Isis King (yes, that Isis) is responsible for this post because while I was on Twitter the other night she tweeted about wishing she was near a 7-11 so she could get something sweet to snack on.
That got me wistfully thinking about one of the iconic drinks of my childhood I can no longer buy here in Houston at a convenience store, the Slurpee.
You can only get them at a 7-Eleven store and until 1990 I could. There was a 7-Eleven on the route I walked home from elementary and junior high school that I used to stop by, spend my residual lunch money and happily get my large Slurpees from. When I got my drivers license it was even easier to do so until the Dallas-based Southland Corporation, the parent company of 7-Eleven went bankrupt.
All of the local 7-Elevens were sold to National Convenience Stores which ran the rival Stop-n-Go chain. Some former 7-Eleven stores like the one in my neighborhood changed hands to a private owner while others suffered the fate of being closed either because it was across the street from a Stop-n-Go or they couldn’t find a buyer. .
Me and my friends sarcastically called them Stop-n-Robs, but that’s another story for another Moni musing blog post. The closest 7-Elevens to me now are in the Austin area.
So it puts me in the situation that any time I traveled somewhere in the States either with friends or solo and I discover there’s a 7-Eleven in the vicinity, there’s a mandatory stop made at some point during my visit for me to purchase two large Slurpees.
My love of Slurpees also got me some unwanted male attention one day.
During my airline days I frequently flew to LAX to hang out with various people. During the first Los Angeles trip in which I stayed with my friend and former co-worker Alsenia Davis back in 1991 I gleefully discovered that not far from her apartment there was a 7-Eleven on the corner of San Vicente Blvd.and Hauser Blvd. .
It was a fifteen minute walk up there from S.Dunsmuir St and back but I didn’t care. Like clockwork, any time I flew to visit Seni I’d drop my bags off, get changed and head to that 7-Eleven to get two large Slurpees I’d happily destroy on the way back to her apartment.
During the first day of my 1996 vacation trip to LA I got up around noon to keep my Slurpee drinking tradition alive and headed to that 7-Eleven. What I wasn’t aware of was a jerri-curled brother spotted me walking to the store from his apartment on San Vicente and I was moving like Flo Jo and too fast for him to ascertain where I was headed..
After I arrived at the 7-Eleven and purchased my large grape and Coke flavored Slurpees I headed back toward Dunsmuir Street.
My joy and rapture at getting reacquainted with my fave frozen carbonated beverage was interrupted by the annoying attempt of Mr. Soul Glo trying to mack Moni.
He ran across six lanes of San Vicente Blvd traffic and started walking with me in his doomed to fail attempt to get me to follow him back to his place.
“Say mama, I sho’ would like to get to know you better,” Mr. Soul Glo said as I silently said to myself “No way in Hell, brother,”
“What’s your name?” he asked as I was two blocks away from my turn onto Dunsmuir St and the half a block down it I’d have to walk to get to Seni’s. I didn’t want this buster trailing me all the way there, so I stopped drinking my Slurpee for a moment, looked at him seductively in the eyes and said,”Ralph”.
While he was trying to ascertain whether I was serious or not I quickened my pace and got out of his line of sight before he could figure out what his next move was.
So yeah, my salivating for Slurpees runs deep and it’s been almost two years since my last one.
I’m also happy to hear that 7-Eleven has cut a deal with Cinemark Theaters to sell them at selected ones in the Houston area for the first time in this area since 1990.
Just my luck the closest Cinemark Theaters to me are halfway across town.