I turned into one of those, "I'd like to speak with the manager" types last Friday. Of course, I was the cool modern version that makes a passive-aggressive social media post with the company tagged because that's how we do things in this America.
And although I know that Dairy Queen doesn't really care that they lost a customer and the 10 bucks a month I used to spend at DQ won't hurt their bottom line, the whole thing made me sad.
The preface to my story is that I prefer to walk instead of drive whenever I can. That was one really great thing about Portland--it's a very walkable city, and if it wasn't walkable, the MAX, bus, or street car could get you where you wanted to go. My desire to walk, however, started back in South Dakota with Alli and Joey. One of our usual walks was to Wells Fargo to make a deposit, which was where I got into the habit of walking through drive-thrus. We've walked through drive-thrus for years (in several cities) at the library, Wells Fargo, Caribou Coffee, Starbucks, and In-N-Out Burger.
So on a warm Las Vegas night last week, the kind in the summer where it's still 100 degrees as the sun sets, I wanted an ice cream cone on the walk home, and as luck would have it in a town where luck isn't always so, there's a Dairy Queen less than a mile from our home.
As we waited in line behind the cars, I pondered on whether I wanted a chocolate or vanilla cone. Simplicity is key at DQ.
See, Dairy Queen isn't about the ice cream. As an adult, I realized pretty quickly that it isn't the best ice cream, but it's the memory. DQ is piling into the pick-up for a trip to the next town (yes, I lived in a place so small we didn't have a DQ) with the family. It was the anticipation of the treat. It's country highways and Dennis the Menace cups. It's the walk-up window. It's taking the treats to the nearby park with the playground equipment that's probably been deemed unsafe for today's extra breakable children. It's never understanding why your brother likes hot fudge when it just melts everything and it's laughing at your dad when he describes his preferred texture of malt as "runny."
At least he didn't say loose.
"We can't serve you because you're not in a vehicle," the kid probably making minimum wage said.
He was nice enough about it.
The lady in the car behind us was willing to make a purchase, but with multiple cars behind her, I figured it would just clog up the line.
But it's a stupid policy.
I'm sure there's a safety reason. Or they don't want homeless people walking up to the window. Or a million other reasons.
Ice cream is a weird thing to be sentimental over, but I was. If someone asked what my childhood tasted like, I would say Dairy Queen. It's C.S. Lewis with the, "Time to put away childish things" line, right? So DQ, thanks for the memories and the reminders of my old home. 40 years is a good run.
Now let's get crackin' on this list: The Coolest Las Vegas Ice Cream Shops.
And I'll have to drive.