Once again, things that can easily be categorized as status quo for an American are stark what the frick is going on here?! to my teammates. I bear unto you Exhibit A of today’s ONLY IN AMERICA:
Ice. And lots of it. I’ve come to accept that there’s ice in most beverages we buy here in America. Iced coffee: lots of ice. Movie theater 64 oz soda: absurd amount of ice. Water fill up at a restaurant: icey ice ice! Sure it makes perfect sense from a seller’s standpoint since ice is effectively free and offsets the volume of beverage they’re selling. Duh. As a result, you typically buy a drink with ice chalk full to the brim of you cup. What gives me the kicks is when it’s such a knee jerk reaction for a seller to cram ice in the cup, that it transcends foolishness. An example of this occurred a week or so before Christmas in 2008 while training with my friend Adam down in NC. It was about 20 degrees F, windy, clear, but bitterly cold. We stopped half way into a five hour ride and asked a darling young girl if she could fill our water bottles with the tap behind the counter. Bear in mind this is the kind of place in the rural Appalachian Moutains where you feel privileged to get a bottle full of water and not an insult for wearing spandex in their store. Anywho, you can guess where this is going… it’s freezing cold outside, we’re freezing our tootsies off, and yet we get a bottle full of ice just barely topped off with water. (In fairness, the girl who filled the bottles was a cute little thing and was quite sincere when she said, “I even put ice in there for you!” Welp, hydration is indeed important, despite the temperature, so thanks, Darlin’.)
Exhibit B: I Google image searched ice cubes and found the above picture. I get a chuckle out of the fact that THIS particular site where I found the photo noticed that a restaurant ices their urinals. Is that over the top icing in America? Yes indeedy.
The cruel irony is that putting ice into our beverages takes a great deal of energy to power the refrigeration, which contributes quite unnecessarily to greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore lessens the earth’s natural supply of water in the form of polar ice caps. Okay, that’s the end of my enviro-political schpele.
For those of us – myself included – who are set with the status quo in America, it’s also worth pointing out that we Americans enjoy our beverages at both sides of the extreme. We’re used to it now, but perhaps you’ve noticed that coffee arrives blistering hot. So hot, in fact, that we need to be warned with CAUTION HOT labels on our drinking receptacles.
Aaaaaaaanyway, this isn’t super interesting, but I hear it three times per day from my teammates at meals, multiplied by seven teammates and the occasional staff member, means our overly extreme beverage temperatures is very obvious to me that it’s something found ONLY IN AMERICA.