Monday, March 4, 2013

Of Gulley Washers, Red Eyes, & Other Slurpees

By Allen Bacon
The Daily Bosco

It was a warm day in my hometown of Fullerton this past Friday and I found myself in the neighborhood Seven Eleven to escape the heat. Because as everybody knows Seven Elevens have the best air conditioning systems. There was a group of about five kids by the Slurpee machines making 44 ounce suicide know where you combine all five flavors together. Sometimes it can taste pretty nasty. Crystal Lite Cherry doesn't usually combine with Powerade very well.

I flashed back to a simpler time in SoCal and my Slurpee runs. You see at one time in the late 60's and early 70's Slurpees were the rage. This is when Bob Stanford and the Stanford Agency advertising company created the most creative marketing campaign for Seven-Eleven and the Slurpee. Legend has it that Bob was sitting around in a brainstorming session and noticed that as he was sucking the Slurpee through his straw it made a slurping noise...he added two e's and well the rest is history.

Slurpees used to have great names like the Gulley Washer, Fulla Bulla, Red Eye, Kiss Me You Fool, and Fire Water. Can't tell you what they tasted like but I remember those names. And of course you could always get a Coca-Cola Slurpee. And they would have these great banners on the outside of the Seven Eleven announcing the new Slurpee flavors as they arrived. My favorite radio station KEZY 1190 would have cool radio spots for the new frozen concoctions. Slurpees would also come in these cool psychedelic cups too capitilizing on the LSD craze of the time. Later on when I was twelve they came in cups with my favorite DC and Marvel comic book characters on the outside.

When I was eight going to Seven Eleven was a treat. I only got to go when my cool friends the Matthews were going downtown. I lived closer to a Tick Tock market that carried Icee. Icees were ok but they weren't as cool as Slurpees. Icees came in cups with a polar bear with a sweater and they only came in coke and cherry. No creative names. Sort of like Slurpees today. I can get a Coke slurpee, a Powerade slurpee, a Crystal Lite Slurpee or a Cherry Coke Slurpee but not a Gulley Washer or a Fulla Bulla. As a side note, the Icee was originally made by the same company as the Slurpee...just marketed differently.

If Seven Eleven wants to do something interesting they should bring back the classic slurpees in the old psychedelic cups. I would definitely be interested in that. In the meantime if it is as hot as it was yesterday... I'm making a Slurpee run today.

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