Everyone knows that Seattle is kind of like a no-fly zone for chain fast food restaurants. Whereas in most normal-sized cities, it's tough to drive a block without bearing witness to some sleazy come-on for dollar-menu cheeseburgers, tacos that bear only a passing resemblance to anything Mexican, or fried chicken served in a bucket, Seattle is a relative fast food wasteland where miserable children and late-night drunks are forced sometimes to go 15 whole minutes without seeing some creepy clown or psychotic head-case dressed like the King of Polyester Island trying to get them to shove a burger or a pound of french fries into their faces.
This is like porno for some people...
And while in most cases this is a good thing, it's not always a good thing. Because there are certain menu items at certain fast food outlets that some people cling to with the desperation of drowning sailors clutching life preservers in the middle of hostile seas. For example, I have no particular love for Mickey D's, but I do suffer the occasional back-sliding craving for those slabs of hash browns they serve during breakfast hours. And I know there are some folks out there who would literally kick a nun if she were standing between them and the last Dairy Queen Blizzard in the area.
"Oh, but that's nonsense..." you say. "There are Dairy Queens everywhere! This is America, and no one with an urge and a couple bucks in their pockets would ever have to go without a Blizzard if they really wanted one, so stop this ridiculousness about nun-kicking and Last Blizzards Ever right now."
Au contraire, I respond. While yes, DQ does have roughly 5700 locations, most of them in the US and Canada, and states like Texas and most of the Midwest are pretty well covered, I ask you to take a look at a map of the Seattle Area with all the DQ locations marked on it. (Like this map, perhaps.) What you'll see if you click on that link is something similar to what Hitler saw from the bunker during the final days of the Battle of Berlin in 1945: a small and rapidly shrinking zone of control surrounded on all sides by enemies.
There are DQ's in Bothell, in Kirkland, in Renton and Tukwila. There's one down by SeaTac, another surviving in Bellevue. But the inexorable march of frosty treats stops dead at White Center, where the Dairy Queen Brazier (meaning a DQ that also serves hot food, like hot dogs, bacon cheeseburgers and chicken finger baskets) at 10256 16th Avenue SW is as close as Dairy Queen gets to the heart of the city.
At least for the moment. Because I just got word that, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the "Iconic Blizzard flavor treat" (that's DQ's wording, not mine), the Blizzardmobile (also their wording) will be making two stops inside the lines to bring free Blizzards to the people of Seattle.
The Blizzardmobile, in all its weird, lipped glory
Yeah, that's right. I said free Blizzards.
The details are thus: On Sunday, July 18, the Blizzardmobile will be pulling up to Qwest Field before the Sounders game and slinging free Blizzards from 10:30am 'til 2:30pm. Miss it there and it'll be making one last Seattle stop, on Monday the 19th, at Seattle Children's Hospital (4800 Sand Point Way NE) from noon 'til 2pm. After that, it rolls out for the Lynwood DQ location where, from 4pm to 5pm it'll be giving away more free Blizzards and, one assumes, taking on supplies for the long haul to wherever it's headed next.
One thing, though. When I say "free Blizzards," I should note that this means "free incredibly tiny mini-Blizzards that are half the size of a normal small Blizzard--about six ounces--and fit only for babies, the elderly or the truly desperate."
Still, a free Blizzard is a free Blizzard, right? And since I'm guessing that there are some serious Seattle Blizzheads out there who've been jonesing for a taste of DQ's most "iconic flavor treat" for a long goddamn time, I don't think size will matter much to them when they rush the truck and start demanding their medicine.