I am a bad Sesame Street Cookie Monster person, or at least I was last night.

“Bad” in the sense that when I ordered a cup of Cookie Monster ice cream at Guerriero’s Gelato (476 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange, NJ 07052), I wasn’t thinking of the teal-colored Sesame Street Muppet character but of a standard cookies-and-cream-type flavor…you know, vanilla ice cream with oreo cookies and whatnot, etc.

The Guerriero flavor menu offered various kinds of different oreo flavors (banana oreo, mint oreo, coffee oreo, samoa cookie) and I just wanted something plain and unexciting, and so, not being a Muppet person, I figured Cookie Monster would be a thicker or richer cookies and cream flavor…right? So I asked for a medium cup with sprinkles.

When I saw the teal-colored dish, I said “what’s that? I don’t want greenish-blue ice cream.”

Right away the principal server — an overweight Zoomer woman of color — began to dig in her heels and look at me like I was wacked. I had made a big mistake by not being a better Sesame Street person, granted, but all I was asking for was a different flavor. Zoomer woman didn’t want to hear it — her basic response was contrarian, and she seemed to be saying (a) you ordered this, (b) no substitutions and (c) no refunds.

When I persisted (at one point I said “I don’t give a shit” — an unwise thing to blurt out in an argument), she threw her hands up, as if to say “I’ve had it with this belligerent dick!” and went to the manager.

The manager came over and asked what the problem was. I explained and disputed a bit more, and then asked for a refund. Zoomer woman was glaring daggers and agitated, and I just wanted to get the hell out of there. Up until that instant I thought this had been a dispute over my ice-cream-flavor cluelessness, but I suddenly realized this had suddenly become a kind of cultural dispute that had something to do with my being an older white mansplainer.

The manager gave me my money back and asked me to leave, and then she tried to calm down Zoomer woman by holding her arm, but Zoomer Woman abruptly yanked her arm away as if to say “are you on his side?…don’t touch me!”

I said to Zoomer Woman, “Hey, you’re doing great there!…arguing with your own manager now! Not to mention your excellent customer relation instincts!” The manager again asked me to leave and I said “sure, no problem.”

I went to a pizza place two doors down, and ten minutes later Zoomer Woman came in with a friend and I said, “Hey, there she is!” She glared more daggers and said “don’t look at me!”

The cops weren’t called and so nobody was arrested, but I was amazed how a relatively minor misunderstanding on my part, one that could’ve been easily solved by “no problem, sir…what flavor would you like instead?”…a relatively minor ice cream thing had, in the space of 20 or 25 seconds, blown up into something else entirely.