Friday, March 13, 2009

Shamrock Shakes

ShamrockShake When I was in second grade, our class had a contest for St. Patrick's Day.  The student who wore the most green items would win lunch at McDonald's with the teacher and a Shamrock Shake.  I vividly recall planning my ensemble for days.  I carefully collected anything and everything that could be worn by me and was green.  I even secured green underwear.  I won--handily.  So off we went to McDonald's: Mrs. Mayo (my teacher), Cathy (the girl who won from the class next door) and her teacher.  I had my first Shamrock Shake, the year was 1977.  Jimmy Carter was the new President.  Today, 32 years later, I had my most recent Shamrock Shake.  Barack Obama is the new President. 

I was able to find solace and comfort in a childhood favorite, the minty, refreshing, creamy Shamrock Shake.  Back in '77 there was only one size shake and there was a character named Grimace who drank them.  Now McDonald's shakes come in 3 sizes, each one bigger than the '77 version and most Americans are as big as Grimace.  It used to be you could count on two things in March, the Shamrock Shake and the NCAA Tournament.  The former is no longer a given.  They are not available everywhere and are not available every year.  In 2007, they were not to be found anywhere in the Los Angeles basin.  Frustratingly.   I even recall pulling up to drive thrus and asking "Do you have Shamrock Shakes?"  The person would always respond "Yes."  Excited, I would pull up to the window only to meet someone who had only a passing command of English and was probably experiencing their first St. Patrick's Day in this country.  I would repeat "Shamrock Shake."  And they would respond, "Wha' kind o' eeee-shake, you want?"  I would ask them to get their manager, who luckily had been in the country at least a couple of years.  They would come to the window and explain that they didn't have them this year.
I'm always amazed when I meet people, fellow Americans, contemporaries, if you will, who do not know what a Shamrock Shake is.  I cannot be friends with them.  I. Just. Can't.  I don't care if you think they are disgusting.  Just that you KNOW of them.  That you are part of my tribe.  There is even a website dedicated to the Shamrock Shake.  They are only available for a limited time.  And oh-so-delicious.

7 comments:

katieu said...

I'm sorry we can no longer be friends...I grew up in the South Bay, ate McDonald's throughout my childhood but have NEVER heard of a Shamrock Shake until now! McRib, tasty cookies in the shape of Ronald and his friends, Hamburglar and FryGuys I've heard of. Shamrock Shakes, nope! Will you take me to try one?

Mariah said...

Shamrock Shakes are the BOMB!! The creamy yumminess...
Mmm Mmm Good!! It's my favorite thing about March

Elizabeth said...

Ah, Katieu, hmmm... Well, the McRib is a bit obscure, so I guess that buys you points. But, how could you have missed over 30 years worth of Shamrock Shakes???

Yes, we can be friends.

Heather *IsaBella and Harrison's Mommy* said...

Shiznick! I have never even heard of a shamrock shake until now! I also grew up in the South Bay, in a nice Korean bubble, so that's probably why... I do remember the days when they had a special "hamburger for 10cents" deal and used to get 22 at a time... 10 for my dog, Happy, 10 for my other dog, Mia, and 1 for my lil sis and 1 for me! And no, we don't eat dogs... I'm not quite sure what happened to Happy, though... Friends?

Love always,
Heather

HappyHourMom said...

I finally found someone who shares my love affair with the shamrock shake. I knew we would make great friends Elizabeth!!! I thought meeting you at Disneyland was the highlight, and now McDonalds... what else is there?!?!?!

Amy Anderson said...

OMG! I really want one now and I should have grabbed one on the East coast the other day when I saw it in the McDonald's I was in. I don't know what I was thinking. How can people not know what a Shamrock Shake is? I know the McRib too. My family at at McDonald's in suburban MN EVERY Wednesday night before midweek church. Good times. Oh yes. Good times.

Eunice said...

They had them at the McDonalds on Torrance and Victor the last time I was there. Of course, I got one! When Shrek was out they renamed them Sludge shakes or something like that. I was in Ireland one year over St. Patricks Day and they didn't have it at their McDonald's. I looked at them in shock and disbelief.