Friday night Wendy and I ventured out to Target. By the time kids were in bed and husbands were okay with being minus wives it was almost 9pm. We skipped into Target and immediately went over to the Starbucks counter and started contemplating our orders. We agreed on the Passion Tea (we were feeling saucy and free)…it wasn’t on the menu at this particular Starbucks, but we figured we’d try to order it anyway…that is…if the stinkin’ barista would ever show up to take our order.
A few minutes passed (it seemed like hours because every moment spent waiting for the Starbucks chic was a minute less we’d have to shop). We were already up against the clock because it was 9:00 and Target closed at 10:00. With only an hour to shop I began picturing us running through the isles tossing items into our carts like the people who win 1 minutes shopping sprees. Then the barista chic interrupted my daydream to inform us that Starbucks was closed. Blasted!
Wendy fell to the floor like Nancy Kerrigan and started crying “whhhhhhyyyy….whhhyyy?!”
I consoled her by saying that we’d stop by the “other” Starbucks on the way home.
An hour later, with target bags in the trunk and joy in our hearts, we headed to the "other" Starbucks, determined to get our iced teas. We confidently drove up to the Starbucks drive thru, Wendy lowered her window and stuck her head out, ready to place our order. She waited…and waited…and then finally, desperately called out a hopeful “Hellloooo”. But alas, her call was unreturned. No one answered. Lights out. Closed.
As we peeled out of the Starbucks parking lot in Wendy’s minivan, we saw redemption: The florescent glow of the golden arches with a bright sign beneath it that read, “Try Mickey D’s Sweat Tea $1”. It was like God had put it there just for us. Thank you, God. Thank you!
Without hesitation we pulled in and ordered two Sweet Teas (for two Sweeties..giggle giggle). We drove up to the window and the man handed Wendy two large paper kegs in exchange for $2. I helped Wendy hoist them into the car. The cup-holder nearly collapsed under the weight of the unusual tea-filled paper kegs. We opened our straws and pushed them through the top. The straws were about a millimeter longer than the paper kegs, which made sipping them a chore. We had to force our necks down over the lid of the paper keg and grab the tip of the straw with our teeth and try to suck the sweet nectar out of the keg that way. It was not an ergonomically correct sipping situation.
Then the sweet nectar rose up the straw and hit our mouths, our taste buds awakened and they danced with delight. “Holy Sweetness” I heard some of them cry out. “This ain’t no passion tea” others declared.
I looked at Wendy who was glassy eyed and glucose-intoxicated. “This is Chinese tea!” I proclaimed!
…and it was.
Clearly Mickey Ds has stolen their secret sweet tea formula from none other than the Chinese. If you haven’t tasted it yet, let me take you there:
You are 10 years old and your parents are taking you out for Chinese food because it’s a special occasion. An Asian female server in full concubine garb comes to your table and takes your order. Perhaps it was a pupu platter with a flame in the middle, or maybe just some chicken “fingers”. Whatever the case, she also brings over a small tin tea kettle and some tiny handle-less ceramic tea cups. Your mom warns you to “be careful” as you pour the hot tea into the cup. You sip the tea, it’s bland and you decide that some sugar is warranted. You open four packets at a time and pour them into the cup. You swirl the sugar around the tea with your spoon and notice that all the sugar has dissolved. Clearly you have not added enough. You proceed to open four more packets and repeat. Your ¼ cup of tea is now laced with 8 sugar packets. Just right. You smile and ball up the crumbled packets and then wipe any granules of spilled sugar down to the edge of the table and into your cup for good measure (no sense in wasting). You sip the tea…mmm…tastes like candy. You take a few sips in an effort to be sophisticated (after all, you are drinking tea), but then you can’t control yourself, you take a big gulp and it’s over…well almost over. The liquid is gone and all that remains is a slow-moving blob of sugar. As you hold the cup up to your mouth the sugar blob slides slowly in. You crunch it around your mouth and smile to yourself knowing that you’ve had dessert before your dinner and your mom doesn’t even know it.
That’s what drinking Mickey D’s sweet tea is like. The only thing different is that they’ve upgraded the technology so that you don’t get the sugar blob at the end. Not that you’d ever know it because there is no way that any human being could possibly get to the end of a Mickey D’s sweet tea. I’m sure it is impossible to drink that much liquid sugar and doing so would most likely put an average sized person into diabetic shock (which is why the Chinese always had small tea cups).
The sweet tea stayed in my refrigerator for 5 days before I gave up on it and poured the remaining tea down the sink. I was pleased to find a lemon slice at the bottom of it, who knew?
As a side note, the following day I had a strange craving for Chinese food and had no choice but to order some for dinner. This is a true story and all of the details are 100% accurate. (even the part about Wendy collapsing like Nancy Kerrigan)