While searching for the quickest route to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City from my apartment, I went down a weird internet black hole and discovered that the Google Maps photo for the Baskin-Robbins at the Pentagon features Paul Rudd dressed as a Baskin-Robbins employee. What’s the deal with that?
While I’m not the first person to discover what is likely the most fortified food court in the United States, I’ve no doubt stumbled upon a weird intersection of politics and internet culture, only possible in a place like Washington.
Three years ago, a user under the name “Lloyd Christmas” (à la Dumb and Dumber) uploaded the photo of Rudd from a scene in Ant-Man, in which the Marvel hero gets a job scooping ice cream after being released from prison. In an interview with USA Today, director Peyton Reed revealed that the scene originally depicted Ant-Man as a Chipotle employee, but changed to Baskin-Robbins when “Chipotle didn’t particularly like the context in which we were using their brand.”
“We talked about Jamba Juice, and then we landed on Baskin-Robbins, because who doesn’t like Baskin Robbins?” Reed said.
Located next to a KFC and a Taco Bell, the Pentagon Main Food Court Baskin-Robbins has an overall 3.5-star rating, with a mixed set of reviews.
About a month ago, a local guide named Quinn wrote, “I found a missile in my ice cream. Will NOT be back.” Another, named Squillium Fancyson, lamented, “Went for a classic Rainbow sherbert, but got tackled by agents and got a Painful Sure hurt.” In Russian, someone wrote, “A good establishment, but the impression is spoiled by some tasteless pentagonal building in the neighborhood.”
Landon Bierman just seemed lost: “This is the worst Wendy’s I have ever been to.” Sorry, Bierman, but this is the Pentagon.
When reached by phone, a shift manager named Kidist (who preferred not to give her last name) said she’s never seen the reviews or the Rudd photo. “That’s crazy,” she said. “People make up all kinds of stories for reviews.”
In fact, Kidist says, there are two Baskin-Robbins locations at the Pentagon—one on the first and second floors. According to Kidist, popular flavors among DOD staffers include Pralines ‘n Cream, Chocolate, and Oreo.
Lloyd Christmas might read this and think, “Wow, I never thought they’d discover my prank.” Just remember, Mr. Christmas, Baskin-Robbins always finds out.