Posted by: Mark | April 15, 2009

Ice Cream vs. Booze

A lot of people ask me, “Why don’t you drink alcohol?” This is a good question. I’ve been asked it hundreds of times, starting back in high school when I first found myself not drinking alcohol while people around me were.

There are a bunch of reasons. Some profound, and some quite superficial. The truth of the matter, and what it all really boils down to is that I already have a vice, and people can really only have one vice at a time. Otherwise they get overloaded with vices.

My vice is ice cream. There, I’ve said it. I’m hopelessly devoted to ice cream. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the single greatest substance that can be consumed by human beings. Check that…by all living creatures. My dog loves ice cream. I bet if I could open up a tree and pour ice cream down its xylem and phloem, the tree would be thrilled. It’s the best.

So here goes another comparison: why ice cream is better than booze.

1) First off, and this should be the most obvious, ice cream is eaten, booze is a liquid that one drinks. And if I had to choose, I’d so much rather be eating than drinking, no matter what the substance. it’s like “hmm…I’m bored, and I could either make a sandwich and eat it, or pour orange juice and drink it.” I mean come on. It’s obvious that you’re gonna eat the sandwich and love it. Drinking outweighs eating in maybe 10% of circumstances, tops. (See: stranded in the desert, after a soccer game, and I think that’s it.)

2) While ice cream is really really really good, it’s not technically addictive. Yes, there are some people who have difficult in controlling their consumption of food, but I do not believe that lies in a chemical component of ice cream that makes it addictive. Alcohol, on the other hand, is very addictive. There need not be much more said about that.

3) Ice cream comes in tons of flavors. Yes, I know that beer comes in tons of different flavors too. But let’s say you go to your typical bar. OK, you walk in. They’ll maybe have like 5 or 6 beers on tap. And for the most sake, these beers will probably have a pretty similar taste. Maybe some differences, but not much. In order to get those weird flavors where the hops are mixed with like cherries or sugarplums or whatever, you gotta really hunt. By comparison, go to your typical ice cream store. If they are even close to worth a damn, you’re going to have like 10 flavors, at least. Most, however, will be in the 20+ range. (My favorite ice cream place, Polly-Ann, boasts over 500 flavors, with around 50 or so for sale at any given moment.) Ice cream, by default, encourages diversity.

4) Ice cream doesn’t need to bend over backwards at every frickin sporting event to appear to be “funny,” “hip,” or “cool” in every single advertising circumstance ever in order to be sold. Sure, beer commercials tend to be funny. But if you look at the industry in general, it’s kind of like the quirky kid at the lunch table who has to talk really fast and really loud to stay in the conversation and have everyone chuckle, for fear of missing out and being left behind. These funny ads by the beer companies are actually, you could argue, a bit desperate. They need to be funny, and need to be talked about, to convince people to buy their beer. (Let’s not even get into how desperate it looks when you mix sex into these advertisements. It’s like saying “our beer is ok, but we’re going to pair it with sex, which you know you like, in order to compensate for our mediocrity.”) Ice cream, on the other hand, doesn’t need to flaunt its goodness. I don’t typically see ice cream commercials. You know why? No one needs convincing that ice cream is amazing. They just accept it as the way of the universe, one of the laws of nature. Ice cream at the lunch table is the super cool guy that is totally understated, and so is like the most sought-after and liked kid in school.

5) If I’m really going to splurge, and I mean go over the deep end in terms of treating myself to ice cream, I will get a huge sundae with like 80 scoops and tons of goodies mixed it, and spend $8, tops. Good luck with that when it comes to booze. You go to a bar in a city somewhere and you can spend twice that for a single mixed drink, and so to really splurge in the alcohol sense is like totally over the top and really expensive. And good luck feeling equally satisfied with your single drink in the same way that I was by my sundae the size of a small child.

6) Speaking of children, there’s no age limit to ice cream. The young and the old can enjoy it. It’s fun for the whole family, like Jenga.

7) So people will say that booze helps to loosen people up socially. And I can see that. But just imagine. You go out to a bar, there’s live music playing, but instead of people putting down beers, they’re sucking down milkshakes or doing make-your-own sundaes. I mean come on. That party would possibly be the best in the whole world. Everyone would be socially loose because they’d be mixing it up over ice cream. There’d be toppings fights, the chocolate fans would all collaborate together and talk about how boring vanilla is, I mean I just imagine possibly the perfect social night when it’s set to ice cream. Most ice cream parlors don’t go for this feel, and by God they should. It would revolutionize the way that people look at ice cream.

8) (Ok so why does an “8” followed by a closed parenthesis “)” make a smiley face? What’s up wordpress? I thought that it was a colon “:” with a closed parenthesis “)” that gave me a smiley face emoticon.) Moving on: Ice cream is good in its natural form, but it can be mixed to make even more goodness. There’s ice cream cake. That is out of this world. The only cake I’ve had that has alcohol in it is rum cake, and it tastes so bad it makes me almost not want to eat cake anymore. There’s also ice cream sandwiches. If you like put salami and marinate it in beer for a sandwich, I’d probably puke on you.

Do I really need say much more? So I am ok with having my ice cream vice. You are still welcome to enjoy your alcohol, but every now and then just imagine a world where ice cream flowed like water. I get weak in the knees just thinking of it.



  1. I agree. I choose ice cream over booze any day!

  2. The 8 followed by the ) creates a ‘cool’ emoticon, with the sunglasses (represented by the swirly 8 sign). Read up on your emoticons, buddy.

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