This afternoon, I succumbed to the advertising and decided I must have one of those new tropical flavored Slurpee® Beverages ("available only at 7-11!"). So, I waddled down to the nearest one, and .. stopped dead in my tracks. There, in front of the Slurpee machine, was a Thirty-Something Mom with four kids in tow.
Half of these younguns were barefoot and appeared under 4 years old, but they all were trying to concoct The Perfect Frozen Beverage, mixing any number of the five available flavors. There was a small pool of what I hope was water on the floor. One decided (after pouring an entire drink) that s/he didn't like the flavor, and proceeded to pour it into the trough, where it will eventually melt and re-enter the water supply. It was then time to pour another. The mother had a look somewhere between dumbfoundedness and impartiality. She wasn't annoyed .. merely in a trance. After 3 or 4 minutes, this Band of Five somehow squeezed away from the Frozen Beverage area, and headed straight for the Pressed Sugar (candy) aisle. Although she passed within a few inches, there was no eye contact. She was probably afraid I'd try to sweep her off her feet with an appropriate pickup line. Trust me, it wasn't gonna happen, darlin'.
Being the Slurpee Wizard that I am (!), I plucked a Slurpee Cup from the Slurpee Rack, then attached the rounded Slurpee Lid. In a single, effortless stroke (!) I then poured myself what I hoped to be a delicious frozen concoction, leaving a little room in the lid for expansion (recall that I'm a Slurpee Wizard .. I don't make the Slurpee Virgin mistake of filling it to the top). It was then time to insert the Slurpee Straw, pay, and leave.
Ah, but that was not to be. Although it only took me 24 seconds (!) I now found myself in line behind The Party of Five. In typical Soccer Mom fashion, the mom was shocked to find that the clerk expected her to pay for 5 drinks and at least a dozen pieces of candy. There was no lecture about eating healthy .. the intent was to add as much sugar as possible into their tiny metabolisms and get back in the Yukon.
Deep Thought #71: Remember the old days, when a family of five was able to fit in a passenger car? Ah, nostalgia. I hope she gets 8 miles to the gallon and has to refuel twice a day.Anyway, Mom finally found a debit card, and then it was time to learn how to use the card swiper. Apparently this is the first time she'd ever seen one of these contraptions, and the clerk (with a thick Indian accent) tried to explain. It wasn't working. And my Delicious Frozen Concoction was starting to melt. Depression began to set in. Two more people had joined me in line.
Eventually (12 minutes later?) it was my turn at the register. Apparently I was a prize winner (?!), as the clerk announced that I was entitled to a "free gorilla bar". She motioned behind me, saying something unintelligible about "lower shelf". I started pointing, hoping for a nod when I got close. The tactic worked. As my finger neared the Nature Valley Granola Bars, her face lit into a smile as wide as an elephant in Mumbai. The "gorilla bar" turned out to be a granola bar, so now I had both frozen and non-frozen Goodness to consume.
If it hadn't taken 16 minutes, and it wasn't 101F outside, it might've been better. Next time I want a Slurpee, I'll wait until 3am, when the younguns are asleep and mom's not at the 7-11, learning how to swipe her debit card.
By the way .. the melted tropical flavored Slurpee wasn't good. Next time, it'll be the old reliable Cherry Coke flavor. Indeed.