I used to work at a zoo snack bar. We had some of those ice cream carts that had wheels and we would roll them out to different areas of the park and then stay there for the remainder of the day. This day, I was stationed at the “playground” one of the worst places to be because children would run rampant throughout the park while their parents sat around on benches chatting with friends, or just weren’t really paying attention to what their children were doing. I’d have hundreds of kids come up to me on a daily basis and BEG for ice cream, but of course I couldn’t just give it to them. I’d always ask if they had any money, and they never did, and I’d tell them to go ask their parents for some if they wanted money (not my problem).

On this particular day, it was exceptionally hot, and one kid had a hardcore temper tantrum when I told him I couldn’t just give him ice cream. Like FULL BLOWN, on the floor crying and screaming and I’m just like what the heck and continue to help other customers around his howling body sprawled on the ground. The brat finally pulls himself together and goes to find his mother. About 15 minutes later bratty and his mom stroll over to the cart, child sniffling and happy that he persuaded his mother for ice cream and they start checking out the selections. We had about 15 different ice cream options, all with prices clearly marked. The kid picks out the most expensive option and the mom is all like “whatever you want sweet baby”. I hand her the $3.50 ice cream and she unwraps it and hands it to him. He immediately started drooling and slobbering all over it, and it was a day that was hot as hell so it started melting quickly. She asks me how much it is and I tell her, gesturing towards the clearly marked sign. She starts screaming at me about how she’s not paying that much and I’m just like, “sorry ma’am, there’s nothing I can do, he’s already started eating it”. She’s like flipping out at me and finally gives me the money- all in change, mostly pennies and nickels.
Then, she asks for napkins. Ugh.
The park wouldn’t let us hand out napkins because too many people littered and the amount that it costed daily to clean up all the napkins in the park was too much for the park to afford (or so they said). Regardless, not my problem. I politely explain why we don’t have napkins and apologize for the inconvenience and this woman literally flips out. She grabs the now disgusting drippy ice cream from her sons mouth (starting another temper tantrum, this time with better reason), literally throws it at me, and reaches into my tip jar and pulls out $3.50. She stomped away with her hysterical son and I had to try and wipe the ice cream off my shirt with LEAVES from a nearby tree, and was forced to sit at my stand for the rest of the day unable to do anything about it.

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