- Associated Press - Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is President Obama willing to risk Slurpee brain freeze as he grapples with political gridlock?

A strange but real possibility.

The president’s campaign-trail attack on Republicans as Slurpee-sipping do-nothings boomeranged on him the day after the GOP won the House majority in last week’s midterm elections. He was asked whether he would have likely House Speaker John A. Boehner over for the slushy 7-Eleven staple, and the White House meeting next week with congressional leaders was jokingly dubbed the “Slurpee Summit.”

No word yet on whether the nation’s most powerful elected officials will actually be sipping Goji Berry Cherry Slurpees when discussing tax cuts on Nov. 18. But the Slurpee sellers at 7-Eleven are giddily taking advantage of the golden marketing opportunity with a “Slurpee Unity Tour” now zigzagging across the country to Washington.

The Slurpee is ready for its close-up, even if the president and Congress might not be.

Slurpees are good to go at a 7-Eleven store in Concord, N.H. But there is no word yet on whether elected officials will be sipping the sweet slushy drink Thursday while discussing tax cuts in the White House at a gathering jokingly dubbed the "Slurpee Summit." (Associated Press)
Slurpees are good to go at a 7-Eleven store in Concord, N.H. ... more >

“The more people that drink Slurpees, the happier we are,” said 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris. “Republicans, Democrats, independents, tea partiers, whoever.”

Discussion about this Slurpee moment usually comes with tongues planted firmly in chilly cheeks, which makes sense. Though Slurpee’s place in the pop culture pantheon is secure, it’s not necessarily exalted. The drink, with its funny-sounding name and corner store pedigree, is more the stuff of punch lines than political discourse.

Slurpee got a name check in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” movie during an expletive-laced argument touching on ethnic stereotypes. More famously, slushy drinks are spoofed on “The Simpsons” as the “squishee,” sold by Apu at the Kwik-E-Mart as something to wash down dodgey hot dogs.

And getting a “slushie” to the face is an ever-present hazard for the singing and dancing high schoolers on TV’s “Glee.”

In the movie “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” John Candy’s oafish shower curtain-ring salesman memorably offers a Slurpee to the tightly wound Steve Martin character as he tries to make up for stealing Martin’s cab.

Candy: “Some tea?”

Martin: “No.”

Candy: “Lifesavers?”

Martin: “No.”

Candy: “Slurpee?”

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