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August 12, 2008 - Wes Burns
For those of you that read last Friday's blog you learned of my hatred for this town's obsession with fast food. For those of you that have read the blog for some time understand my disgust at the inability to get a decent cup of coffee in this town. Lo and behold these two hates recently converged in what is far and away my most ridiculous Marshalltown dining experience to date.
So I was at the Sonic with a friend of mine. It was around 10:30 and, as everyone in this town knows, the city rolls up the sidewalks at 10 and you're supposed to go home and watch Laurence Welk. Being the rebels that we are we were NOT asleep by 10:30 and decided that we wanted some coffee.
Why Sonic? Because it was very simply open; and I cannot do the gas station iced coffee because they just give you a regular soda cup and tell you to "put some ice in it first" and then point you to the coffee pot. Ever try to hold onto a thin plastic cup while its being filled with 300 degree liquid? Sadists.
So here we are at Sonic. Apparently driving through is not the preferred modus operandi so we proceeded to park. We looked over the coffee drinks and decided that the only thing they served was some sort of coffee/milkshake concoction. And it was listed in the breakfast menu. When did these places trick us into thinking that if you want energy in the morning you should drink ice cream and milk? When did that happen?
On a side note: the Sonic menu also contains something called a Frito (tm) Chili Cheese Wrap which is a tortilla with chili and Fritos poured in. If you are the person buying these things in Marshalltown (and I pray there is only one) STOP! We're trying to have a civilization over here.
So we press our order button and place our drink orders. By this time I have abandoned the idea of getting a decent coffee and order a chocolate malt. If I'm going to get a milkshake anyway I might as well have one that isn't pretending to be coffee. Not so much for my friend. She ordered the Sonic coffee drink (its name eludes me) with an extra shot of espresso.
The kid on the other side of the microphone was confused. "You want a what?" He was in utter disbelief. It was then that we noticed the text NEXT to the extra shot option. Apparently Sonic has decided to superfluously rename an extra espresso shot as a Sonic BOOM!!! Yes, the menu had that many exclamation points.
Tiring of this whole ordeal my friend decided to just capitulate and utter the phrase "sonic boom". Had this been the end of the ordeal we could have chalked it up to pedantic corporate culture and moved on with our milkshakes. This was not to be.
The Sonic kid understood the Sonic BOOM! but not that anyone would want to drink something that tasted that much like coffee. "Are you sure? That's three shots of espresso, you're going to be bouncing off the walls."
We were shocked. This is a woman that is currently attending law school and this kid on the mike at Sonic thinks that three shots of espresso is too much for her to handle? She reigned it in and explained to the kid that yes, she really did want the three shots. Then she told him that she did not want a flavoring, just the coffee and milk and ice cream.
Worlds were rocked. "You don't want ANY flavor? Its just going to taste like coffee?" The Sonic kid's understanding of his place in the universe had been irrevocably altered and he was lost. On the other hand my friend was just losing her patience. "Of course I want it to taste like coffee. I ordered coffee! Why can't it taste like what I ordered?"
Panic overtook the Sonic. We could hear whispers coming over the intercom as the kid conferred with his fellow Sonicistas(?) about the possibility of giving someone a milkshake with THREE shots of espresso and no flavor, not to mention the impending legal ramifications if she had a heart attack as a results. Eventually the kid appeared with my now partially melted malt and her dangerously over caffeinated beverage.
The ordeal behind us we slowly pull out of the Sonic as the kid shakes his head in disbelief. Not more than 50 feet from the store my friend takes a drink, grimaces, says "It tastes just like a milkshake", and throws it out of her car.
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