ONTD Original: ONTD Goes to Bigg Chill
Background: OP is a lifelong Los Angeles native and the frozen yogurt shop the Bigg Chill has been an intrinsic part of her childhood. Family trips to the small froyo shop was a special treat where their simple flavors pack a big and delectable punch. It’s one of the finer things about the town hosting Hollywood, a hole in the wall but a city-wide cultural icon.
But all of a sudden, the Big Chill faced a powerful enemy. Yeah, COVID was not super kind to this small corner shop, but an almighty force called Demetria Devonne Lovato swooped in bearing fire and bile. You see, Lovato had paid a visit to the Chill and stormed out over a display of “sugar-free” cookies she said “triggered” her and then went on a mighty rampage about how the store was promoting “diet culture”, stomping all over their DMs over “gaslighting”, and crying “the customer is always right” with Lovato’s partner in crime Jameela Jamil. Demi has been open and honest about her personal experience with eating disorders and the daily struggles it entails. While she is entitled to empathy and sympathy, Demi is not entitled to weaponize her trauma to spread lies that could have done serious damage to the livelihoods of the owners of The Bigg Chill and its’ 20 employees without taking accountability. The Bigg Chill was under attack, and with a pandemic still raging it cannot withstand a 100 Years War with the unholy power of celebrity.
In light of this crisis, OP was shamefully reminded of the many years passed since her last call to the Bigg Chill. It brought fond memories of delightful froyo, oldies playing on the overhead speakers, and its perpetually content patronage. Rumor had that this feud ignited a wave of new sponsors and gave OP the courage to pay her beloved froyo stand a call. Were the customer lines really there? Were the cookies still on display? But most importantly, was the froyo still worth it?
Upon the arrival to the mini-mall Bigg Chill resides (and waiting an almost ungodly 10 minutes for place to park her four cylinder Corolla horse of Toyota), OP was startled to find the small business had attracted a sizable crowd. Even with social distancing guidelines, it was the longest line OP had ever seen for the soft-serve repository. And upon conversing with the fellow consumers, it seems that Lovato had indeed inspire their sojourn to the Bigg Chill. When OP requested to document the line with her smartphone camera, a male customer cried out, “This is for Demi!” Indeed it seemed to be.
It was a relief to get to the entryway in rapid time, a testament to the admirable toil of the Bigg Chill staff. They were even kind enough to remind its customers over how despite their unwanted battle with Lovato, the Bigg Chill wanted its patrons to be safe and exercise caution in social distancing amid the COVID pandemic. And upon entering the store, the oldies station playing inside was broadcasting Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”. Was this coincidence or a subtle SorryNotSorry.mp4? We will never know.
The menu, big and bright, revealed the brilliant simplicity of the Big Chill cuisine. The flavors may not seem very elaborate, but the taste was to be exquisite. (Although it made OP ponder how the “fat free”, “dairy-free” and “carbo-lite” choices were not similar triggers for certain patrons.)
Alas, the offending “sugar free” treats were still on display but appeared to be surrounded by less healthy fare.
Once OP accessed the counter of froyo dispersement, she paid compliments to the four workers there and noted they were nice, smiling, friendly, and remarkably accommodating (a direct contradiction to what Demetria claimed). The fair maiden who served OP her frozen delight of vanilla and tart berry was even willing to write a sweet message at OP’s inquiry:
OP left the Bigg Chill a large tip for their kind service, returned to her steed to drive home to her apartment dwelling and her fair pupper Sir Franklin that Goeth to Hollywood to savor the special confection.
The journey, the scene, the customer service, and, most importantly, the frozen yogurt had all been worth it.
The moral of this tale? Support thy local businesses, even when they are not under threat of a plague of disease or the vindictiveness of the rich and famous.