To me, it is the ultimate pairing.
The burger and the shake — chocolate of course — create a kind of magical tasty synergy that few other food combinations can match in my book.
I don’t care if it’s 12 degrees below zero. If I’m standing in front of a counter with a big menu behind the employees’ heads, and if I’m ordering a hamburger, I’m getting a milkshake with it.
Yesterday was one of those rare occasions when I found myself at a little independent burger place I like.
While I was waiting for the people in front of me to finish ordering, I could see the styrofoam cups in three distinct sizes next to the milkshake machine.
I ordered my burger and a medium chocolate shake.
“We only have small and large.”
“But, you have three sizes of cups.”
“We put milkshakes in these,” she said, pointing to stacks of clear plastic cups.
I asked to see the sizes, and she held up two cups — one in each hand.
They looked identical.
“Aren’t they the same size?”
“No, they’re not.”
I sincerely thought maybe she had bet a co-worker that she could prove I was the most gullible person on the face of the earth.
“They look like they’re exactly the same size.”
“Well, they’re not.”
“Then I’ll take the large,” I said, pointing to the one in her right hand.
“That’s the small.”
This really happened.
For the record, I have no idea if I ended up with the small or the large.
Maybe the young woman working the counter was just confused, and I can see how she would be. Back before she was born, it was easy to order a drink from a burger place, because there was only one size. And, under the golden arches for instance, it was 7 ounces.
Now each place has a half dozen different sizes, and even the smallest is too much. The biggest of the big ones are downright colossal.
It’s impossible to remember from place to place how big each size is.
At fast food joint A, a medium may be 22 ounces.
At fast food joint B, if you order a medium, it gets delivered to you by an employee wearing one of those back-support belts furniture movers wear to lift a hutch.
And, most places don’t even have a size they call small anymore. I guess that’s because we’re in America and implying that you can’t swig down a drink big enough to have high tide twice a day would be seen as a sign of weakness, I don’t know.
I cannot even imagine ordering a large drink these days. I guess it comes on a forklift going beep-beep-beep as it rumbles into the lobby.
Huge drinks have been around awhile, though. I didn’t realize it, but 7-Eleven actually introduced its famous Big Gulp way back in 1976. Nowadays, the Big Gulp is the smallest of all the Gulps.
Just in case you don’t frequent 7-Eleven, they have five Gulp sizes.
The biggest is the Team Gulp which gushes to the tune of a whopping 128 ounces. That’s a gallon, ladies and gentlemen.
The Team Gulp comes in a container with a handle and a screw-on lid. Maybe you’re supposed to share it with, oh, 10 or so people.
I realize that what started out as me making fun of a place not having a big enough difference between their two sizes of cups suddenly turned into me complaining about drinks being too big.
I just wanted to tell the milkshake story. The rest was just bonus drivel.
No need to thank me. The next time you see me, you can just buy me a milkshake.
You pick the size.