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.