(From the 2007 vault.) This one falls under the category of: You never think it will happen to you, but…well, I don’t think I need to finish this sentence.
It’s was late morning here on the eastern side of the country and with a couple of fun client projects sitting on my desk making good progress, I decided to take a short break and go for a Big Gulp–a college habit I just never seemed to break. Ash and I grabbed some loose change from B’s giant jar and hopped into the car headed for 7-11. As we pulled into the parking lot, she started on her chorus of “I want a Slurpee, I want a Blue Slurpee.”
Innocently and unsuspectingly we walked into the near-empty convenience store. The Slurpee machine, positioned just so under the glistening fluorescent spotlights, shot an unblinking come-hither stare from the back wall.
“Ohhhh, there is Blue Slurpee!” sang the girl.
From its rotating chamber the sweet aerated frost gave us a just peek into the magical, mysterious arctic wonderland of Slurpeetown and entranced us.
We picked out the smallest of the cups and domed lids, and in the course of Ash’s cheers, I put the cup to the machine and gently pulled the handle. Nothing happened. I pushed the handle back to the start position and tried again.
Nothing happened. I pushed the handle back to the start.
Ash began the second chorus of the Blue Slurpee song, which is just like the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse. And, ever so determined to satisfy the girl’s desire for the rimy azure substance, I applied a little more pressure and pulled the handle as far as it would go…nothing, nothing and then suddenly the machine rumbled to life. In what can only be described as a blue flash, the machine erupted. All I saw before my eyes was a swirly blue explosion. Blue everywhere. The sheer force of the slurpeeclastic eruption ripped the domed-lidded cup from my hand and spewed icy-cold slush in all directions for several feet consuming all that lay in its path.
A second later when it was all over, the machine stared back at me as it had before, only this time not beckoning but mocking me and the girl, frozen in our tracks, covered from head to toe in Ash’s coveted Wahoo Blue Vanilla.
The Slurpee-machine attendant slowly poked his head from his hiding spot on the other side of the hotdog rotisserie and said, “Uh, here’s a towel. You might, uh, want to wash your face, and when you’re ready, that’ll be $2.50 for the Slurpees.”