Ice cream people: we see these idols of joviality advertised everywhere, beckoning the world to experience the goodwill of eating ice cream. However, what lingers beyond those cheerful smiles and excited eyes?
After a recent tour of China, we consult the world-renowned Ice Cream Person Research Coordinator and founder of icecreampeople.org, Brian Butler, to discuss Ice Cream People awareness and issues like sadomasochism, global melting, and public exposure that affect this underrepresented species.
ICM: First off, how was your trip to China? Were there any Ice Cream People sightings?
Brian Butler: China was awesome, that was my first trip abroad. There was a good mix of ancient and contemporary architecture. Everything was either dilapidated or had neon signs, or both. And, yes, there were Ice Cream People in the East. I just posted those fellas on the blog.
ICM: So the pictures you get for the international ice cream people sightings, are there people you have scouring the world for you to track down the ice cream people or just fans of the phenomena? Enthusiasts, if you will.
BB: It’s a good mix of both. It’s like bird watching, but more difficult. So there are hobbyists, newbs, and the occasional over-the-top-enthusiast, like myself. I have found that artists take to the project rather quickly. I think they have an open mind, and a keen eye for our frozen friends.
ICM: When did you begin this enterprise? What has been the evolution of the company?
BB: The project began nearly a year ago, after a tour of every miniature golf course in Massachusetts. (Of which there were 84, some are already gone. R.I.P.). So, I discovered a couple of Ice Cream Person monuments on the side of the road over the duration of the tour, and thought “I bet there’s a whole subculture of Ice Cream/ Human Hybrids out there.
The website came a little later after a bit more research, and once it went online other people started submitting their evidence. The project has grown to a point where I have started soliciting for submissions. It’s all about Ice Cream Person awareness, and I’m trying to get others to keep an eye out. I have great plans for the project.
ICM: Speaking of plans for the project, on the website you mentioned that you are planning an exhibit for the portraits of the ice cream people you’ve collected. What can be expected from this expose? Has there been a projected date and location this will take place?
BB: I have been sending out postcards with an Ice Cream Person template, for interested people to customize, printed on it. The ones I receive back are added into the Ice Cream People Museum, and are then archived and exhibited. The show you mentioned will be happening this July, in Boston, MA. It is tentatively happening at a venue called 826, a writing center for teens, under the guise of a “Bigfoot Research Institute.” They are totally into the cryptozoology scene, and are down with Ice Cream People. The exhibit should be the first in a series of exhibitions. Presenting artist-renditions, as well as other evidence supporting the existence of the Ice Cream Person.
Also, there is definitely going to be an Ice Cream Person Party on July 28th, at a spot called the Milky Way, in Jamaica Plain, MA. Free, 21+, sorry kids, next one will be all-ages. Yeah.
ICM: Although characters like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster have more historical credit, wouldn’t you say that the ice cream people are much more prevalent and prolific on a mass scale? (This could be due to the lack of mystery and hiding involved with this species, as depictions are posted and advertised around the world.)
BB: They are most certainly out there. That’s the major issue behind this project, I’m trying to build that foundation of research and data, to justify the existence of Ice Cream People. I think there popularity in advertising has both aided and weakened my cause.
BB: It’s great that when I say ‘Ice Cream Person”, people immediately visualize what I’m saying, and I attribute that to their likeness being used in advertisements for ice cream shops. On the downside, it’s watered down the mystery. Everybody thinks they’ve got the Ice Cream People figured out. They say “Oh yeah, those smiley guys, that try and get me to eat them.” I thought that too, but the truth is they have a lot of drama.
Through this project I’ve discovered that, Yes, they are kind of sadomasochistic, they really do get a kick out of being eaten. Thus they are also prone to cannibalism. (This has threatened their population for decades.) But what is really hurting their numbers now is the Climate Crisis. They call it “global melting”.
ICM: I thought that would put them in higher demand, but “global melting” sounds like it’s affecting all species, natural and supernatural.
BB: Your right, global melting sucks. We need to step-up, for the polar bears, for ourselves, and most importantly, for the Ice Cream People. I want my grandkids to someday see an Ice Cream Person.
ICM: Can this cannibalism they succumb to be a form of reproduction or merely a disastrous plight to the ice cream nation?
BB: There are a few theories regarding their reproduction. The most convincing of them is kind of like the way that bad guy from Terminator can become whole again from a puddle. I think Ice Cream People can do that. When they drip a little, it’s possible for those drips to re-freeze, become a little Ice Cream Person. This also creates neat flavors, when they mix. They must find a sterile environment though, otherwise they get grass, and dirt, and hair all in their babies. The cannibalism is hurting them.
ICM: I see. Otherwise benign creatures though. I’ve seen the pictures of paraphernalia posted on the site, are you going to start selling merchandise on the web?
BB: Some of the evidence I post is actually for sale. There is usually a link posted with the description of the Ice Cream Person. But all those sales are external, and don’t help fund the project. I foresee the artist renditions becoming a book, and that can be used to generate revenue to support the project. The Ice Cream People Project is a labor of love.
ICM: Thank you very much for your insight into this subculture. We have been privileged to speak with such an astute and knowledgeable icecreampeopleologist as yourself. If you’re interested in having us come to one of your events, let us know! We love ice cream and would love to support your cause for awareness.
BB: Awesome Danielle, thanks for taking the time to speak with me! Ice Cream Man & co are totally welcome to the events, I’ll keep you updated.
ICM: No, thank you! Definitely keep us posted and we’ll hopefully be in contact soon. Take care.
photos/art courtesty of Brian Butler, Heidi Kenney, Sir Mitchell, Tara Gee & Apple Noggin