The Frosty and Its Discontents

As some of you know, I have developed something of a milkshake addiction in recent months. Chocolate chip cookies of course being a gateway drug to heavier substances, I recently went to Wendy’s for a shake. I know they’re called “Frosties” there, but I didn’t figure that semantics would be a big issue with them. I was sadly mistaken.

I pulled up at my local Wendy’s and scanned the menu for my quarry. A young lady’s voice came crackling over the speaker,

“Welcome to Wendy’s may I take your order?”

“Yeah, do y’all have milkshakes,” I replied, as I saw no mention of the word milkshake in my admittedly cursory examination of their offerings.

“No sir, we don’t have milkshakes.”

“Oh wait, what is a Frosty? That’s a milkshake right?” I asked, noticing the Frosty was the sole item listed under the somewhat prolix heading “Frozen Dairy Dessert.”

No response.

“What is a Frosty, anyway?” I asked.

Still no response.

Some moments passed.

Clearly I had caused her a catastrophic system error, rendering her unable to function, so I capitulated.

“I’ll have a large Frosty.”

“Thank you that will be $1.63. Please drive through.”

We made our exchange, and although I sensed no tension, I had clearly exploded this girl’s worldview. No doubt she’ll spend the rest of her evening contemplating the definition of the milkshake vis á vis the Frosty, a frozen dairy dessert. What is a Frosty? What is its Platonic form? What separates it from the milkshake? What is the essence of the Frosty? Not quite food item, not quite beverage, the Frosty must reside in a culinary netherworld, seldom visited by other foodstuffs.

As I drove away, the subtle distinction of the Frosty from the milkshake was made clear to me: Frosties are served not with a straw, but with a spoon. Eureka!

Perhaps it was the warm weather, or perhaps I had so existentially wounded my server that she sought to extract her revenge on my frozen dairy dessert, but when I got home I noticed that the Frosty was leaking all around its lid. A significant portion had liquefied and was running amok. I got to the kitchen and transferred it to a cup, yet I continued to make a mess of myself. If only I had been given a straw…

Indeed, my Frosty runneth over.