A yogurt shop recently opened up down the street from me. Yes, I know, yogurt is not a hot new thing and has been around for years, so the opening of the new yogurt shop is no big deal.
Still I noticed this particular yogurt shop. It was all white and shiny and trimmed with happy green and pink colors. It seemed like a popular place to be. People sat outside under umbrellas and ate yogurt out of cardboard buckets while holding Iphones in their free hands. Yogurt people seemed so free and easy as they ate the good bacteria.
On one particularly hot day recently, I decided to drink the kool-aid at the yogurt shop and entered the yoguriverse.
I had been expecting to see some acne masked high school kids on a yogurt assembly chain gang reminiscent of the subway at the strip mall. Fortunately, there was no such thing in the yoguriverse. In the yoguriverse, you serve yourself.
I figured out the system quickly. You choose your yogurt, then your toppings, then the nice lady weighs it, you pay her, you get to sit in a grey plastic chair at a white plastic table and enjoy all the treats of the yoguriverse.
I picked the smallest large bowl I could find. I understood some of the psychology of the yoguriverse. If you have a bigger bowl, you will want to fill it with more yogurt and pay more for your treat. Besides, with such a large bowl, no one can see how much or how little yogurt you are eating. Your yogurt choices are private.
Holding my giant bowl, I studied the yogurt selection and wondered about the difference between French Vanilla and Artic Vanilla. I turned out to be sugar. I pulled the lever for French, and slowly the yogurt poured into my cup. When the cup was about a quarter full, I felt like I had enough. I wondered if I should add some dutch chocolate or maybe some tart green apple or maybe just some plain tart, but my yogurt portion seemed adequate. I didn’t want a supersized yogurt.
I moved over to toppings. There were lots of different kinds of fruits, cookies, nuts, and candy.
I need to put on my grumpy old lady hat for a second. The kids today don’t know how good they have it. Back when I was a kid, we’d go to Baskin Robbins. Sure, there were 31 flavors, but there were only two kinds of sprinkles. Two! Chopped up oreo cookies? Nope. Little Gummie Bears? Not a chance. Two! Chocolate sprinkles and Rainbow sprinkles. Okay, you could get a sundae with sauces, but that was special.
As I stared at my toppings options, an office intern came up to the bar with five bowls and a list that looked like it originated on Excel. Realizing that I needed to make up my mind, I sprinkled on some kiwi chunks and some almond slices. I put my bowl on the scale and paid two dollars for my concoction.
I sat down at the white table and ate my yogurt. It was nice. Yes, I could become a yogurt person.
Suddenly, a little girl, coked up on gummie bears, screamed her head off at a nearby table. Her scream echoed over all the shiny surfaces of the store. Okay, maybe I won’t become a yogurt person.