I've been on the internet for about 16 straight years now, and as a result I’ve stumbled onto a fair number of dark videos I never really wanted to see – snatched glimpses of a beheading, of Mr. Hands, a frame or two of 2 Girls, 1 Cup – and I can say with confidence that this is still the most unnerving and discomforting one I’ve ever seen:
If you can’t watch the video because you’re at work or because you’re of a pathologically nervous disposition and really don’t need that sort of energy in your life: it’s a video, taken from Tik Tok and repurposed on Twitter by user "@KenJac", of a guy making that trendy-for-about-three-more-months-and-then-literally-never-again ice cream roll stuff you see on Instagram, only he's sort of… shagging it, and making too much eye contact about it, and basically the whole thing swerves quite alarmingly into an erotic revue you don’t really ever remember signing up for.
This man is hereby the Ice Cream Shagger, and these are my five questions:
PRECISELY WHERE DOES THIS VIDEO VEER FROM 'A MAN MAKES ICE CREAM FOR YOU' INTO 'I’M SORRY BUT I FEEL VERY UNSETTLED'?
A good question, and one I am prepared to answer: it is 11 seconds in. Before that you’re like: oh, OK. He’s making some ice cream for International Women’s Day. I do not understand who is meant to consume the ice cream – every… woman… on earth? Do they… have enough tasting spoons? – but I get the thoughtful gesture behind it. Then he looks at the camera and explains what he’s making – "I'm going to make a Nutella and Oreo pan-n-ice" – and you’re like: OK, hmm. Sounds kind of nice. Ice cream, Nutella, Oreo. I can live with this. And then he holds up a palette of Nutella and goes "oooooooh yeah", like the Kool-Aid jug burst through the wall of your bedroom in halls to slowly explain indie music to you before threatening to "go down on you for hours".
That, I think, is the point where the Ice Cream Shagger oscillates over from "enthusiastic man innocently enjoying his job" to "the ice cream van guy moonlights as a stripper and mum wants you to get away from his window".
REALLY WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH PRACTICE WENT INTO THIS?
It's the Oreo spin that sticks with me, for some reason. Not the body-roll-thrusting, the did-you-cum-babe-? eye contact, or the blue latex strangling gloves: for some reason, the Oreo spin is what chills me to the bone, because with that spin I can see – rapidly sprinting backwards through time – every late-night fluorescent kitchen session, every selfie video watched back for notes, every pack of Oreos, peeled open from the corner shop and spun on a counter until it peels onto the floor, every other ingredient that – long after hours, after Westfield is being polished to a high shine by overnight cleaners, the shutters down, the lowlights on – every other ingredient this guy has laid out and tried to freak and twist, every undelightful thing he’s done to a mango, every horny M&M pour, every anguished howl of "ice cream makes you sexy guys, ye–eah!" echoing off the walls of a dormant Caffe Néro: all of it led up to this point, here, now, a man smashing an Oreo up with a plastering scraper in honour of "all women".
THERE IS A FINE LINE BETWEEN 'CONFIDENT YOUNG MAN WHO HAS MAYBE HORNY DM'D AT LEAST ONE MADE IN CHELSEA CAST MEMBER' AND 'HIDE-IN-PLAIN-SIGHT SERIAL KILLER', ISN’T THERE?
I should probably clarify: if our boy Ice Cream Shagger is going to fall into one of the above categories, it is definitely "has had some extremely mucky interchanges with Toff" and not "don’t look under his patio, the concrete’s fresh and it smells bad". But still: there’s an uneasy feeling there, isn’t there? Something down there, not the pit of your stomach exactly, but somewhere a bit lower, greyer, more ethereal, nearer to where you imagine being your soul: you’re looking at him, sure, and he’s got finely-toned arms and just-so groomed facial hair and a frankly perfect haircut, and you’re fine with that. He’s fine to look at and he’s making you an elaborate ice cream. But you also, just a little bit, want to call the police, don’t you? And that’s a curious fine line that a lot of people seem to exist along. Not saying the guy’s ever killed! I would never say that. But I am saying: if you told me he had, I would definitely believe you.
WHAT COMBINATION OF SCHOOLING CREATES A MAN LIKE THIS AND HOW WAS I LUCKY ENOUGH TO AVOID IT?
You have met this man before, is the thing. That’s where the deep discomfort comes from: you have met this man before, or one of his guises, and you were thrown off by it then, and you’re thrown off by it now, as he slices aggressively into a puddle of cream and bites his lip. Here he is practising pick-up lines outside Oxford Street Topshop, and there he is doing party promo outside of a university he graduated from a year ago. Here he is getting pelted in the face with a hamburger, an anonymous extra in an Alfie Deyes prank video. He’s cornered you at a house party to talk about Verbier. He’s walking down the street strapped to a hockey stick and wearing shorts in winter. "Guys, what do we say about one more at Juju?" he’s saying, long after kicking out time, deep into Uber surge territory. "Guys? Guys? Guys?" He is one single example of a peculiar breed of London men: big laminated-confidence, year-in-Thailand, Art History 2:2, ice-cream-makes-you-sexy, Old Street roundabout, doesn’t-know-what-an-overdraft-is, Always Inexplicably At Soho Farmhouse, acoustic-guitar-at-a-house-party, goes-by-a-different-surname-because-his-dad's-is-too-recognisable energy.
DOES THIS LAD SHAG ICE CREAM?
It is my opinion that this lad shags ice cream, yes. Perhaps not in the physical (i.e. dick-in-cream) sense, but spiritually, theoretically, he fucks ice cream. You cannot Magic Mike XXL next to a small cold portion of cream and it not be horny somehow, in some way. You cannot fuck the air in front of some ice cream in honour of International Women’s Day and not, in some way, want to fuck the literal ice cream you’re making. I’ve never made a single portion of food and thought: gonna thrust my dick at this. Never been at home, frying an egg, and thought: a body-roll might add some spice. That’s because I don’t shag ice cream.