September 18, 2003


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Collegetown is a stinking mess. A glance down at the sidewalk on College Avenue reveals smashed Solo cups, cigarette butts, used condoms, broken glass, and strewn flyers. And for those lucky enough, a morning stroll down the street often involves stepping over vomit and dog shit. Isn’t being a Collegetown resident grand?

But, one item in particular is the root behind Collegetown’s trash situation. And it ain’t the house parties. It’s empty Colombo frozen yogurt cups. Yes, folks, it’s those damn fro-yo containers.

In a completely unscientific survey conducted yesterday afternoon from my porch couch, at least 28 individuals were spotted walking down the street stuffing their faces with fro-yo. It makes you wonder: would Jason’s Deli even be in business if it weren’t for the fro-yo? Clearly, it sure as heck isn’t hurting them. Look at their front windows: covered with paint advertising in bold letters, the messiah, the end-all-say-all: COLOMBO. It just rolls off your tongue. I’m starting to crave a big tub of fro-yo just thinking about it. Yum.

It’s hard to say where the fro-yo phenomenon began, but it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. And quite honestly, it’s starting to really irk me here. I’ve heard that many individuals crave the fro-yo because of its low fat content and calories. Some familiar with fro-yo have told me that certain patrons have even come to use fro-yo as a meal replacement. That sounds safe. Hey geniuses, just because it has the word “yogurt” in it, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. And hell, here’s a revelation: loading rainbow sprinkles, cookie pieces and chocolate syrup on top sure as shit isn’t going to help you lose any weight.

But, I’ve got to say, there’s something about walking home from class and seeing all the ladies conversing outside of Jason’s on that little wall. Gossiping about how cute they all are and whether or not Dino’s will stink like vomit again that night, these patrons throw back cups of fro-yo, after which they nonchalantly chuck the empty cups into the street.

Jason’s, clearly Collegetown’s number one fro-yo dealer and possibly the region’s largest distributor, is making a killing. Instead of charging individuals by the cup or cone, Jason’s allows for patrons to serve themselves and then pay by the ounce. There’s a revolutionary idea. How about the fact that those standing in line quickly try to put as much fro-yo in their faces before getting to the registers? And then, the moment of truth. The cup is handed over to tshe clerk. Gasp. The cost is told to the customer. Gasp. The customer then conveniently pays by Citybucks.

“Competitors have frequently tried to imitate Colombo’s taste, but have failed. That is why time and again, Colombo has been selected over other brands as the best tasting frozen yogurt on the market,” states Colombo’s soft serve fro-yo publicity materials. The materials even promise that there is a “high profit margin and HIGH PERCEIVED VALUE by the consumer” [emphasis mine]. Holy shit, wake up Ithaca!

I’m not advocating fro-yo protests, sit-ins or teach-ins. But let’s get real here. Fro-yo is ice cream. Ice cream is not good for you. Ice cream is not a meal. Who knew? And, while those of us living in Collegetown don’t mind you outside of Jason’s enjoying the weather, could you do us all a favor and throw your cups in the garbage?

Archived article by Marc Zawel