JOPLIN, MO – Frozen yogurt, uncomfortable plastic furniture and math all came together in thrilling fashion this weekend as Purple Tree, a self-service yogurt eatery, opened in one of Joplin’s 500 strip malls. While ice cream shops are nothing new to the Four State area, Purple Tree encourages customers to be the “drivers of their dessert’s destiny” by putting portion control back in the hands of the American public. “The process is easy and so much fun!” shrieked an unidentified, highly-caffeinated Purple Tree employee. “You walk in, choose either a 32 ounce or half-gallon cup, pick one of our 100 tasty yogurt flavors and then pile on whatever toppings you want! We have so many healthy [toppings] like Oreo crumbs, M&M’s, sunflower seeds, banana peels, extra virgin olive oil, suntan lotion and of course, sprinkles. Gotta have sprinkles.” She continued, “Once you’re done loading it up, you just take your cup to the counter and put it on this scale. Our yogurt is $5.99 an ounce but you only pay for what you get.” The long line on Saturday evening proved that Purple Tree is a hit. “I’ve been waiting in line for over an hour,” Thomas Reynolds admitted, “but where else am I allowed to scoop out my own ice cream?” After running through at least 16 scenarios in his head, Reynolds added, “Nowhere I can think of.” Predicting the mass density of yogurt toppings seemed to be on everyone’s mind, as some had math down to a science. “I never thought I had any use for math, because, you know, I’m not a doctor or a man,” claimed 19 year-old Kenzi Kensington, “but I do love yogurt. Looks like I’m finally using [math] in real life.” Others found the process of adding numbers together extremely helpful as well. “It’s all about the three R’s: Reece’s, raspberries, and ‘rithmetic.” said Steven Garnett while getting an ice cream headache, “My strategy’s simple, a scoop of Whopper crumbs weigh .3 ouches less than blackberries so… hhmmmmm… geeeeeechohhh… mmmmmphfff.” While nutritionists worry that most consumers will be visually tricked by the ridiculously large containers and take too much, a statement from Purple Tree states that moderation is the secret to a healthy experience. Most patrons agree. “The best part is, it’s yogurt, so it’s totally healthy,” said Joplin resident Diego Whittaker while dousing fat-free strawberry yogurt with chocolate syrup and Crisco. In unrelated news, city health officials expect a significant rise in diabetes cases in the coming year.