What is the one thing that really says summer? Ok, I mean besides the calendar and fireworks and the dreaded heat and humidity. C’mon, can’t you figure it out from the title?
Alright, I’ll tell you. It’s baseball, of course! And living in Chicago, we’ve got some great baseball. Or at least some great venues to watch baseball. Now I spend most of my baseball watching either at my husband’s field watching him play or in Milwaukee watching the Brewers play someone, simply because it’s easier to get to and tickets are easier to get. And it’s a GREAT park, especially for kids.
However, back in the day I used to spend a lot of time at Wrigley. This was wayyy before the Cubs were good. In fact, when I lived in the city, I used to walk along the street outside Murphy’s Bleachers awhile before the game and would get offered bleacher tickets by those who decided getting drunk at a bar is more fun than actually going to watch the game. I used to get enough tickets so that whoever I was with could also get in. For free, mind you. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen anymore, but it was wonderful while it lasted.
Once I had my free tickets in hand, it was off to the 7-11 just south of Wrigley. What many people don’t realize is that most ballparks will allow you to bring in outside food and beverage so long as it isn’t alcohol or in a glass container.
Once inside the oasis of the 7-11, I’d go get my nice giant Slurpee — cherry, thank you very much — and head over to the park. In the heat and humidity of a summer day, I was cool and refreshed all game long with my Slurpee. It cost less than half a single beer (which I hate to admit, but I don’t like beer anyway) and lasted far longer.
By the second inning, I’d start getting my first question from patrons* around me. They were all shocked that I could bring in my Slurpee, and inevitably, they were jealous and wanted some of their own. Too late, as there’s no re-entry policy. Instead, I’d just take another slurp and smile.
But why do I share this bit of history with all of you today anyway? Today is the eighth of July. On July 11, it’s Slurpee Day! That means that all customers (at participating 7-11’s) can get a free 7.11 ounce Slurpee. Granted, the flavors have gotten pretty wacky over the years, but who couldn’t find a flavor to love.
And a tip from the experts — put the top on first, then fill. Get it most of the way full, then bang it on the counter to level it off. Slowly add more and continue the last two steps until your Slurpee is just about to overflow the top. Can you think of a better way to spend a Friday in July than enjoying an ice cold (did I mention free) Slurpee?
* I refuse to call the people who enter Wrigley Field with a ticket “fans.” Most of the time, they couldn’t tell you the score. Too many people can’t tell me who’s even playing. And the number of fans left after the seventh inning, regardless of what’s happening in the game is appalling, not to mention the number of people who don’t bother to come in until the second or third inning. They’re patrons. They are not baseball fans.