Vol. 3, Issue 21, October 18, 2005
Your Ice Cream or your Job? - "Freeze-speak" Gets People Fired
A controversial business self-help book designed to help business leaders connect with their "generation Y" employees has inadvertently led to hundreds of firings around the nation by describing a new form of street slang using words related to ice cream as euphemisms for drug and sexual terms.
"There is a vitriolic current of anti-authoritarianism in today's youth culture," warns the book, Menace Within Your Ranks: Understanding the Who, What, and "Y". "A component of this negative culture revels in the flaunting of unacceptable subject matter, cloaked in slang to permit discussion right under the noses of their despised supervisors! Failing to recognize this undermines the authority of leaders significantly! Hence, it is vital to be able to decode even the most recent permutations of this gutter cant, the latest of which - "Freeze-Speak" - perverts even the innocent language of frozen treats!"
Since the book's warning is so general, it has caused newly paranoid middle managers across the country to take umbrage at virtually any discussion of ice cream or other frozen desserts.
"My former secretary asked me if I wanted a "Good Humor bar" at the company picnic," fumed Harold Juntner, of Allied Paper Products in Pennsylvania. "I couldn't believe it! I told her then and there I wanted nothing to do with her mood-altering drugs and fired her on the spot."
Popsicles have become a particularly touchy subject in many offices, as has anything do to with the term "two scoops." But the most famous victim of the linguistic witch-hunt is Corporal Mark Strauss, of the 42nd Infantry Division of the New York National Guard.
"Corporal Strauss had the misfortune to mention that he had a desire for some Ben and Jerry's," said Ernest Paul, an analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union. "This was deemed to be a violation of the Army's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and he was summarily discharged. Although it must be admitted that his declared preference for the "Chubby Hubby" flavor provides unfortunate circumstantial evidence to this effect, we nonetheless do not condone the misguided condemnation of ice cream and ice-cream related products."
Strauss has petitioned for reinstatement, and his case is being vigorously supported by a coalition of companies including Baskin Robbins, Häagen-Dazs, and Carvel, who have all seen a precipitous drop in business from their corporate customers.
"This whole situation is ludicrous," complained Carvel CEO Steve Romaniello. "If managers would just take a minute to talk to their employees instead of treating them like incomprehensible aliens from another planet, they wouldn't need to spend all their time bouncing from one management fad to another. "Generation Y" is no different from any other. They just have better gadgets."
"You can't trust anyone under 30," countered Juntner. "Chocolate sundaes, whipped cream, cherries... My God, have they no shame?"