Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Tale of Two Minis

Only last summer, I was lamenting to my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel about the quality of Blizzard that is dispensed at the Backroads Dairy Queen. What? You think we talk shop? Nope. We have actual lives. We don't live at school. Especially Mabel. Now.

My issue with the Blizzard was the consistency. Ice cream should not run faster than Usain Bolt. Mabel said the workers must turn that Blizzard upside down as they hand it to you. "The not-heaven, you say!" But Mabel insisted that was their policy. I did not think so. I had never seen a DQ worker turn a Blizzard upside down. That would have been pure folly, just asking for trouble, like turning a urine specimen bottle upside down. So I boycotted DQ for a while. Okay. You wouldn't actually call it boycotting, because I still went there to get chicken strips for The Pony. But I did not partake of their liquified frozen treats. Until Friday.

Val is a TV watcher, you know. And I could barely click a channel recently without seeing a DQ commercial promoting Blizzards, and declaring that the worker would turn your Blizzard upside down when handing it to you, or the next one was free! Part of me wanted to run out and get a Blizzard, just to see that ersatz ice cream plop out onto the pavement. Then I figured that our local franchise would have some excuse not to do the flip.

Every morning on the way to work, that DQ sign mocks us. The big sign out front by the stop light that advertises the Blizzard of the Month. It's impossible not to notice, especially after we finish counting the number of cars waiting in line at the window of the drive-thru liquor store. This month the Blizzard is Salted Caramel Truffle. So for 17 days, I'd been reading that sign. And on Friday afternoon, after picking up The Pony's corsage for his prom date, we stopped. The Pony is not an adventurous creature. He only wanted a shake. But I ordered the mini Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard.

Well. Taped to the drive-thru speaker was a page of 8" x 11" paper in a clear plastic sleeve with a list of limitations (in large font) that make the "next one free" offer null and void. Apparently, you can't have your next Blizzard free if you alter it in some way, like asking for chocolate ice cream in place of vanilla, or asking for different ingredients to be substituted, or ordering more than one Blizzard per car. Heh heh. Because everybody knows that chocolate ice cream weighs more than vanilla, of course. I was not so concerned with getting a future Blizzard free, because if one is runny enough to plop out of the cup, then why would I want another one? So I substituted my vanilla for chocolate, and pulled around.

The girl took my money and handed me The Pony's chocolate shake. Then she grabbed my mini Salted Caramel Truffle and FLIPPED IT OVER and back before handing it out the window! I was flabbergasted. I had violated the first rule of Blizzard Flip, and still that little gal flipped my Blizzard.

We pulled around to the parking lot and into a slot so I could eat my mini. "Look, Pony! It's actually frozen. Not soupy. And look at the side of the cup...frozen blobs of chocolate ice cream. I bet they put this in a blast chiller, like on Cutthroat Kitchen, while I was in line. No way that ice cream on the outside would freeze to the cardboard."

"Technically, Cutthroat Kitchen uses an anti griddle. I think it's Chopped that uses the blast chiller."

"Okay. Whatever. But the main thing is that they still turned my Blizzard upside down, and it was actually frozen, like ice cream!"

Since that experience worked out so well, I went back today, after taking The Pony to return his tux at 2:00. Let the record show that neither of us had lunch, and he wanted a chicken strip basket. Of course I got a Blizzard. Val does not live on Mystery PEEPS alone.

I ordered my Blizzard exactly like I did on Friday. The girl took my money and shoved my Blizzard out the window. No flipping. That thing was as thin as the vegetable beef soup served in the Backroads High cafeteria.

Of course I'll have to go back a third time to figure out what is the norm. It's scientific research.


  1. I've never had one of these tasty delights, but now they're on my mind.

  2. You definitely have to go back. ..for research purposes of course.

  3. flip? Do you get a free one?

  4. Why not more than one per car? Because the second might melt while the first is being flipped? I like the idea that Dairy Queen is now doing tricks sort of like fast-food-Benihana, but I went to the Backroads High cafeteria school of cuisine. I like them runny enough that you can drink them through one of those spoon-straws.

  5. Definitely go back. Don't change it--so they MUST flip it--and as they're about to hand it to you, start to spin a story for them (as only Val can do) or wave a bag of your world-famous Chex mix in front of them. Distract them somehow... and see if you can wrangle a free Blizzard (on your next visit).

  6. Stephen,
    I hope you mean the Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard. Not just a Blizzard in general. Over your whole lifetime. Because if that's the case, I worry that you were kidnapped by a cult of Non-Blizzardarians.

    Of course. I'm a Nobel Prize caliber researcher...or at least a world-renowned scientist...or maybe a highly-valued lab technician...or an in-demand science gal who really knows her way around a frozen treat.

    I violated the conditions of the promotion, according to the local franchise's homemade sign on the drive-thru speaker. I substituted chocolate ice cream for the vanilla that it comes with. NO FREEBIE FOR ME!

    That. Or they're downright cheap. I usually ask for a straw with my Blizzard, because, well, it's just that runny. But this one has chunks of toffee, like part of a Heath bar, and those mini Rolo kind of candies. They clog up a straw forthwith.

    I think that would be considered CHEATING, Madam! Like shooting fish in a barrel, or throwing a grappling hook at those balloons on the wall at a carnival midway, or Googling all the headlines in Joe H's weekly contest before coming back with your guess, or peeping when you're IT during hide-and-seek.

    I hope you haven't won the St. Louis Marathon lately.

    1. Oh, I misread that. Of course you don't have to flip it if it is chocolate.