Posts Tagged ‘Snowballs

11
Aug
11

Dangerous Hiring Practices

A glittering jewel of perfection. (This definition can apply to the snack, the jewelry, or Erin, depending on who's asking)I love Snowballs.

For those of you who don’t live in New Orleans and think I’ve finally flipped my gourd, allow me to explain.

A “Snowball” is a frozen treat made of very finely shaved ice topped with flavored syrup. Now, those of you who live in the north are probably saying, “Oh, he means a Sno-Cone.” No, my friends. No. A Sno-Cone, with all due respect, is not fit to melt at the foot of a New Orleans-style Snowball Stand. The ice is shaved much finer, the syrup filtering down into every nook and cranny, and if you add a bonus topping such as condensed milk… this is the frozen snack food of the gods. (Literally. It’s not a coincidence that every Snowball Stand in Louisiana offers “nectar” as a standard flavor option.) It’s a treat so emblematic of our region that local jeweler Mignon Faget created a line of pendants based on the Snowball, and I gave one to Erin for her birthday, and her niece tried to eat it.

That’s how good they are.

I could easily devour these things every day, but in an act of extreme self-control and denial, I typically manage to restrict my intake to one every week or two. The issue, therefore, is that since I don’t get them as often as I would like, there are a great many flavors that don’t quite make my rotation. That becomes even more complicated by the fact that the best Snowball Stand on my route home from work happens to employ a very large, bemuscled gentleman with a beard that makes mine feel bad about itself. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very friendly chap and highly competent at his job. But when I step up to the stand to order from this guy who looks like he may have taken my lunch money in high school, I look at the menu of nearly thirty delectable flavors and find myself incapable of ordering anything that would make me sound too much like a wuss.

You can’t go up to a dude this size and order a “Margarita” flavored Snowball. Or a “Pina Colada.” Or, god forbid, “Passion Fruit.” You have to stay with very basic flavors. “Grape” is safe, or “Orange,” or “Lemon.” You can get away with “Green Apple,” since there’s an implied sourness to the flavor, but for the most part, you’re restricted to the flavors you would get if you bought a pack of eight scented markers, because if you look a dude like this in the eye and ordered a “Strawberry Cheesecake” flavored Snowball, you just freaking know you’d be walking away from that stand with a wedgie.

So on behalf of other insecure males everywhere, I have a request to make of the Snowball Stand operators of New Orleans: stop hiring people tougher than us. The following are acceptable concession workers, because they are in no way threatening and therefore safe to order a Dreamsicle Snowball from:

  • Young mothers whose only reaction to any given flavor will be to tell you how their 14-month-old reacted when they let them try it.
  • Teenagers who are still immature enough that you suspect they’re pouring the syrup on the counter and trying to conjure up ant races when business is slow.
  • Somebody’s grandmother. Anybody’s grandmother, really.
  • Males that are a minimum of 18 inches shorter than me, provided they have not earned a belt in any documented martial art and possess a maximum of three bladed weapons. (Sorry, Kenny.)
  • Emmanuel Lewis.
With any of these individuals helming your frozen snack enterprise, your business shall rise exponentially. At least at the stand closest to my home. Thank you for your consideration.
Blake M. Petit is the author of the superhero comedy novel, Other People’s Heroes, the upcoming suspense novel The Beginner and the Christmas-themed eBook A Long November. He’s also the co-host, with whoever the hell is available that week, of the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast. E-mail him at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com.
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12
Jul
11

A wonderful week with a wonderful girl

Erin and I have been together for quite some time now… since before the days when Facebook and Twitter (and now, I suppose, Google+) were hard at work keeping everybody appraised of what everybody else was doing at any given moment of the day. As a result, I sometimes worry that my compositions telling the world how we enjoy our adventures together have become redundant. But I enjoy telling and sharing, and I know Erin enjoys it as well. So while you may well know an awful lot of what I’m about to say if you follow us on those aforementioned social networking sites, that’s okay. It was worth living all over again.

  • Erin arrived on Sunday, July 3. This wasn’t a trip that was planned months in advance — just a few weeks ago, Erin realized she could sneak in a visit with me and my family in time for our annual Fourth of July extravaganza. Being an extravaganza on the Fourth, though, that meant there was an awful lot of work to do on the Third. After I picked Erin up from the airport and got us lunch, she was sweet enough to help my mother watch my niece, Maggie, while I joined my father, brother, and brother-in-law in assembling the tents for the barbecue and taking care of other such preparations. After it was all done, we went out for dinner and then headed our to the St. Charles Parish Independence Day Fireworks, held (as always) on July 3. We got there a little later than expected, however, and Erin and I joined my sister Heather, her husband Will, and little Maggie on the side of the interstate watching the fireworks from a distance. And despite some mosquito invasions, it was still great.
  • Monday was the bash. My family has had these barbecues for as long as I can remember, and once again Ama was flooded with Petits, Faucheuxs, and numerous other families that have married into or befriended ours over the years. There was — as always — way too much food, but there was an unexpected surprise this year. My family has done this for over 30 years, and on all but a handful of occasions, the event has been soaked by rain. This year: not a drop. So we all got to swim, there was a marathon Pictionary session, we ate several herds of grilled animals and several vats of homemade ice cream, and everybody went home happy.
  • On Tuesday, the excitement calmed down, Erin and I got down to a more conventional visit for us — beginning with helping to babysit Maggie while my sister was at work. Maggie was little more than a month old the last time Erin saw her, and now she’s close to nine months, so she was looking forward to playing with her again. She also introduced Maggie to her friend Wash T. Dynosaur, the traveling Apatosaurus. After Maggie settled down we headed out — I got Erin (and Wash) a snowball that matched the pendant I gave her for her birthday, we did a little shopping, and went to see what has become my favorite movie of the year so far — Super 8. I’ve seen it before, but Erin hadn’t, and she was very satisfied in her choice of film. (She also got some Raising Cane’s chicken, something she can’t yet get in her home state of Pennsylvania.)
  • Wednesday was the day we began to get adventurous. Erin, being more of a traveler than I am, was looking to do things we’d never done before. We decided on a tour of Destrehan Plantation, one of the many gorgeous old plantation houses that line the Mississippi River here in Louisiana. I’ve been to the Plantation many times for various events, but I don’t think I’d ever taken the tour before, so we both got an education before heading out for some more shopping (it was Wednesday, new comics had come out), then meeting up with my family for dinner at the Quarter View restaurant in Metairie.
  • Our adventures continued on Thursday as we traveled to Baton Rouge, a place Erin has wanted to go for some time. We realized early that we would have to do this again, as there were just too many things to do in that lovely city than we could accomplish in one day. We did manage to get lunch at Cheeburger Cheeburger, found a used bookstore Erin located online, and hit the Mall of Louisiana. Later, we met up with my brother Chip and his wife Kayla, who live in nearby Gonzales, and they took us to a great Mexican place for dinner. It was a great little visit, especially since (living in Gonzales as they do) they don’t get to join us as often as the rest of my family.
  • On Friday we headed into the French Quarter in New Orleans, something we’ve done many times before, but always enjoy. But my friends, I’ve got to tell you something. Friday… was… hot. I’m talking about “gallons of sweat cascading down your face” hot. After a few hours walking around and talking pictures of Wash at local landmarks, we headed off to the New Orleans Area for our next “new thing.” Will — an athletic trainer whose job happens to include working the New Orleans Voodoo arena football games — got us tickets to the team’s final home game of the season. We met up with Heather there, bought some dry Voodoo shirts to change into (we’d sweat through our other ones) and enjoyed the festivities. The Voodoo didn’t have a great season, but we had fun.
  • Saturday was the day we got together with my friends, something we try to do at least once each time she’s in town. We met up at Izzo’s Illegal Burrito (it’s as good as it sounds) before heading back down into the French Quarter. After a few hours of wandering around, we decided to find some place a little cooler and went into Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. With our semi-regular Vegas trips, Erin and I are old hands at casinos, and we find we really do enjoy doing them together, especially when we come out ahead. The rest of our group didn’t fare as well as we did (sorry about losing that parking garage ticket, Mike), but we put in $20 and came out up $139. Not too bad. Afterwards, we all had dinner at a new TGI Friday’s that opened in Metairie — good food, but you could tell it was a new restaurant. The servers were overwhelmed. I’ll go back to the restaurant, but not for a few months.
  • Sunday was the day Erin went home, which is always sad, but was made worse in that she had an early flight. We managed to have lunch before I had to take her off to the airport and fare her well, but it wasn’t as bad as it sometimes is. We’re going to see each other again in just a couple of weeks, when we travel to Maine together for a friend’s wedding.

It was a great time, and as always, I’m left more in love with her than ever. If you spent a few minutes with her like I have, I know you’d feel the same.

Here are some photographic highlights of the trip. If you want, you can see more in my Flickr album: Family Summer 2011.

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