Hold the Ice

Do you think it’s rude (or weird) to order iced tea, but ask them to “hold the ice”?

This was the dilemma I encountered last week. I ordered an iced tea from the coffee shop around the corner, but they ended up adding so much ice I only got a few sips of tea. So I debated ordering it sans ice the next time I went, posing this question on Facebook because I didn’t want to walk in there looking like an idiot.

The overall consensus was, I’m the paying customer and am, therefore, entitled to iced tea just the way I want it. Most of my friends thought it would be perfectly acceptable to ask for no ice or light ice. It’s no worse than Tara ordering a Beef ‘n Cheddar from Arby’s and asking them to hold the cheddar. (She likes the toasted onion roll). Armed with the confidence instilled in me by a social media majority, I stopped in Friday afternoon and placed my order. And they never even batted an eye. In retrospect, this was yet another situation in which I was guilty of overthinking things.

Shocking, right? That never happens.

This does beg the question, though: if you order iced tea without ice, isn’t it technically just tea? And if you ask for tea, won’t they assume you want it hot? Should I ask for cold tea instead? What should I say?!

Man, the world is too complicated nowadays. And I am overthinking things again.

The reason I was so fixated on iced tea last week was because our high temperatures were hovering right around 185 degrees. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it was still hot. 103 on Wednesday and 105 on Thursday. 90s the rest of the week. Adding insult to injury, the air was thick with smoke from wildfires burning in British Columbia. It was just awful, ugly, and uncomfortable weather. Summer at its worst. Our only saving grace was a lack of humidity.

It was so hot, the weekly farmer’s market shut down. Now I am out of berries and that is just unacceptable.

Not so long ago, people were whining about the rain and the cold and the fact that winter seemingly would never end. Man, what I’d give for a little snow right about now! Hell, I’d settle for a temperature cooler than 80 degrees. But the forecast for this week doesn’t look promising, unless you’re a fan of hot, hazy weather.

In which case, you’re probably downright ecstatic.

So, we’ve been teaching Audrey to drive.

Our lessons must have paid off, because we’d enrolled her in a summer driving course and she passed with flying colors on Thursday. Now, she just has to hand the DMV a piece of paper with her passing score, and she can get her driver’s license. In Washington, you have to wait six months from the time you receive your permit, so she can’t get it until October 22nd. Not that anybody is going to forget the date, given that she’s got it circled in bold on every calendar hanging up within a three-mile radius.

Actually, I don’t know how much credit we can actually take. Most lessons consisted of me sitting in the passenger seat while she practiced driving in circles around empty parking lots. I did make lots of hand gestures in the air in which I pantomimed turning a steering wheel, and occasionally pressed down on a nonexistent brake pedal out of habit, but otherwise I was pretty much just along for the ride.

The next big milestone is her high school graduation, a mere 10 months away now.

Damn, I’m old.

Just heard on NPR the other day that Dunkin’ Donuts is opening a new store in Pasadena and dropping the “Donuts” from their name because they want to be known more for their coffee than their doughnuts. If it works out, they are considering changing their name company-wide and simply going by Dunkin’.

Is it just me, or is this a really dumb idea?

Dunkin’ Donuts is an institution. Carving the name in half is almost sacrilege.

Then again, I’m still mad that Kentucky Fried Chicken changed their name to KFC, and that happened 26 years ago. Besides, if history is any indication, this could all backfire on Dunkin’ Donuts. When Kentucky Fried Chicken morphed into KFC in 1991, rumors started flying that they were forced to change their name because they were using genetically modified chicken and could not, therefore, advertise it as chicken. Which is false, but I’m sure there are people who actually believe that, just as there are folks who think the moon landing was staged, there was a second gunman on the grassy knoll, and Courtney killed Kurt.

Only one of those things is true, of course.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

18 thoughts on “Hold the Ice

  1. “I’m the paying customer and am, therefore, entitled to iced tea just the way I want it. ”

    Yes, I agree, Mark! I hate how some places put in SO MANY ice cubes that you barely get anything to drink – two sips and it’s done!

    In response to your question, I would just ask for a side of ice and put it in yourself.

    OMG…it’s been so freakin’ hot and humid here as well. Thank god yesterday the temps dropped considerably, and so did the humidity. In fact, today I spent practically the who day outside because it actually felt like a pre-fall day 🙂

    I am sooooooo read for cold weather. Yes, and even some snow!

    Wow, I’ve not hear about Dunkin’ Donuts going to just “Dunkin'” That’s very weird. I wonder after all these years they would do that?!?!


    1. I guess because more people go for the coffee than the doughnuts? But if that’s the case, why not change your name to Dunkin’ Donuts & Coffee? Or Dunkin’ Coffee & Donuts?

      It boggles the mind, I tell you.


  2. That Courtney killed Kurt?
    It is scary how quickly they grow up. Thankfully (?) I just hit the reset button.
    Yes, asking for iced tea w/o ice is weird. Maybe asking for “light ice” would be kosher.


  3. I’d just order Iced Tea hold the ice, just don’t think about it, they don’t. I also order the Arbys sandwiches that come with cheese hold the cheese, it’s never been a problem.

    Oh yes I can see banners and parades around your house on the 22nd of October.


  4. They know that they are ripping you off with all that ice, so they should be the ones embarrassed!

    I heard about the Dunkin thing and can’t say I’m surprised. I was very disappointed by the lack of donut choices when they opened up shops around here, which prompted me to ask, “Where’s the Donuts?” whenever we drive by.


  5. GI Joe’s was driven out of business when they stupidly decided to drop the GI part of their name and couldn’t survive the resulting backlash from former customers.


  6. Hey Mark… longtime lurker here (from back in the days of OD)… I don’t write anymore (but hey, I bought your book so that makes me a legit follower, right?!?) I’m from Vancouver (the Canadian one, eh?) Planning a trip to the Oregon coast in sept. Any recommendations on where to stay, what to see, etc? Looking at the Cannon beach area, wondering if maybe that’s too touristy (although I do like action right at my doorstep) Thanks in advance ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jeannie. Thanks for buying my book! 🙂

      I love Cannon Beach, but have never actually stayed there as it IS touristy…and expensive. We usually stay in Lincoln City or Newport. You can find some great deals on hotels (or VRBO rentals, which are even better!) – especially in the offseason. If you really want to stay off the beaten path, stay in Garibaldi. It’s sort of a hidden jewel and not at all touristy.

      In any case, I’d recommend visiting Cannon Beach/Haystack Rock, and then driving south. Be sure to check out some of the lighthouses along the way (Yaquina Head in Newport, for instance). Cape Foulweather is a nice scenic overlook. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is worth a visit, too. Depoe Bay has some great shops, and the Newport waterfront is also worth a stroll.

      And then there’s food. Gracie’s Sea Hag in Depoe Bay is great for lunch or a cocktail. We like Pier 101 in Lincoln City for the clam chowder, Local Oceans in Newport for great fish and seafood, and South Beach Fish Market for fish ‘n chips.


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