The little brass bells jingle as you step through the door. The pleasant scent of cream and waffle cone wafts through the summer air. As you approach the counter, you glance at a family happily licking their cold desserts. The youngest child licks the melting treat off her hand, pausing only to look at her hand, absolutely befuddled by the strange phenomenon. You turn to look over the various flavors.
"Would you like to try any of the flavors today?" The cheery employee smiles at you. She has bright hazel eyes with mouse-brown hair pulled back in a tight bun hardly visible behind her green company visor sporting the logo and words "Coexist Creamery".
"Um, sure. Let me try Buddhism." You say almost at random. Unlimited free samples, right? The employee opens up the glass and reaches down with the tiny spoon and scoops a pea-sized portion of the soft cream. She hands it to you, still smiling with rosy cheeks. You lick the sample off the spoon, tasting what appears to be lemon sherbet with a hint of the Eastern fruit lychee. Deciding that you ought to try out some more flavors, you ask for a sample of Islam. Reaching down again, the girl hands you a tiny spoonful of deep crimson cream. Rich and flavorful, it reminds you of plums and strawberries. It is perhaps too rich, however, and all you want that day is something small to beat the heat.
Noticing your indecision, the girl, trying to be helpful suggests, "Wicca seems to be increasing in popularity lately."
"No thanks," You reply, looking at the black cream, "I don't much care for the taste of licorice. See, I've usually just ordered Christianity, but that's been getting pretty bland lately. I want to try something a little more exciting."
She nods in agreement. "Well, if you like, we have some of our more exotic religions over on your left. If you're feeling adventurous, you could try Rastafari or Scientology."
"I don't think I'm that adventurous," You say, laughing. The employee no longer smiles, but now looks at you strangely, wondering what was so funny.
"Well, if you don't want to stray too far, mixes are available." She offered.
"Oh sure, people do it all the time. It's a little more rare with flavors like Islam, but you mentioned you usually get Christianity and I see people do it all the time with that. I know New Age tends to go pretty well with everything, but Buddhism and Hinduism are pretty similar so you could try it with those as well. We're always adding new flavors too, so if you don't find something you like now you can always come back. Soon, our new Mormonism flavor will come in. It tastes like Christianity, only instead of vanilla fudge ripple, it's more like vanilla caramel ripple, if you want to try that."
"You know what, I think I'm going to try a mix. Let me do Christianity and Buddhism, please."
"Sure thing!" Her smile was now more brilliant as ever as she took the two scoops out of the respective containers and smashed them between her two flat tools, creating a ball of streaks of vanilla, chocolate, and sherbet. You pay and she hands you the bowl of religion cream and a spoon. "Have a nice day!"
You step out into the sun, already longing for the air conditioning of the shop as you stroll leisurely to your car. Taking a bite out of your Christianity-Buddhism religion cream, you are pleasantly surprised at how well it tastes. Sure, most of the pleasure may come from tasting vanilla and fudge and sherbet, and not the combination, but you are satisfied. Perhaps this will become your regular order; at least until you decide to try something else.