I don't want to get all Andy Rooney here, but why in the heck does Dairy Queen charge 40 cents each for nuts and whipped cream on my chocolate sundae when they're simple items I'd expect to come with any sundae?

And why do they ask me if I want stuff without telling me how much it is? Suddenly a $2.29 sundae is more than $3. So I felt a little stupid the other day when the DQ worker asked me "Do you want nuts and whipped cream with that?" and I said "Yes," expecting it was included in the cost, only to see the 30% surcharge when I looked at the receipt. It was about an ounce of crushed walnuts and a few spoonfuls of whip cream.

My point is, and I do have one if you'll bear with me, is that everyone is trying to nickel and dime the customer. Airlines charge for luggage, extra legroom, food, drink, etc. An employee cafeteria at a place I used to work charged for salt, napkins and forks for awhile until civil unrest got things back on track. I expect McDonald's to soon be charging for a squirt of ketchup. But mess with my ice cream?


DQ, one of the last old-fashioned ice cream places in America, can't find some old-fashioned hospitality and either include the nuts and whipped cream on its sundaes for no extra charge, or stop bothering me with the question? Why not go all the way and ask if I want a soda, hot dog and a cake? I expect to pay for those things.

I'm a big fan of the Blizzard, DQ's signature treat that has a fan club and is impossibly copied at other restaurants. But if I order one and a worker asks me if I want it stirred and then I see a 40 cent surcharge on my receipt, I'm going to go crazy.

I'm going to have to start questioning every clerk who asks me a question when I place an order. It will be a long conversation, so don't get behind me in line.

Clerk: "Do you want that for here or to go?"

Me: "Does it cost more if I eat it here? If it does, make it to go. If not, I'll eat here.

Clerk: "Do you want fries with that?"

Me: "What size were you thinking of? And does the salt cost extra?"

Clerk: "Do you want the ice cream in a cone or a cup?"

Me: "How much more is the cone than the cup? Or is it the other way around?"

For the sake of my health and those who might be behind me in line, maybe it's better if I stay away from DQ for awhile.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at www.AaronCrowe.net


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