The Baskin Robbins in Lancaster, OH was located at the corner of Memorial and 6th in what I think was an old gas station. That store had huge windows on two sides and from either roadway you could look in and see the employees screwing around. The guy that owned the competing ice cream store down the road once said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if I drove by and saw those kids fucking on the back counter.”
We were always doing something stupid, whether it was making outrageous concoctions of coke syrup mixed with coffee and dry ice or messing with the customers. The ice cream cases had vertical glass fronts that women would unknowingly (?) mash their breasts into. Because we wore hats, I could keep my brim down as I pretended to look at the tubs of ice cream.
We usually kept our shenanigans to closing time on non-busy nights. People walking in the doors at 10:59pm on a Wednesday would be greeted with us wearing our aprons on our heads as we chased on another with whipped cream containers. If we got busted, there was a back room for us to go streaking into to collect ourselves. I had fun one evening when Katrina and I taped 5 gallon buckets to our feet and served customers. No one said a thing as we klonked around the store.
One of the more complicated stunts we pulled off was Jamole from Uganda (pronounced Yahm-OLE.) We got out a TRAINEE badge and used the name tag maker to make Jamole’s name tag. I wore my hat all the way down, buttoned my shirt all the way up and wore my apron as high as it would go. I used an accent that was mostly Indian and what I thought was African. When customers would come in, my co-worker Dave would loudly pressure me to work. Guests would rattle off their order and I would say, “Speak slow. I am Jamole from Uganda.” Dave would yell, “He’s not from around here!” I would make correct change, but count it back in a fake foreign language. I would purposely pick out the wrong cone or ice cream and Dave would come over, slap it out of my hand and loudly correct me. “No Jamole! Sugar cone!” Once customers were served and sitting down, Dave would give me lessons about the United States and make me sweep the floor.
I was in the middle of being Jamole with some customers when my buddy Don’s parents walked in. I was in the school play with Don and we played football together so I knew his parents very well. They saddled right up next to the couple I had been working over with my “make change in gibberish” routine and said, “Hi Doug! How are you?”
I said, “Good,” in Jamolese.
“Are you excited for the play?”
The man in the other couple turned to Don’s folks and said, “He doesn’t speak English very well.”
Luckily Dave walked up to serve Don’s parents and I ran in the back room.
I came back out once Don’s parents left. When I saw Don next, he mentioned that his parents saw me at Baskin Robbins the other night. He said they were positive that I did not recognize them.