So, there I am craving ice cream in Times Square at 9 ‘o clock at night and Cold Stone Creamery is staring me in my neon-basked face. Now before all you Zagat-carrying Manhattan zombies chastise me for not going to an independently owned shop, is there such a thing in Times Square any more?
I order a medium waffle cup of Gingerbread ice cream — inanely called their “Love It” size — and bring it to the cashier.
I am wearing my sardonic Save-the-Newspaper t-shirt (pictured above on a much more muscular frame) and the teenager behind the register seems more interested in the paperboy graphic than my money. “Are you a real journalist?” he asks. “Who do you work for?”
I mention “The Working Stiff,” my weekly business column for the Boston Herald and his jaw drops. “Wow, I’ve never served a real journalist before!”
The teen’s syrupy earnestness and smooth delivery immediately struck me as camouflaged sarcasm. Was I on Candid Camera or MTV’s Punk’d? When did I get to meet Alan Funt or Ashton Kutcher?
A young woman standing behind me in line seconded the cashier’s motion. “Yeah, that’s cool!” she said, pointing to the newspaper t-shirt. She, too, seemed to be part of the gag.
However, after careful reflection, I think both the cashier and ice cream customer were being truly genuine. This leads to me to two conclusions:
1. Writers for the New York Post and New York Daily News know of a hipper place to get ice cream in Times Square; and
2. These aforementioned journalists don’t wear t-shirts announcing their occupational status.
In any case, it is encouraging to know that print journalism has at least two eager supporters under the age of 60.