I mention this because the Punky Brewster revisitation of 2008 taught me a few things. One, Netflix, like Facebook, should come with a "Sunday Afternoon Reset" button. Two, revisiting obsessions from one's youth only occasionally yields satisfying results.
A child of the '80s, I loved the shamrock shake: I desired it, and not because it was forbidden. We seldom had fast food, but my mom is a Midwesterner and, thus, a sucker for sweets. The occasional McDonald's shake or twisted cone was perfectly acceptable. And goodness -- the shamrock shake? It's a rarity. And mint's good for you, no? It's green. Thus the shamrock shake became a celebrated tradition in my household (and imagination). Not on par with Christmas Eve or the opening day of deer-hunting season -- we're not animals, for Christ's sake -- but anticipated nonetheless.
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About a week before St. Patrick's Day 2011, the ol' craving kicked in. Using shamrockshake.com, a site exclusively used to track the availability of the shake, I learned the store closest to my house was holding, and I enlisted the BF to help me score. Alas, once we reached the drive-through (in Boca Raton on Federal Highway, just north of Glades), we were turned away. No soup for us, huh? We were pointed in the direction of the store on Palmetto Park Road just west of Powerline Road. Here, they had the good stuff, we were told.
In an embarrassing footnote in my life's history, I insisted we continue the hunt. "That's a promotional item. For St. Patrick's Day. We don't have it anymore," the voice crackled over the speaker, intoning that I was some sort of asshole for even asking about it. It was March 13.
This year, CNN reported that McDonald's would make the beverage available at every one of its franchises, thus putting an end to the artificially inflated demand for the Moby Dick of frozen fast-food beverages. Last Sunday, I took a ride to the closest Mickey D's and soon had my hands on a sweet, sweet -- oh God, so sweet -- shamrock shake. In the four-year gap since my last indulgence, the shake had grown a clownish cap of "whipped cream" topping and a maraschino cherry.
The first sip transported me to the back seat of my mom's Volkswagen Rabbit, my fingers still French-fry greasy, a ketchup-stained T-shirt covering my little potbelly, filling fast with minty green milk shake. The second sip tasted like sucking on a gallon of green, semifrozen house paint. With a mouthwash chaser. I made it through about one-sixth of a 12-ounce serving before admitting I was not, indeed, loving it. Fool me once, childhood fixation, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times and I gotta stop trying to eat this thing.