Photo: unpict, VladimirFLoyd (iStock)

Update, July 10, 2019: Well, the plot thickens, much like a creamy slab of Blue Bell. While the original culprit of this entire ice cream-licking fiasco remains the scourge of dessert lovers the nation over, that whole copycat situation in Louisiana might have more going on behind the scenes than was initially clear.

According to a conversation between The Washington Post and Lenise Martin III, who was arrested over the weekend for allegedly repeating the internet stunt, Martin had already purchased the pint in question: “The ice cream was his, Martin said, with a receipt provided to The Post. He said he already paid for it when he was told by a store clerk he could get a discount on another tub of ice cream. Martin went back to the freezer but did not see one he liked, he said. But his friend mentioned the Texas video as a joke. Martin thought it would be funny to act as if he were putting the ice cream back after he licks it.”

Additionally, “In the uncut video provided to The Post, Martin already has the ice cream before he opens the freezer. In the final moment, he moves his hand away from the freezer without placing it back.” Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lonny Cavalier, however, still insists that “the office believes Martin licked the ice cream before, not after, paying for it.”

For his part, Martin is insistent that it was a misconstrued, carefully edited prank video and nothing more. Also a professional DJ, he adds that he “has lost thousands of dollars in deposits after the video went viral.”

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Original story, July 8, 2019: Holy shit, people. We take one week off from food news to observe the Fourth of July, and all hell breaks loose. People are walking around stores and licking ice cream containers, seemingly just for the sake of posting it online. What is wrong with all of you?

At the risk of signal-boosting a terrible practice, it started with a viral Tweet:

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She put it back in the freezer. Imagine being the type of person who does this and throws it back in the freezer. For that matter, imagine being one of the nearly 70,000 people who subsequently gave this the desired likes. Anyway, given that the culprit in this first episode was underage, CNN reports that the police in Lufkin, Texas will not be pressing charges.

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And then, this past Saturday in Louisiana, a 36-year-old man made what appears to be a copycat attempt. Lenise Martin III was arrested after reportedly posting a similar video to Facebook, licking another container of Blue Bell Ice Cream and placing it back on its shelf. Police “found evidence that Martin posted the video on Facebook, suggesting that he was seeking attention for the alleged misdeed... Martin is being held on charges of unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity and criminal mischief for allegedly tampering with property.” He’s being held in police custody, pending bond.

Before this gets any further out of hand, The Takeout would like to implore anybody else looking to cash in to stop doing this. It’s already wrong enough on its own, but there’s something especially cruel about doing it to ice cream. Ice cream. Even one of the last true comforts in this tumultuous world is no longer safe.

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What’s next? A “strip fried chicken of all its skin at the store” challenge? More people tasting soups directly from the ladle like that one guy last year? Perhaps we just cut out the middle man, and chase right to the inevitable point where somebody walks into your house and kicks you in the head while you’re eating dessert. The possibilities are endless!

In conclusion, the internet has revolutionized our world, and it’s also probably giving us all brain worms. C’est la vie, we suppose.

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