Sunday, July 19, 2009

My kingdom for a Slurpee!

Published July 19, 2009
St. George Spectrum & Daily News

Long about 13 ago, I moved to Southern Utah and saw the city of St. George for the first time since I was born there back in 1976. I immediately heard “the rumor.” According to the well informed speaker, St. George was getting an Olive Garden. I heard the same rumor every year for ten years before I finally saw the sign proclaiming the Olive Garden was “coming soon.” (And there was much rejoicing and eating of breadsticks.)

There was a similar rumor about an impending IN-N-OUT Burger destined for the Southern Utah area. That rumor came to fruition much earlier than the Olive Garden rumor, but there was still a good 2 or 3 year wait. The Applebee’s, Chili’s, and Red Lobster rumors were rewarded with the appearance of these restaurants within mere months.

Dear readers: Today, I’m officially starting the 7-11 rumor. There’s going to be a 7-11 in St. George. My sister’s roommate’s brother’s friend is the contractor who’s been hired to build it. It’s going to be located on the corner of Who Cares Where and Does it Really Matter streets. Grand Opening is slated for December.

Of course, I have no idea if the 7-11 people ever plan to build in St. George. However, I believe the above paragraphs show I have history on my side. Once the rumor is started, the business is sure to follow. People, there’s going to be a 7-11 in St. George! You heard it here! Pass it on!

Some might be wondering why I’m so invested in 7-11 locating in St. George. That’s because some have spent their entire lives in Southern Utah and have no idea about the little bit of otherworldly perfection that is the Slurpee. Some don’t know what they’re missing. Some should drive to Las Vegas right now to find out. I’m very sad for some.

For those few, neglected and deprived, who have no idea what a Slurpee is, it’s like an Icee, only 1 million times better. Slurpee is to Icee as silk is to polyester…as Nordstrum’s is to Wal Mart…as just about anything you can think of is to Disney Channel Original Movies. A Slurpee is the genuine article. It’s the real deal. It’s every other cliché for originality ever overused, only without the oxymoronic qualities of a cliché for originality.

Just over a week ago, when the calendar read 7/11, 7-11 stores across the country celebrated by giving away free Slurpees to anyone who wanted one. Did you get your free Slurpee, Southern Utah? No? I didn’t think so. All the more reason the rumor mongering must begin, post haste

Here’s how we’ll work it. You, hunched over your whole-grain breakfast cereal in Bloomington…yes you…you’re in charge of spreading the word during your next golf game. To the man reading the paper after sneaking home to skip Sunday school, I have you set to drop the rumor at the office water cooler tomorrow (and shame on you for skipping Sunday School). Jumping and shrieking teenage girls, you’re going to jump and shriek the news to all your friends so they can jump and shriek the news until it’s all over St. George and the surrounding area (and until all the dogs who can hear at that frequency are salivating at the sound of the word, “Slurpee.”)

It may take a few months, a few years, or even a decade, but when 7-11 finally arrives amid the red rocks of Southern Utah and you all experience the joys of the Slurpee elite, just remember who made it happen. Of course, I’ll graciously accept your offer of free Slurpees for life. Make mine Wild Cherry flavored.

Next week, I’m starting the Dunkin’ Donuts rumor. I like bear claws.