Yesterday was Free Slurpee Day at 7-11, and in honor of this national holiday, I wanted to muse a bit on the meaning and miracle of the Slurpee. Let’s start with the history. Slurpee’s origins are obvious enough–one day the soda fountain broke, so the owner stuck the sodas in the freezer to cool them down, causing them them to become slushy. And people dug it. So a magical machine was invented with air conditioning parts and sold to 7-11. The word Slurpee was coined when someone noticed it made a slurping sound when you drink it.
Every year, on July 11th, 7-11 gives away free slurpees in a 7.11oz cup.
There it is with a few other items for scale. How you look at this free size depends on your outlook on life. If you’re an optimist, you’re perfectly content with any free serving. If you’re a pessimist, you scoff and complain at the cup smaller than a plastic head full of alien goo. If you’re a go-getter, you hit up all the local 7-11s to get enough Slurpee to equal one regular size. And if you’re a teenage mother loitering outside the store, you complain loudly that you can’t get a free Slurpee because you’re “not allowed inside after being caught shoplifting last year.”
I probably would have complained about the size of the cup myself, had I someone to complain to, but I went alone. Thankfully, I have all of you to read this, and I have plenty more to complain about. My Slurpee options weren’t the best–the Coke flavor, some Crystal Light shit, something with mango, and blue–which today had been renamed in honor of the upcoming GI JOE film. So I chose blue–Liquid Artillery, which was like blueberry bullets in my mouth. I always pick a yellow straw too. That’s the color of my car, The Simpsons, banana flavored candy, and Pac Man. It’s a good color.
In my mind, I’ve been developing a list of Slurpees. A very important list.
The Kinds of Slurpees That There Are
Here’s what I’ve got so far.
The Pee Slurpee
There’s always 4-6 flavors to choose from in every store, but it’s a rule of nature that half of those flavors will be out of order. The stalled windows will reveal the tentacle-covered inner-workings of the Slurpee machine. But other times, the out-of-orderness isn’t so clear. You pull the knob, the machine spatters and spits, and then pees Slurpee syrup into your cup. This is known as the Pee Slurpee.
The Tundra Slurpee
The opposite of a Pee Slurpee is the Tundra Slurpee, where there is an overabundance of ice to syrup. You get a glacier. You won’t realize it right away—until a few blocks away when you’re happily a-slurping, when you realize there’s nothing but ice left in the cup. Hey man, who sucked out the flavor? You did, my friend. You did.
The Lid Fail Slurpee
I hate when this one happens, when you can’t find the matching lid for your slurpee cup. Matching the square block to the square shape was the first lesson on your first day of first grade, but right now you just keep trying to fit the large lid on the medium cup. What’s so hard about it? You throw it down, picking up another lid. Another large. Stupid lid. This is more than the failure of spacial-temporal reasoning. This is the lid’s fault.
The Volcano Slurpee
Back in the 70s, the lowly clerk poured your Slurpee from behind the counter. Now it’s self serve and all its perils. Think back to all those times you were too conservative with your pour, and when you got up to the register, you realized you could have fit a lot more Slurpee in there. Then you think, well, that’s not gonna happen this time, no sir. You pull the knob and let her rip into the cup, not letting up until the whole cup is full and the lid dome too. Pack that shit in. Except the Slurpee expands too quickly, overflowing. It’s an eruption!!! Run!!!
The Adult Slurpee
Adult Slurpees are not really Slurpees, but the knockoffs that every other place sells catering to the mature, adult crowd. It’s like the Arch Deluxe on Fun Dip. Think Coolattas, Frappicinos, or that non-alcoholic crap at the state fair that they’re passing off as “margaritas” for $7.50. Meanwhile, 7-11 is laughing, because the average age of the Slurpee consumer is already an adult at 29 years.
The Above Ground Swimming Pool Slurpee
64 ounces of air-injected soft-serve soda. You can drink it, and the cup is so big, you could swim in it. Summer’s great, ain’t it?
The Not-So-Collectible Cup Slurpee
Every big movie now has a Slurpee tie in. Collect all 86 holographic cups, and come back next week for a different movie with 92 other cups to collect. Someone needs to tell 7-11 that their cups don’t look that great for starters, and when you release an onslaught of 100s of collectible cups every summer, they’ll be no demand. The other thing that sucks is that the collectable cups only come in the above-ground-swimming-pool size. You pay an extra 2 bucks for the cup and another 2 dollars for accompanying collectable straw. 7-11 just bled $4 extra bucks outta you, sucker.
The Mixed Together Slurpee
The first time you ever mixed together flavors, you thought you were pretty ahead-of-your-time. You bragged about it, mixing together blue and red and grape and orange. You showed it off. It was your Lucas Barton Power Glove moment. You mixed Slurpee flavors. You were beating the Man. Your were cheating the system. You were fighting the law. But the law won. Because mixed Slurpee is gross and instead of tasting like a rainbow of flavors, it just tastes like no flavor. Doing this does not make you a rebel.
I’m not sure why I have so much resentment of this. I guess some kid pissed me off bragging about their GrapeCokeRedBlue mixture, when all I had was straight blue. Sometimes blue is enough, okay? OKAY?
I know I’ve left out quite a few Slurpees, so if you know of any, please add them and help me expand my list. My very important list. I’ll be submitting this list to peer reviewed journal. And look, I’m just saying, but your journal ain’t shit unless it’s peer reviewed.