Culture Wars

Ben & Jerry's wait is almost 30 minutes on Free Cone Day, but will abortion protesters hold sway over the sweetness?

Ben & Jerry's wait is almost 30 minutes on Free Cone Day, but will abortion protesters hold sway over the sweetness?

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As the lines pile up outside the Ben & Jerry's scoop shop at 5515 Kirby Dr. for Free Cone Day, we can't help but remember the horror of last year's freebie debacle. A three reporter crew went to the Rice Village frozen treat atelier, only to find the munchie crowd overshadowed by anti-abortion protesters.

The conservative activist non sequitur left a few CultureMappers confused. Is the Vermont-based Ben & Jerry's really that radical of a hotbed of liberal thought with its psychedelic-themed flavors and otherwise high price point? Sure, Ben & Jerry's is public with its donations to abortion rights groups and it once temporarily renamed a flavor "Hubby Hubby" to show its support for the legalization of same-sex marriage. But millions of other Americans hold the same viewpoints.

Maybe it's no secret that Ben & Jerry's customers have a direct carpool circuit to the region's Planned Parenthood facility?

In reality though, one of the top audiences for ice cream is pregnant women — knocked-up gals who have chosen not to have an abortion. What's more, especially avid ice cream consumers may be more concerned with accessing their preferred frozen treat, as opposed to anonymous unprotected sex.

But who are we to judge? Houston, enjoy Free Cone Day. And bring a book (or CultureMap iPhone app): When we spoke with the Kirby branch ice cream parlor Tuesday afternoon, the wait stood at 20 to 25 minutes.