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BY ADAM WAJNBERG
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
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
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.