I am cursed with an unquenchable desire to try out new, mostly unhealthy, food and drink. From the latest Mountain Dew flavor (“Mountain Dew Ice,” which is shamefully just a Sprite knock-off) to Dunkin’s donut fries to Taco Bell’s latest advancements, I can’t help but sample whatever focus-tested product perfectly captures my easily attainable gaze.
My culinary white whale has always been 7-Eleven’s Slurpee and its ever-shifting flavor options. The convenience store has 7,890 locations in the United States, the closest a 28-hour bike ride away. Other food and beverage options, such as anything from Buc-ee’s, increase my fondness by their distance. But none has such a national presence to go with its unattainability.
Sure, Alabama offers Icees and Slush Puppies. But that’s like comparing apples to…vastly inferior apples that only serve to highlight the superior apples you enjoyed in one of 7-Apple’s 7,890 locations, the closest of which is about a 28-hour bike ride away. No other frosted drink manages to successfully juggle consistency of mouth feel and taste while ensuring the beverage doesn’t end with flavorless ice chunks like the Slurpee. Only Taco Bell’s Freezes come close.
Such is my love for the Slurpee that I check its availability any time I visit a new city. Forget museums, concerts, sporting events, or other tourist attractions. I first search for 7-Eleven locations, and local donut shops. I am a man of culture.
You can imagine my excitement at seeing that a July trip to Washington DC would include the option of more than 50 7-Eleven locations. This 7-Eleven abundance finally helped me understand why the Founding Fathers chose DC as the national capital.
My budding excitement upon entering one of DC’s bountiful 7-Eleven franchises quickly turned to elation followed by confusion as I saw the featured flavor: Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries. As much as I like to distance myself from most millennial trappings, I cannot shed my love for that fortified sugar product we call cold cereal.
The Cap’n and I made it happen plenty growing up, much more than I made it happen with the likes of Fruity Pebbles, Kix, or Kaboom. But as a sippable frosted beverage? Could something like that, two of my favorite things erratically merged as if arranged at a gastronomic key party, taste good?
Yes it can. Somehow, it works. It tastes like Crunch Berries cereal in a bowl with milk. Not berry-flavored Slurpee. Not dry Cap’n Crunch out of the box. Not milk leftover after eating the cereal. The real thing. My brain knows it’s a Slurpee, but it is Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries cereal.
Maybe each straw features a wormhole connected to a pocket dimension containing partially blended Crunch Berries cereal and milk. But the straws somehow know if you get a Coke Slurpee instead and they close the wormhole. I haven’t worked out all the science just yet, and 7-Eleven won’t divulge the details of their proprietary quantum straw technology.
It’s understandable. Who knows what evil men could conjure with straw portals. But I’d use it to get to a 7-Eleven faster.