Ice Cream Truck Owner Charges Double For Influencers Asking For Free Food

Posted: 06 Jul 2019 06:08 AM PDT

He wants people to know social media exposure doesn’t pay the bills

One business owner is making a very public plea that regardless whether you’re a social media “influencer,” you are paying for your food.

Los Angeles small business owner, Joe Nicchi, owns a soft-serve ice cream truck and has influencers hitting him up on the regular for a free cone in exchange for a social media shout out. He didn’t mince words for anyone asking: Influencers now have to pay double.

CVT Soft Serve wants you to know if you want ice cream, you’re going to need to cough up the $4 he charges for one. Though if you’re an influencer, now you have to pay $8. "We've decided to make this thing official with signage. We truly don't care if you're an Influencer, or how many followers you have. We will never give you free ice cream in exchange for a post on your social media page. It's literally a $4 item…well now it's $8 for you," the company wrote in an Instagram post announcing the new rates.

Nicchi says this isn’t the first time he’s shared his distaste for the influencer market. "The first 30 seconds of talking, they say 'Hey, I don't know if you follow me or not,' so they tell me their screen name and say 'If you want to hook me up with a cone, I'll post it to my story,'" he told Vice. "I'm like are you out of your mind? This is a $4 ice cream."

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The "thank you card" is a nice touch…

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As the influencer market grows, it’s fairly common for businesses to give away free food/swag/merchandise for “free” advertising on their social media channels. While it does help some obscure or little known businesses get attention, it can cause lost profits and the feeling that people are owed things because they have a large social media following.

Nicchi started CVT Soft Serve in 2014 to supplement his income as an actor. He sells his ice cream from a vintage 1960s Mister Softee truck and his menu is perfectly simplistic ― chocolate, vanilla, or a twist cone. He said he’s constantly approached by social media influencers for free food and as a small business owner, he can’t afford to give his food away for free.

So, when he received a request last week to do a party for 300 in exchange for "exposure," Nicchi told Vice, he snapped. He printed out a sign that said "influencers pay double. “I can’t do that; I can’t work for free,” he said.

“We work a lot of these [food truck] events on the weekends, and I’m not going to sound like a douchebag, but we have really long lines,” he continued. “It’s evident that we’re a popular business, but I’ve had many young Millennials who say things like ‘I’m surprised that you only have 5,000 followers.’ What does it matter? I have a line down the street. If Instagram went away tomorrow, I would still exist.”

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Mindy Kaling Gives The Best Bathing Suit Advice You’ll Hear All Summer

Posted: 06 Jul 2019 05:59 AM PDT

Mindy Kaling gives us all the boost of bikini confidence we need

Though we’re right in the middle of summer, it’s never too late (or early) to get body confidence pointers from our favorite celebrities. Mindy Kaling is coming through with the bathing suit advice we all need to hear once in awhile, and we love her for it.

Kaling took to Instagram to give a general shoutout to anyone and everyone: “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but WEAR A BIKINI IF YOU WANT TO WEAR A BIKINI.”

“You don't have to be a size 0,” she notes in the caption. “Swipe for my storytime and have a great summer.”

In the video, Kaling shares that her best friend Jocelyn lives in Hawaii — land of incredibly surf, sun, mountains, lush landscapes, and BIKINIS. “In Hawaii, everyone wears bikinis. It doesn’t matter what your body type is. You wear a bikini.” Thus leading to Kaling, who admits has “always been shy” about her body, to rock the hell out of a two-piece bathing suit. She personally recommends high-waisted bottoms for her own figure, but encourages all of her followers to share photos of themselves in bikinis.

Naturally, people are loving this advice. Because as we all know, the best way to get a bikini body is to put a bikini on your body. Poof! Now you’ve got the perfect bikini bod.

Mindy Kaling is a breath of fresh air for many reasons (I mean, her entire style and online persona is just a literal breath of fresh, delightful air, so there’s that). One of the most empathetic things about her is how relatable she is during interviews.

Earlier this summer, she opened up to Glamour about her battles with social anxiety. "People may be surprised to hear this, but I think I do have a little social anxiety," Kaling told the digital issue of the magazine. "Going to parties where I don't know most of the people is stressful to me. I've always had four friends."

She does the exact same over-analyzing in her head we all do after social engagements (well, those of us with anxiety do it, anyway). Not because we’re shy or anti-social, but because when we’re out of our element, or, in Kaling’s case once, socializing while knowing there’s a big presentation she has to deliver, it’s hard to stay in the moment. Becoming a parent, for many of us, only makes this more difficult to deal with. Kaling is mom to Katherine, who turns two later this year.

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A lazy Sunday with my little 💛

A post shared by Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) on

Personally, I’m a very singular-focus type of person. I can nail the one bigger thing I have to do, but only if I tune everything else out. Socializing while parenting a toddler? LOL good one. Trying to hold a conversation and write at the same time? Yeah, nope. And then when it’s all over, I’ll sit and wonder if I come across as rude or disinterested. So Mindy Kaling, if you’re listening, I get it. I SO GET IT.

So basically when it comes to being extremely relatable and offering simple-yet-sage body confidence advice, Mindy Kaling is incomparable.

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When Your Mom Is An Alcoholic

Posted: 05 Jul 2019 06:00 PM PDT

For the past few years, my relationship with my mother has been nonexistent. For as long as I can remember, something has been off with her. As a child, I remember her spending a lot of time in bed, flying off the handle easily, expecting a lot out of everyone around her while she herself gave the minimum. There was support in my home that was used against me at opportune moments, no “I love yous,” and complete rage if alcohol or drug use was questioned. My mom was always quick to anger and isolated herself from her friends and family.

Fast forward to my early 30's, and this "off" behavior evolved quickly.

At that time, I made the decision to keep my mom at an arm's distance. We no longer spoke on the phone, only saw each other at large family get-togethers. We simply didn't have a relationship. I made the decision to cut my mom out of my life to avoid her angry outbursts, manipulation, and lies. I begged for answers. I begged to help fix whatever problem there was. My pleading was greeted with twisting reality… making it seem like something was wrong with me for insinuating there could be a problem.

I knew there was something wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Was she a drug addict? Alcoholic? Did she have psychiatric problems? Or was she just a bad person? My mom frequently lashed out. She was never the nurturing type and only told me she loved me when I became an adult. She was almost childlike — someone who needed to be taken care of while she called the shots in her own offensive way. My dad was and is her biggest supporter, protector, enabler, and punching-bag.

When I had heard my mom was unable to walk, I decided to intervene as my dad made excuses about why she couldn't go to the hospital. What is this secret that was being kept? She couldn't walk, but she wouldn't go to the hospital? After much back and forth, threats of calling an ambulance myself, and convincing, my mom was on her way to our local hospital. Countless tests later, and (of course) lies about her alcohol use, it was determined that my mom's body was beginning to shut down due to severe and prolonged alcoholism.

It was a lightbulb moment. All of my childhood memories, the fights, the drunken rages, the bad decisions, the excuses, the (obvious) lies — it ALL finally made sense. Unfortunately, this was not a lightbulb moment for either of my parents. The next day I visited my mom as she was detoxing. Her ridiculous arguments intensified, and I left when she told me she had "rights" to see my children that she would pursue. My dad also would spend the following weeks protecting my mom, downplaying her alcoholism, and focusing on the other ailments the hospital found while she was there.

I've been hopeful all my life to have a relationship with my mother like I've seen from others. I wish she could have told me she loved me growing up. I wish she was more involved with my life. I wish our happy moments were not calculated — ammo ready to be used against me at a later date. I wish that when I got married, she wasn't at war with the rest of our family and it could have been more of an enjoyable time. I wish my memories were joyful rather than painful. And, I wish that pain didn't follow me around.

Now that I'm a mother, I wish she was there to guide me. I wish my children knew her and were close with her as I am with my grandmother. I wish we could have become friends in these older years, appreciating our time together. I wish I wasn't writing this blog. However, I know my mom won't change. I know that when her hospital stay is over, she will go back to her old ways… this can only carry on for so long. I'll be here if and when she's ready to get help.

Until then, I continue to keep my distance and vow to give my children everything my mom could not give me.

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I’m A Divorced Mom Of Teens And I’ve Never Felt So Lonely

Posted: 05 Jul 2019 06:00 PM PDT

Lately, I’ve been counting down the minutes until I can pick up my kids from school or their father’s house. I pepper them with questions about what’s time while we were apart, getting lackluster responses in return. I’m pretty sure they can hear the desperation in my voice.

I got divorced, then all my kids hit puberty one right after the other. We all went down like a row of dominoes as the vibrations in our house changed from happy and carefree to solemn and angsty.

It wasn’t long after my ex-husband left that my kids starting going through puberty and choosing their friends on Friday night instead of staying in with me (as they should). As a result, I started feeling a loneliness settle deep into my bones and clutch onto my soul.

Honestly, this is like nothing I’ve ever felt.

The newness of my rare alone time wore off rather quickly. Sure, at first it was exciting to walk around my house in my underwear eating cake by the handful. I didn’t have to hide my sugar intake or worry I was making my kids uncomfortable. My kids who used to spend every single night here. My kids I rarely got a break from. My kids who were always pulling on me with their wants and their needs and their questions.

Now, their heads are in their phones. They are FaceTiming. They are taking some much-needed alone time in their room. They are out with friends. They are scooting off to practice. They aren’t as forthcoming with information. The questions have stopped along with them asking me (over and over and over) to take them out for ice cream.

You see, I used to be needed–so damn needed.

My ex-husband needed me to make doctor’s appointments for him. He needed to talk things out after a hard day. He needed me when his father died. He needed me to bake his favorite cookies because he didn’t know his way around a mixer. He needed me to tell him his shirt absolutely didn’t go with his pants before we headed out to dinner. He needed a hug everyday before he left for work.

He needed me.

My kids needed me to help them with their homework. My daughter needed me to help her braid her hair. My youngest son needed me to lie next to him in order to fall asleep. My oldest son needed me to calm him down when he was really nervous. They needed me to make dinner and plan fun events involving other families.

I still have a role to play here, but my kids need me in very different, hands-off ways. Like picking up food for their slumber party on a Friday, dropping them off at the dance, and making sure they get up for school on time.

And they’ve shown me what they don’t need, too: constant questions and hovering and me projecting my need to be needed onto them. They are growing up really freaking fast and, damn, it’s hard to let them.

No one needs me to tuck them in at night or make them a grilled cheese sandwich. No one needs me to show them how to make their bed or to kiss a scrape.

But when your teens do need you, it’s for something big and private. You can’t casually drop the issue at the local playground in front of a bunch of other moms because (1) you don’t go to the playground to get your dose of validation over how hard it is to be a mom any longer, and (2) because if you go to a fellow parent about the struggle of parenting a teenager, you risk invading their privacy and being looked at like you and your family are screwed up.

So you don’t talk about the parenting frustrations as much because the shit we deal with as our kids get older is heavy and weighed. The aftertaste it can leave if you open your mouth about it doesn’t wash away like the potty or sleep training struggles.

So you don’t open your mouth.

This whole divorced with teenagers thing has given me a real taste of loneliness. I can honestly say, up until recently, I’d never been lonely before.

Having friends and family has made it bearable, sure. But the truth is, they have families of their own to tend to.

Sure, there are perks that make me happy, but it all also reminds me of how lonely this newfound independence can feel. At this phase in my life, I’m decorating my house my way. I don’t have to consult another adult because there are no other adults living here. I can get out the paint cans and sharp, new objects without worrying if my kids are going to hurt themselves because they have zero interest in doing these kinds of things that used to draw them to me like a magnet.

I can sleep in whatever position I want because there isn’t a man who resides on the other side of the bed, or little kids who beg to sleep with me, or even crawl in my bed with me after a bad dream.

And with that comes not being needed a fraction as much as I used to be.

It’s wonderful and horrible all at the same time.

I know it won’t always be like this — there is so much the future has to offer. The love of my life is out there, I can feel it with everything I have in me.

My kids will get a bit older and need me a bit more, I hear. They will have kids someday and they will all pile in here and this feeling, this sinking hole in my mind and chest, will be a distant memory.

At least that’s what I hope, because this isn’t something you just get used to. It doesn’t get lighter with each passing day. It’s not something you can sweat out or sleep off. Believe me, I’ve tried.

And really, I’ve had enough, I’d like to ask the loneliness to be on its way because shit, this is hard.

The post I’m A Divorced Mom Of Teens And I’ve Never Felt So Lonely appeared first on Scary Mommy.

Robert Irwin Remembers His Dad With Identical Pics Of Them Feeding The Same Crocodile

Posted: 05 Jul 2019 11:29 AM PDT

The identical photos of Robert and his late dad were taken 15 years apart

For those of us who loved watching conservationist and animal-lover, Steve Irwin, on his show The Crocodile Hunter years ago have likely followed his kids, Bindi and Robert, since losing their dad tragically 13 years ago. They’ve both made Steve’s love of animals their own legacy too, which is heartwarming to see, and this week, Robert shared a sweet pic of his dad and a near-identical one of himself taken 15 years apart.

Trust us when we say: you will feel things.

“Dad and me feeding Murray… same place, same croc – two photos 15 years apart,” Irwin wrote on Twitter next to a spitting image of father and son doing exactly what they love with the exact same croc — and pose.

The heartwarming images show 15-year-old Robert, who was just three years old when his father died, dressed in the same khaki shorts, button-up, and boots his dad was famous for wearing on his show. Both father and son are feeding the crocodile in front of a crowd, Robert looking exactly like his famous dad.

People were understandably moved by the sweet pic:


The Crocodile Hunter was a hugely popular show that aired on Animal Planet in the mid-nineties. Fans followed Irwin, his wife Terri, and eventually their two kids wrestling gators, snuggling with snakes, and saving wildlife. His love of animals was infectious and you couldn’t help but be drawn in by both that and his overall love of life. Irwin died when he was just 44 years old while filming an underwater scene for a TV series when a stingray’s stinging barb pierced his heart.

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Spiky selfie 💚

A post shared by Robert Irwin (@robertirwinphotography) on

Bindi and Robert have followed in their dad’s footsteps ever since, both working at his Queensland zoo and conservation center and continuing to fight for wildlife. They’ve also both had shows on Nickelodeon and Animal Planet, teaching a new generation about the importance of conservation and creating excitement around all kinds of animals.

Recently, Bindi, 20, shared a sweet video tribute to her dad of him talking about fatherhood. “Every time I watch this clip my heart overflows with emotion,” she wrote. “The people we love are always with us. Love lives on no matter what & I think that is the most beautiful thing about our existence. Thank you, Dad, this moment captured on camera made my whole life.”


According to their website, Robert “continues to travel around the world with his family visiting locations from the African savannah, to the mountains of New Zealand, cities and wilderness in America and Europe and all throughout the Australian bush. He is always enthusiastic to share his love of wildlife and wild places, in the hope that he may inspire others to help conserve our planet for the future.”

He is definitely his father’s son, a fact that will always comfort those who loved a deeply wonderful man taken from the world much too soon.

The post Robert Irwin Remembers His Dad With Identical Pics Of Them Feeding The Same Crocodile appeared first on Scary Mommy.

The ‘Invisible Challenge’ Will Inspire You To Confuse Your Dog With A Plastic Wrap Wall

Posted: 05 Jul 2019 11:17 AM PDT

Dogs are really confused by the “Invisible Challenge,” but we can’t stop laughing at these videos

The internet is the best when the internet is just a big, happy place full of dog videos. Everyone on Twitter is doing something called the #InvisibleChallenge, and we can’t stop watching these dumb videos. To participate in the Invisible Challenge, cover a hallway or open doorway with plastic wrap and then let your dog do its thing. The internet called it “cute, but cruel” and like, it’s about as cruel as forcing your dog to wear reindeer ears at Christmas, so not that cruel at all actually. And completely hysterically funny, to boot.

Most dogs stopped to “inspect” these bewildering plastic wrap traps. They were so perplexed by this invisible barrier that in terms of confusing-situations-for-dogs — we’d put it up there with snow, gopher holes, and being introduced to kittens.

The ultra-serious quietness is what gets us.

Our favorite is when two dogs stop for the plastic wrap and one dog figures out how to go under the plastic wrap, but the other dog is like, “derrrrrr.”

However, the invisible challenge was no match for this ultra intelligent Australian Shepherd…

…or this low-hanging wiener dog…

… or this very cool corgi.

We love these very serious dogs who lost their damn minds about .5 seconds after encountering… the wall.

The invisible challenge also made us realize that most dogs are *ahem* a little bit dumb, because these cats spent half a second studying the “wall” before finding a way around it.

The less intelligent pups just slid face first into the plastic wrap, and sorry but like, that’s really funny.

Of course, a bunch of people chimed in to claim that the dogs were being “abused,” to which one particular pet owner clapped all the way back. Also it’s flimsy plastic wrap — everybody chill out.

In terms of viral dog-related internet challenges, the #InvisibleChallenge is up there. But remember the “Snoot Challenge?” The entire challenge was just making an “Ok” symbol with your hands until your dog put his snout inside the hole. It was really cute.

There was also the “Egg Challenge.” In that one, dogs were given raw eggs to see if they could hold onto it without cracking, and surprisingly, most doggos were pretty gentle.

The absolute weirdest challenge was when everybody was throwing cheese at their dogs. It evolved out of the #CheeseChallenge which was when everyone threw cheese at their children (yes, that was a real thing that actually happened), but most dogs were just like, “Yay, cheese!”

Here’s one final #InvisibleChallenge to send you off into the weekend.

One last thing: The number of dogs that were totally stymied by the plastic wrap made us realize this is a super cheap option for a doggy gate if you’re ever in a pinch.

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Woman Licks Ice Cream And Puts It Back On Grocery Shelf In Gross Viral Video

Posted: 05 Jul 2019 11:17 AM PDT

The documented food contamination crime went down in a Texas Walmart store

Ice cream. Whether it is chocolate, vanilla or Ben & Jerry’s new anti-trump Pecan Resist flavor, it’s a nearly undeniable fact that the majority of humans find it to be one of the most delicious foods on the planet. According to a recent poll, 98 percent of all U.S. households purchase the cold, sweet and delectable treat and 87 percent have it in their freezer at any given time.

While many of us salivate at just the sight of a tub of chocolate ice cream at the grocery store, we are forced to demonstrate a little bit of willpower and wait until we are home before indulging our taste buds. It's hard, really. But apparently not everyone can act rationally when presented with a sealed tub of ice cream in the retail environment, as can be witnessed in a shocking (and super gross) video that went viral last week.

In it, an unnamed woman is seen opening a container of ice cream, swiping her tongue across, closing it back up again and putting it back on the shelf. All sorts of yuckiness and weirdness all-in-one, right? Well in addition to being downright gross, licking ice cream and returning it to the shelf is also illegal and the ice cream licking offender is now facing the possibility of prison time because of her disgusting prank.

According to police, they have possible identified the woman who was filmed in the Lufkin, Texas Walmart store thanks to surveillance video. While they are in the process of verifying her identity, once confirmed they will issue an arrest warrant and she could be charged with a second-degree felony of tampering with a consumer product. According to Texas state penal code, the charge is no joke and comes with a two- to 20-year prison term in addition to $10,000 in fines. She could also face federal charges and possibly have to deal with the FDA as well. Police are also looking for her partner in crime, the man behind the camera instructing her to "lick it, lick it."

“Our detectives are working to verify the identity of the female suspect before a warrant is issued for her arrest on a charge of second-degree felony tampering with a consumer product," a police spokesperson said, according to NBC News. "As that portion of the investigation continues, detectives are focusing on identifying the male (in the green shirt) behind the camera seen in images of the two entering the store together."

Blue Bell Creameries, the local Texas ice cream manufacturer who produced the ill-fated tub of "creamy vanilla ice cream with swirls of chocolate fudge and dark-chocolate-covered roasted peanuts,” is appalled by the act, calling it a “malicious act of food tampering.” Walmart has since taken action, removing every tub of the flavor from their shelves as a precaution.

While this is obviously completely nasty, it would be pretty ridiculous if the “criminals” involved in the case have to serve serious prison time. Chances are, these filmmakers didn’t really realize the severity of their crime. Sure, what they did is wrong. Contaminating food products is no joke and ignorance is never an excuse, but let’s save space in our prisons for murders, rapists, child molesters and money embezzlers instead of pranksters with truly awful judgment.

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Trump Said Airports Existed During The Revolutionary War And Twitter Lost It

Posted: 05 Jul 2019 09:40 AM PDT

The whole internet is roasting Trump for thinking there were planes in the Revolutionary War

Well, the National Mall 4th of July celebration is over. We made it through. We knew in the days leading up to the event that Donald Trump was turning the traditionally nonpartisan celebration with free entry for all Americans into a private, ticketed campaign rally for his donors and supporters. We also knew he was diverting $2.5 million from the already cash-strapped National Parks service to put on this tax-payer funded, private event. All that was embarrassing enough. We could only hope he wouldn’t embarrass us with his speech.

We should have known that was too much to ask for. Trump was the first president to speak at the National Mall on the 4th of July since 1951, because, again, this event is usually nonpartisan. And in his speech, Trump thanked the continental army of 1781 for… bravely taking over the airports in the Revolutionary War.

Yes, really. Here it is on video.

"In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief. The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown,” Trump tells the crowd. “Our army manned the [unclear], it [unclear] the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHenry, under ‘the rockets red glare,’ it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant."

We literally don’t have time to get into the numerous historical inaccuracies contained in just this one passage, but, um, just to be clear, the Wright Brothers made the first recorded flights on a powered aircraft in 1903, which was 120-something years after the time Trump referenced in his speech. And even then, it’s not like planes immediately became a common mode of transportation. The world’s first airport wasn’t built until 1928.

Since we have to laugh so we don’t cry, the internet promptly turned to Twitter to roast Trump for his ridiculous comment. People started sharing stories of the horrors Revolutionary soldiers faced at the airports of the time, and really, these jokes and memes are the only good thing to come out of this fiasco.

Many of the tweets were written as letters soldiers wrote to their wives and families.

Others shared forgotten artwork of the time including these iconic battle scenes.

There were some real images and footage from the war, released for the first time ever. Fascinating.

As well as some historical interesting facts and tidbits you may not have heard before.

And then there’s this, the only reasonable (and completely hilarious) explanation for how things like this keep happening.

All jokes aside, we still don’t know the price tag that will come for Trump’s 4th of July rally, which truly was a private event held at the taxpayers’ expense. Photos from the event show that chain-link fences were erected all around the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall to ensure only ticketholders could access areas where they could see the tanks, military personnel, events, and Trump’s speech.

A fence was actually erected through the center of the reflecting pool to keep distance between the VIP viewing areas and the places where the riff-raff were allowed in.

It’s a nice break from the horror show to laugh at the President’s latest stupid gaffe, but let’s not lose sight of his wasteful disregard for our tax dollars — and, apparently, his non-wealthy supporters.

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