Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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March 7, 2003

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When Pat first asked me to write a history of the Slurpee, I was like Bruce Willis in one of those movies he does.

I was, like, all scruffy and drunk and lamenting over my dead wife and not in any mood to be going in for that one last big score. But then Pat looked at me with those big eyes and fighting back tears he told me that this was for him, for his daughter, for Australia. So I went back to Academy and got myself back into shape, shaving the scruff and throwing away my dead wife's charm bracelet and having sex with his hot daughter (who lost a finger to a Slurpee machine) and then saving the world with my history of the Slurpee article.

So here it is.

The fat cats at 7-11 corp. would have you believe that the Slurpee goes back as far as 1973, when a small business loan was consolidated into a 3-store chain of convenience marts in the small town of Cranberry, Massachusetts. The residents of the town were mostly steelworkers, and due to their long shifts needed a place where they could get coffee and cigarettes and wet hot dogs at hours of the night not usually conducive to shopping. Soon, the convenience marts started stocking other items to appeal to a broader demographic- Groceries for housewives, candy for kids, magazines for the general public and tampons for women who were bleeding from the vag. This allowed them to expand to more stores in nearby counties and they soon opened a location in busy Boston.

Boston brought with it a new demographic- college kids. Young adults from MIT, Harvard, Cambridge and less important universities started coming in to buy wet hot dogs and tampons, but they found themselves parched and dry of throat. They needed something icy and cold and stacked with sugar to energize and refresh their fat college asses. Thus the Slurpee was born. Out of necessity.

Bullshit. Here's the inside scoop.

The history of the Slurpee goes back almost as far as civilization itself: to Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian society was one of worship and toil -- the cornerstone of Egyptian theology centered around the death and rebirth of Osiris. The Pharaoh was Osiris reborn on Earth, and was both the head of the government and the chief priest. Egypt was said to be held up by 2 pillars, one representative of foundation (the priesthood) and one of power (the government and army). The Priestly pillar of Lower Egypt at Thebes was called Kho-la, and was painted brown to symbolize it's ties to Osiris, who was a hawk, and hawks are brown. The Powerly Pillar of Upper Egypt at Memphis was known as Rah-kin Raz-beri and was colored a deep red because the army killed a lot of people who then like, bled. The harmony of the two of these pillars together was symbolized by the Pharaoh. In his harmonic avatar he was known as Slar-Pei.

Ancient Egypt played host to many other Gods, and cults flourishing around these deities threatened the stability of the throne. Principal amongst the pretenders to the throne was the Cult of The Blue Meanie. This particular group of pagans would go into frenzies, sparked by drinking a thick, vomitous blue ooze. The wars between these two groups brought about the end of the Egyptian empire, which at its peak had stretched as far as California. The fall of Egypt of course gave rise to the "Big Gulp" cultures of the Mediterranean.

Though much of that period has been crushed under the weight of eons and is scattered across the subconscious of millions of souls, there have been moments when this part of our shared past has risen to the surface of our collective consciousness. Memorable moments include:

Battle Of Hastings, 1066: William The Conqueror suffers brain freeze on the battlefield.

1689: William of Orange marries Princess Mary II, who had big melons. The combination is different, but oddly pleasing.

1778: Upon hearing that the peasants have no water to drink, Marie Antoinette says "Let them drink Pepsi Blue Slurpee". She was very ahead of her time. She got her head chopped off by a low flying airplane.

Now all of this is, of course, a matter of conjecture. There are those who say the origin of Slurpee goes back way farther, to Mesopotamia and Sumer. There are those who hypothesize that travelers from distant stars brought us the secrets of mixing corn syrup and water. There are some who say that Moses, Jesus and Jack the Ripper all drank Slurpees as initiates to the Ancient Rites of the Slar-Pei society. And still there are more who say other stuff. But one thing is for sure.

We are not alone. And we are refreshed.


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