New College Oxford, Part of University of Oxford, March 25, 2019]

Both Holly and Carol admitted that they had taken relatively few photographs when in England. (Fig. 5) Holly had used her own Apple iPhone to take some other photos then the ones Carol had taken. Holly showed some of the photographs she had taken.

Holly and Carol at Zero Zest

Figure Five: Holly and Carol at Zero Zest

I found the photographs taken by Holly and Carol relatively sparse. Also, I did not see how the photos would relate to composing a story.

After showing me the photos, Holly said, "We've gotten so used to you taking all the photographs that we've gotten out of the habit of taking them ourselves."

I reiterated to Holly and Carol that if they wanted a write-up of their trip to England, then they needed to do it themselves. I do not like to write up stories secondhand.

I explained, "As an example of what I can do, I can write up this trip to Zero Zest! After all, I'm here for this."

Carol thought about that and said, "You can explain how I always wanted to work here until I was a teenager, but now that I am one, I can't."

We have been coming to Zero Zest since Carol was a toddler. Back then, Carol had admired the teenage girls serving the ice cream, proudly announcing she wanted to do this when she grew up.

Holly remembered that back in the early days of coming to Zero Zest, one thing Carol liked here as opposed to other ice cream stores is that they put candy eyes on the ice cream. I found a sign that confirms this practice still exists as it reads, "Free candy eyes available upon REQUEST for children's cones (7 years or younger)." (Fig. 6)

Carol is sixteen now. She said she could still have them if the sign had said 17 years or younger. Back when she was seven and younger, she always made the request.

Sign at the Counter

Figure Six: Sign at the Counter

Carol had retained her interest in working for Zero Zest throughout grade school and into middle school. Looking at the various servers tonight, all were girls. I did not see any boys serving. Also, the girls mostly appeared to be around Carol's age of sixteen. Yet, Carol was not to realize this ambition.

Carol elaborated on not being able to work here because her schedule keeps her so busy. This summer, she has band camp. She is in Flag Corps with St. Ignatius, and the summer band camp is a requirement. Carol has another task this summer that she expects to take much time, which is writing college entrance essays. She figured her schedule could only let her have a summer job for about six weeks, and few employers would accept that.

Carol said, "About the only way to get a job is not tell the employer that, then after four weeks, give your two-week notice. That would end working there ever again."

Unlike most ice cream places in this area, Zero Zest is not open during the winter. There are no interior tables nor any way for customers to enter the building, but only picnic tables outside for them. During the winter, the big glass windows are covered with white-painted plywood. Thus, working at Zero Zest is not an all-year job. Seasonally open places like this seem to be getting rare in our modern world.

Another thing that appealed to Carol about Zero Zest as opposed to other ice cream vendors when she was younger was a regularly rotating series of what are called Fun Facts. I have never known if the claimed Fun Facts are true or not. Today's Fun Fact claims, "A mole can dig a tunnel 300 feet in a night" (Fig. 7) I think these are changed around once a week. To a little kid learning to read as she had been long ago, this was appealing.

Today's Fun Fact

Figure Seven: Today's Fun Fact

Of course, Carol can easily search the web to find out more fun facts and fun supposed facts herself than anybody could possibly remember. She often looks up things on her iPhone using it almost like Arthur Dent used the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy electronic book in the BBC radio series. Another advantage of Holly and Carol having iPhones is the cameras are pretty good quality. I had not brought my regular camera to take images of getting ice cream at Zero Zest, but borrowed Carol's iPhone to take most of the photographs included here in this write-up.

After eighteen years of marriage, Holly realized I was not kidding when I said I would write-up this visit to Zero Zest. She insisted she fix a problem that she occurs in many of my write-ups. This is that I do almost all the picture taking. This means many photos of her and Carol, but very few of myself. Using her own iPhone, Holly rectified that by taking a photograph of Carol and me. (Fig. 8)

Carol and Joel at Zero Zest

Figure Eight: Carol and Joel at Zero Zest

[Photograph Taken by Holly K. Mayer]

As for the discussion of England that came before deciding to write-up this visit to Zero Zest, Holly mentioned something she found disappointing, "Windsor Castle is on the flight path for Heathrow Airport. The entire time we were there, we kept hearing jets flying low overhead." (Fig. 9)

Windsor Castle

Figure Nine: Windsor Castle

[Photograph Taken by Katharina E. Kant, taken March 23, 2019]

Holly's late grandmother had a house close to Hopkin's airport in Cleveland where the sound of the jets low overhead had been loud. Holly never liked that, and chose her house in Parma where the planes are high enough to be barely audible.


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