History AND math!

By Mir
July 6, 2009
Category Detritus

So we spent the day checking out Gettysburg, which was really just enough time for us to realize that we should’ve planned to spend at least two days here, if not a full week. Nevertheless, we crammed as much into the day as we possibly could (and I will tell you about it soon), and finally capped off the adventure with ice cream at an old-fashioned malt shop before coming back to the campground.

After a day spent wandering around in the heat, learning more Civil War history than a person can reasonably be expected to digest, ice cream is the perfect reward, no? Well, perhaps not if you’re saddled with meanies for parental units who settle the negotiating over various confections by pointing out that a single scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone costs exactly the same as a double scoop on a regular cone, and probably has an equivalent amount of sugar, too.

Given a choice between the two, which do you then choose for the most optimal, bang-for-your-buck dessert experience? Please show your work.


  1. annette

    Despite the risk presented by the cone to ice cream ratio formula, I always opt for the waffle cone.

    IC/WC=WC>IC, however one must consider the satisfaction value in the formula WC>CC(cake cone). I have to submit, however that this is pure mathematical theory and a cake cone lover may take and prove the opposite effect. I have to be respectful of that.

  2. Lori N

    Double scoop > than single scoop because this eater does not enjoy waffle cones. Of course a single in a waffle may actually be larger than a double scoop — due to the strange physics that occur inside waffle cones – but this is a math test, not physics, so I’ll stay with my original answer.

  3. Lady M

    Single scoop on a waffle cone, because I have been know to request only the cone with no ice cream at times. Rare, but it’s happened.

  4. TC

    I hate waffle cones. No brainer.

  5. meghann

    Waffle cones are nasty! Cake cones all the way baby.

  6. Amy

    2 scoops, no cone. :)

  7. jennifer

    I’m with the two scoops, no coner up there. I’m not a fan of cones, but a huge fan of ice cream. But I wonder, if I’m leaving the cones to the birds, shouldn’t I be getting another scoop? :)

  8. Crista

    To me, waffle cones never taste as good as they smell. Two scoops for me, on a sugar cone, please.
    p.s. Annette’s answer cracked me up!

  9. del

    Me I prefer the 2 scoops in a cup. Why taint the joy of ice cream with icky cones at all?

  10. Summer

    I’m not very good at math, particularly lactose-related math, but I’ve recently made the scientific observation that if a 6 year old boy sucks down a large milkshake from Dairy Queen in less than 15 minutes, his stomach will feel cold to the touch, even through a T-shirt. Also, he will complain of stomach pain, and will have to be reminded that perhaps it was unwise for a small boy to consume such a vast quantity of milkshake so quickly.

  11. Heather

    I usually opt for a flurry when we go out for ice cream – Jacob likes the soft serve on a cake cone – but I do splurge and let him get it dipped in chocolate!!

  12. Damsel

    I’m with the no-coners. Cones just get all soggy and nasty and leave their ick all over the perfect creaminess that is the ice cream ambrosia.

    Also, I’m not good at math.

  13. Mit

    mess > cone cake or waffle
    cleanliness > cup
    2 scoops > longer lasting

    Sign me up for the two-scoop, no cone crowd.

  14. Patricia

    I think the waffle versus two scoops debate depends on the freshness of the waffle cone and the flavor options of the ice cream.

    As a picky ice cream eater, I’d have a hard time finding two flavors I’d want to mix AND I’m not a big enough eater to get two scoops of the same flavor. That said, I only want the waffle cone if they are made VERY fresh (and not sitting on the counter for DAYS). Also, note, if given the choice, the waffle cup is FAR superior to the waffle cone.

    My final answer is E. None of the Above — because you mentioned that you were in an old fashioned malt shop, hence the only real correct answer for me is an ice cream soda (prefer vanilla ice cream with chocolate soda).

  15. Janis

    Two scoops, no cone and ice cream must include a chocolate component of some sort. This is not negotiable.

  16. hollygee

    greedy fat celiac = 3 scoops in a cup

  17. highlyirritable

    I’m sorry – the ice cream loving part of my brain just punched the mathematically part of my brain in the face for debating the possibility of receiving less of the frozen concoction. Ouch. That hurt more than an ice cream brain freeze.

  18. MomCat

    The waffle cone! No…wait…the cake cone! No…..ummm…..just a cup! Hmm…no…I can’t decide!

  19. Groovecatmom

    Ah, ice cream and math. Clearly, one needs to maximize the amount of ice cream consumed. Cones are an irrelevant distraction. Although I did read the other day that ice cream tastes better when licked from a cone, instead of a spoon, but two scoops on a cone is precarious. Thus, the correct answer is two scoops licked out of a bowl! (Please don’t look at me that way.)

  20. Pepper

    Can I have both? I usually end up with the waffel cone and one scoop but then again I tend to be a creature of habbit.

  21. Jess

    Double scoop all the way, because you can choose two different flavors–at least at my local ice cream shop. (Incidentally, it has the best ice cream in the world, as they get the milk from their own cows. Come visit! I’m not that far from Gettysburg, in the grand scheme of things.)

  22. Tammy

    Two scoops on a sugar cone, no doubt.

    Rainbow Sherbert and Mint Chocolate Chip.

  23. Beth R

    Two scoops licked out of a cup/bowl!

    No clever math this morning, just want ice cream :-)

  24. elswhere

    What, no pedicure?

  25. loonytick

    2 scoops=guaranteed brain freeze shortly into the second scoop and greatly diminished enjoyment of treat from that point on


    regular cone=cardboard


    single scoop waffle cone is clearly the ONLY CHOICE

  26. Karen

    For some reason ice cream is the only dairy that brings out lactose intolerance in me, so I would go for the single scoop. The waffle cone is the best part anyway.

  27. RuthWells

    Lemon meringue pie.

    Wait, what was the question?

  28. Marla

    I don’t care as long as it is ice cream….cup, waffle cone or sugar cone….one scoop or two scoops. I don’t care about the mess as long as I have me some ice cream.

  29. Tracy

    I’ll take whatever you’re buying. How’s that math?

  30. SoMo

    I would go for the waffle cone with one scoop, because quality is better over quantity any day.

  31. Rachel

    Yum, ice cream! I hate dilemas like these while on vacation. I think you should have one of each & then report back to us on your findings. = )

    Safe travels…

  32. Sherry

    The soggy bottom of the cake cone is the best thing ever.

  33. Anna

    All these different answers crack me up!
    I’d go with the waffle cone, or cup. No cake cones for me.

  34. Katie in MA

    Waffle cones taste like corrugated cardboard to me, so um, two scoops for me, please! And even if you *do* like waffle cones, uh, it’s TWO SCOOPS of ice cream, people! And two is TWICE as many as one!! Even I can figure out that kind of math.

  35. Aimee

    I’m with the two scoops in a cup crowd — not a fan of the cone.

  36. Burgh Baby

    It depends on the ice cream choices, yo.

  37. Debbi

    How about just the waffle cone…I am not a fan of ice cream ;-)

  38. Kelly

    I love waffle cones – my brother worked in an ice cream shop in high school and would come home and his apron smelled like HEAVEN …. so I always go for that if its an option. They should package that smell… (usually the one scoop in waffle cone is about equivalent to two smaller scoops to fit in smaller cone – so I figure it all works out).

  39. bonuela

    2 scoops + 1 cup + 1 SUGAR* cone + 1 spoon – chance of toppling too high cone onto the parking lot = perfect

    * never never never a cake cone. if that’s the only option i will skip the ice cream completely. for real.

  40. Amelia

    so let’s say the ice cream at the malt shop costs $2.56. that’s a conservative estimate, but i’ll go with it anyway. and let’s further say you want to have ice cream every day for the rest of your life. i’ll say the “rest of your life” equals about 80 years. so 365 days in a year times 80 years is about 29,297. when you multiply the cost of the ice cream ($2.56) by 29,297, you get $75,000.32. let’s further assume that sometimes you are going to want to have ice cream at home…i’ll guess that you’ll spend about $2344.68 in ice cream and ice cream accessories. (that’s not much, considering we are talking about your whole lifetime here, but remember you will be going out for ice cream everyday. don’t get all greedy.)

    anyway, when you add the $75,000.32 to the $2344.68, you get 77345. if you turn your calculator upside down, you discover that it spells ShELL…in other words, “cone,” in other words, “waffle cone,” because that’s the only kind that counts.

    (and thanks for the trip down memory lane…i used to make up “word problems” like this one every day in my trig class in high school.)

  41. PandaWriter

    Two scoops on the sugar cone. Waffle cones smell like vanilla scented plastic, although anything is better than those styrofoam textured/flavored cones they had when I was little.

    Although it was neat you could get boxes of them that had boys and girls names embossed on the cones. But that was a plus only if you actually had a common name that was one of the ones printed on the cones, that is.

  42. StephLove

    It depends, for your kids, on whether they like ice cream or waffle cones better of course. Pretty simple.

    For the heavy-set middle-aged adult (me for example), it gets more complicated. Is your cholesterol borderline high? Maybe more cone is a better choice than more ice cream, unless of course you are getting sorbet in the cone. Are you at risk for diabetes, having had gestational diabetes in the past several years? Fat can slow down the absorption of the sugar in the dessert, preventing a blood sugar spike. Go with the extra ice cream. Do you have both borderline high cholesterol and elevated risk of diabetes? No win situation there. You probably shouldn’t be eating ice cream anyway. But I still do. The last time I went out for ice cream I had low-fat frozen yogurt in a cake cone. I don’t fool myself that it’s healthy, but it’s a baby step, I suppose.

  43. Tam King

    Amelia – WOW.

    As for me, can i please just have the waffle cone, sans icecream? DOnt like Icecream (ouch, don’t hit me!)

  44. Liz

    Not dealing with the math. {grin}
    Just a warning about Gettysburg DO NOT go near Gettysburg on the days of the reenactment, two days before and two days after usually as well. It is generally around the 4th of July.
    Also just slightly S of Gettysburg is Emmitsburg {sp?} which is the home of the National Firefighters memorial. If you are interested in that kind of thing.

    Glad you enjoyed our beautiful weather.

  45. David

    Why do I get the feeling that said essay-style question brought what I suspect was some sibling whinery to a screeching halt? =) “Please show your work.” Too funny!

  46. Wendalette

    You always travel so close to me! I think you walked past me once on campus in Syracuse. And there you were, less than an hour from my house — I’d have totally invited you over for ice cream (but I don’t have any — milk sensitivities).

  47. Daisy

    Waffle cones always smell better than they taste. I’d go with the double scoop on a regular cone. Oh, wait, no. I’d probably order a scoop in a dish with a little topping. Yum! Small sundaes are perfect.

  48. mama speak

    Was the waffle cone dipped in chocolate w/sprinkles? Cuz if not, than you’re totally getting ripped off.

    I’m usually a no cone girl myself. But fresh waffle cones w/chocolate dip than I’m in for that & mint chip ice cream, since you’re buying and all.

    As my 9YO niece says, “I don’t do math on weekends.” I’m on vacation myself, so the whole week qualifies as a weekend.

  49. Kelly

    I think I have to go get ice cream during lunch now.

  50. Erin

    I’m going to go with neither, because both cones have wheat and they aren’t worth a trip to the hospital for this Celiac sufferer. So therefore I would choose a sundae of approximately the same size.

  51. silly me

    The kids always opt for the cone (any type) and we always ask for a cup to dump it into after it begins to melt on the fingers of our very particular children. Around here sticky fingers is an emergency that brings on the kind whining and complaining (and sometimes screaming in the case of the 2 year old) that make my head explode. So…one scoop on a cone, dumped into a cup and lots of wet wipes.
    And, no opting for just the cupright from the get-go is not an option. What’s the fun in that?

  52. Dawn

    I don’t do math. Not even for ice cream.

    BUT I would choose the waffle cone, followed by ice cream in a cup. Those regular cones taste like styrofoam to me.

  53. Danielle-Lee

    Screw the cone and go for THREE scoops. MMmmmm

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