- Paul Davidson
C. Thomas Howell Likes Freebies
Once upon a time there lived a caucasian teenage actor who took a role that would redefine ethnic-comedies for years to come. He would paint his skin black, put on an afro, and act opposite James Earl Jones in a movie all would remember called Soul Man.
That man, was C. Thomas Howell.
Last Sunday, I had the most amazing star-sighting ever, in which I stood by and witnessed something that (as far as I can tell) means that, well — C. Thomas Howell is pretty much strapped for cash.
When I walked into the 31 Flavors here in the San Fernando Valley — he was already in the midst of getting a sample:
C. Thomas Howell: How about Pralines n’ Cream? Can I try that?
Clerk: Sure, here you go.
C. Thomas Howell: Mmm. That’s good. Yeah. But, I don’t know. Doesn’t taste like I expected. Is this the same recipe that you guys had in the early 90’s?
Clerk: I believe so. Yeah. Has to be.
C. Thomas Howell: What’s that?
Clerk: Bubblegum ice cream.
C. Thomas Howell: It’s bubblegum flavored ice cream!?
Clerk: Uh huh.
C. Thomas Howell: That’s crazy! Can I try that?
Clerk: Yeah. Here you go.
C. Thomas Howell: Mmm. Real pieces of gum in here, huh?
C. Thomas Howell: I’m not much for ice cream that I have to chew. Knowhutimean?
Clerk: Sure do.
C. Thomas Howell: What’s this over here?
Clerk: Rocky road.
C. Thomas Howell: Hmm. Rocky…Road.
Clerk: You’ve tasted Rocky Road before, right?
C. Thomas Howell: Nope. Can’t say that I have. Is that weird?
Clerk: Uh, I guess not.
C. Thomas Howell: Shoot me a taste, brutha-man.
Clerk: Here you go.
C. Thomas Howell: Eiw. Marshmallow?
Clerk: Rocky Road. Yes.
C. Thomas Howell: Strange. What’s that over there?
Clerk: Uh, Vanilla?
C. Thomas Howell: Seriously? It doesn’t look like Vanilla.
Clerk: Sir. It’s Vanilla.
C. Thomas Howell: You are totally kidding with me.
Clerk: Nope, can’t say that I am.
C. Thomas Howell: Prove me wrong. Let me try that one.
Clerk: [Long sigh] Here you go. Vanilla.
Our friend, C. Thomas Howell, star of Soul Man, E.T., The Hitcher, and much much more, nursed that taster like his life depended on it. Until-
C. Thomas Howell: Yup. Totally Vanilla.
Clerk: Yup. So, what kind do you want on a cone?
C. Thomas Howell: Uh, think I’m gonna pass this time. Not so hungry. And besides — this guy looks like he got more of a jones for ice cream than me.
And with that, my man C. Thomas pointed to me, passed me by, and exited the luxurious 31 Flavors for greener pastures.
Or, you know — more freebies.