At 7-Eleven stores across America (and around the world, according to Thing 3 who is a sagacious 8), today is Free Slurpee Day.
But the hours are inverted: they are 11am to 7pm. I think it should be 7am to 11pm, but Noooooo.
So on the way home from tennis camp today, T3 reminded me: “It’s Free Slurpee Day, Mom. We need to go now to beat the lines. It started at 11 you know.”
That he remembers these things doesn’t surprise me: he’s a kid. His mental databank is probably 1/125 full and all he needs to remember is to flush after using the bathroom, wash his hands, put his dish away after a meal and write his name. It’s the part about beating the lines that living in Fairfax County has engendered. Little kids shouldn’t need to sweat waits for a Slurpee.
The picture above shows two Slurpees. One is his and one is mine. The one on the right, the smaller one is the “free” size. The one on the left costs about $1.35. One dollar and thirty-five cents for sugared-up frozen water with enough food coloring in it dye an eight-seat tablecloth.
When we got to the store, he didn’t like the size option.
I was trying to be a mother and say “you get what you get and you don’t make a fuss” (now shut up or I will give you the wedgie of a lifetime).
The clerk, a very nice man, saw my son’s disappointment and took pity on my cute, befreckled and striped-shirt little boy. He looked at me, nodded with an inkling of asking permission and said, “Here, kiddo, take the regular small.”
I smiled brightly at the man and I said through my teeth while crouching down to talk to the child we used to call “Osama Bin Dumper, a Toyorist” in homage to his complete destruction of a playroom in less than fifteen seconds, “Why thank you, Sir! See hon? The nice man is offering you a larger size because he senses your dissatisfaction with the smaller free size that all of America is given. And look! My little cup fits in the larger cup you are being given free.”
Crickets. No: smushed crickets.
T3: I don’t want that one.
Me: Nnnn NnnnNNnNnnnnN NnnnnNnnn.
Me: What one do you want, DARLING? We are holding up the line (that wasn’t here when we first arrived…) I asked, mentally pinching him under his arm.
Clerk: Looking at me, smiling nervously and sensing the people in line twitching. Which one does he want?
Me: I wanted to distract the kind enabling clerk by inadvertently knocking over the “midnight” aisle’s items: condoms, “hangover Rx,” bottle openers, lighters, “5-hour energy” and crayon-sized WD-40. I don’t (care) know. Honey, which one do you want?
T3: The double. The twist one.
Clerk: Oh, no (Thank God! I say inside), that’s a plastic one and it’s spec–
Me: No, sweetie. You can’t have that one. You can have what he’s offering or nothing. I am preparing to leave. Five … four …
T3: Then a bigger paper one.
Clerk: (whom I now fantasized was clubbed, tied up and whimpering behind the FUZE iced tea, MONSTER and Red Bull arrhythmia beverages coolers in the back…) Then that’s fine, son. You can have the medium (which is the size of a swimming pool).
Me: Over my dead body. Thank you, but no. He’s going to … take the one you suggested and fill it with Slurpee. And then proceed to drop it on the floor but with the cap on it. What do you say to the very generous and kind man, honey?
T3: Thank you.