Ice cream is one of the quintessential American desserts. Even though it was created by China, discovered by the western world via Italy, and arguably perfected by France, there’s no doubt that ice cream continues to be an American classic. Yay, melting pot, I guess. So, it comes as no surprise that when Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor Restaurant, a chain of around 100 stores, offered up free ice cream, kids were elated. It’s too bad that the Selective Service decided to use this as an opportunity to hunt down people who hadn’t registered. This yikes moment would’ve worked, too, if it weren’t for the Hentzel brothers.
More like this: Vanilla or Chocolate? The WWII Ice Cream Ship Delivered Sweets at Sea
How To Get Free Ice Cream
There are several ways to get free ice cream, and we’re going to help you with these simple tips:
- Wait for a national chain or local parlor to offer free treats are a part of free ice cream day.
- Free Ice Cream National Ice Cream Day may not officially be a thing, but National Ice Cream Day is. It’s held throughout America every year on July 17th.
- Social media and watching promos are great ways to receive ice cream for free. Baskin Robins has run such promotions, and even Dunkin’ Donuts has provided patrons with free ice cream-inspired coffees.
- Join a birthday club while accidentally secretly entering a source for government information farming.
While the last method may seem unconventional, it’s exactly what happened in the 1970s and 1980s. Farrell’s birthday club information was used by the Selective Service and discovered because Eric and Greg Hentzel of Palo Alto, California, received a reminder to register for the draft.
Registering for the draft is required in the United States, so receiving such a reminder wouldn’t be too out of the ordinary. But there was a major problem. The reminder wasn’t for either of the Hentzel brothers by name. It was a reminder for Johnny Klomberg, an alias created by two kids looking to protect their privacy but still get free ice cream.
The Birth of Johnny Klomberg
Long before the world’s last Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour closed in 2019, a modest birthday list was being created. The Birthday Club list would eventually be bought from a list broker in New Jersey by the Selective Service who would use it to harvest thousands of names for their reminders.
The Selective Service, even after being caught, justified these actions because they didn’t feel it was ok for some to register and others not to register. Either way, the public didn’t feel this was right, most notably, Eric and Greg’s father, Paul Hentzel.
Paul Hentzel was an Army Veteran and an attorney. This was definitely the wrong person to feel slighted by the system. When it was revealed that Johnny Klomberg was created seven years prior to the 1984 reminder sent to his home, he brought the situation to light.
In the end, backlash from the American public would cause the Selective Service to stop the use of the birthday list. Will Ebel, who was the spokesman for the Selective Service at the time, said that the government would return the computerized list of 167,000 names to the company.
Ice Cream for Free Isn’t Always Free
Sometimes, to get free ice cream, you’ve gotta get your privacy violated and possibly be forced into war. It’s a small price to pay for some looking for the perfect rocky road or chocolate chip cookie dough. Still, you have to think that maybe, just maybe, the government should think twice before using shady means of collecting the personal information of citizens. Good thing they learned their lesson.
Suggested read: How the Original Twinkie Flavor Was Changed Forever Thanks to WWII