My Milkshake

It brings all the boys to the yard. And they’re like, “It’s better than yours.” But that’s neither here nor there.

Apparently, it’s summertime. It seems like just yesterday I was ruminating about Mr. Freeze blasting Atlanta with his ice rifle and frosty wit - both capable of significantly slowing down brainwaves - and wondering if I’d ever be able to dig my way out of my office-igloo. I guess I didn’t need to worry, because now this happens every time I walk outside. My face is starting to hurt. As a much younger Lewis, summer in Atlanta meant imprisoning lightning bugs in jars so as to better enjoy their fluorescent butts; crying inconsolably when they died because I forgot to poke holes in their sad, sad cells; playing twilight games of Calvinball with my stuffed tiger; hanging around with a rough crowd near the dumpsters behind the local movie theater; and protecting the neighborhood from the gang of coyotes that moved in and starting assassinating our pets like they were controversial political figures. Nothing short of idyllic.

Now it’s just hot. I’m not sure what happened to spring - was it abolished? Does it still exist in other cities? Maybe Carmen Sandiego stole it - that seems like something she’d do. I don’t have the Chief’s number anymore (we had quick fling and then a pretty bad falling out), so if that’s the case, my sleuthing options are limited. The only other entity I can think of to throw blame at is El Nino, but I don’t have any idea how to eradicate a recurring tropical storm. I don’t think even the Chief could help with that. Maybe an X-Man.

What it boils (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAHAHA!! SUCK IT, MR. FREEZE!!) down to is this: it’s hot, it’s going to remain hot, global warming is a thing, glaciers are melting, polar bears are getting sweaty and wondering why their Cokes are all flat, and I’m going to keep hydrated the best way I know how: dairy products and cookies. Chick-fil-A, as you hopefully already know, makes a hell of a milkshake. In a fast food world fully saturated with milkshake options, Chick-fil-A’s is the walk-off winner, but I’m not sure I can adequately articulate why that is. There are assuredly other good ones out there: Steak ‘n Shake’s Cookies and Cream shake with its incongruous monster cookie was my go-to for most of my early years, but with age comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes the realization that I don’t want to sit in a drive-through for forty-five minutes while my shake gets shook, nor do I have any real need for a monster cookie to be included in my milkshake package. I’ve already got a milkshake - what the hell do I do with this frying-pan-sized chocolate wafer? Chuck it at the drive-through attendant like Kung Lao? Dairy Queen has a strong argument that its Blizzard wins Best Dessert, full stop, but a Blizzard isn’t exactly a milkshake; it’s more like what happens when an industrial fan blows a truckload of candy into a vat of really sweet glue. And I’m not here to compare apples and oranges. That’s cross-contamination, even if they’re both (moderately) circular fruits.

The Chick-fil-A milkshake wins because I can’t think of any logical way to improve it. Granted, 99% of my Chick-fil-A milkshake orders are for the Cookies and Cream variety, but my dabblings in other flavours (that’s the British spelling, suck it again Mr. Freeze, I don’t know why) have only further proved the hypothesis. The Cookies and Cream milkshake, like a high school valedictorian, has everything going for it. Its future’s so bright, it’s gotta wear shades. The ice cream component is at peak creaminess, the crumbly cookies are Oreos, needing no further elaboration, and the whipped cream and cherry on top are the...cherry on top. It’s hard to use ice cream sundae metaphors when what’s being described is basically an ice cream sundae. Now, I’m not one to actually eat a milkshake cherry, but I know you weirdos are out there, and I do like the cherry syrup flavor it imparts to the general milkshake domain. The oversized straw makes a good butter-churn-rod for mixing in the whipped cream, although, as with all cookies and cream milkshakes, cookie boulders do tend to get lodged at the bottom of the straw, thereby preventing further milkshake enjoyment until such time as they can be removed. One of the many occupational hazards of milkshake-drinking. But don’t fret, bro, you’ve got this.

Chick-fil-A Milkshakes come in two sizes: small and hippopotamus. If you order a small, you’re presented with what amounts to any normal human’s approximation of a full-sized milkshake. If you go full-hippo, you’re ceremonially showered in exactly one hundred pounds of pure, uncut ice cream while the cashier tries to peg you in the face with whole Oreos. It’s a mess, but it used to be my default order in high school, back when my primary concern was bulking up for swimsuit season. Four thousand calories eaten over the course of two and a half minutes give you a good head start on that kind of thing. These days, I only order the big guy when I know I have a considerable window of uninterrupted time available to fill with activities like “passing out in the corner” or “chomping Pepto Bismol.” The sugar crash shouldn’t be underestimated, either - one daddy-sized milkshake will send your spirits soaring above the stratosphere and rainbows blooming out of your fingertips, but as soon as you get too close to the sun, your wings will burn off and that same milkshake will drag you shuddering straight to hell. And eventually, you’ll even back out, and you’ll get another milkshake. That’s what summer is all about.

Milkshake: 9.5/10

Drive-Through Rage Factor: Road work chaos = volcanic rage.

HBITSCTAS: N/a. It's a big foam cup.

Weather: Face-melt.