Friday, July 14, 2006

Slurpee Summer

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I heard it was like, 108 degrees out yesterday here in Dallas. Damn. That's hot. When the summer hits it's peak, my mind always goes back to the fun days of summer when I was a kid. When me and my mom would visit my aunt Vernecia in Balch Springs (a southerly suburb of Dallas...we lived even farther south), I would get bored with their lady talk and walk the two blocks in the searing Texas sun to 7-11. The small frigid convenience store held a treasure trove of goodies. It truly was an oasis in the desert.
You walk in and the floor was ice cold...(yes...we use to walk bare foot everywhere in Texas!) greeting you was the towering comic rack stuffed with every adventure imaginable. These were 20¢ to 25¢. The Slurpees, which I want to say were only 25¢ , were behind the counter and the check out guy actually served you the drink. This is probably why I never got the Slurpee cup I wanted, all the time. It was up to his "luck of the draw".Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
I was really into the super hero cups, of course, and was always trying to get the favorites...Hulk...Spiderman...Thor...etc. I would get heroes like Aqualad...or Batgirl (and NO, she wasn't cool to me then.) I would then slurp on the frozen cherry goodness and ogle the comic rack, looking for my Marvel favorites. I remember very clearly once getting issue #2 of "the Golden Voyage of Sinbad" by Marvel. What's that?...1974? Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
It was sheer genius for 7-11 to make a "collector cup"series. We wanted them all. They started the collector series in '72 with football and baseball cups. The heroes started in '74 with DC's Legion of Super-Heroes cups. There were 60 in all!! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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Some I wanted, ( Batman..), some could go suck an egg.

Let's back up...Where did the Slurpee come from...?
7-11 didn't invent the Slurpee.
The actual invention of the Slurpee was done in '59 by an ingenious Dairy Queen owner, Omar Knedlik using an air conditioning unit from a car and a rolling tumbler and pressurized air. It's basically carbonated soda refined with tiny ice crystals.
Somewhere along the line, the Icee company bought the rights to the process calling it a Slush...then an Icee in '65. Southland bought the rights in '67, and during a brainstorming session, Bob Stanford, president of their ad agency, took a slurp and coined the name.
The reason we get brain freezes from Slurpees in that special temperature in which they are served....28 degrees! Below freezing. What happens is that, if you drink one too fast, the blood is chilled in your mouth and it goes to circulate in your brain. Chilled blood is slower...and apparently hurts like hell.
Since '65 when it was released, over 6 BILLION Slurpees have been sold and most of those suffered brain freezes...I'm sure.
I haven't actually had a Slurpee proper in many a year..I do have a Spiderman cup though, finally. Got it off Ebay.
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Blogger chuck said...

I remember that in the 70's. That's back when, behind the counter, at 7-11, dirty books!

6:08 AM  
Blogger Kirk D. said...

Great post!
Occasionally when it was slow the clerk at my local shop would indulge me by pulling out the cups one by one so that I could choose which one I wanted. It always made me feel like I was really beating the system.

One time my mom went with me and talked the clerk into selling me every design that I didn't already own without the drinks inside! I think she paid 10 or 20 cents a cup.

By the time I was a teen I had a stack of Slurpee (well, ICEE) cups that was taller than me. Like a fool I sold most of them at a garage sale.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Terry said...

I used to collect Marvel Slurpee cups back in the day too. I still have four of them those being The Fantastic Four, Spiderman, The Mighty Thor and the greatest superhero of them all Howard The Duck.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Major Tool said...

When I was a boy, I would ride the ol' mare Stems twenty miles to the Holt Ice House and buy a cup of shaved ice drizzled with cherry syrup for a penny from old man Medbourne. It was called a 'Red Ice', and the old man was so drunk half the time, that he often cut his fingers preparing these frozen treats for us. If you were lucky, you'd get a bloody thumbprint on your paper cone cup. Me and the other children would collect and trade these bloody cups. I remember Stumpy getting beaten senseless by Topher for his cup featuring a fingerprint resembling Abraham Lincoln.

I’d hate to ponder what Topher would of done to you for your Spiderman cup… goose bumps.

12:43 PM  
Blogger chickenshootdeanna said...

Those cups look wildly familiar, every picture. Weren't those same pictures later available on actual drinking glasses? I wasn't drinking Icees yet in 1972, so I don't know how I remember them.

2:15 PM  

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