Dreams of a milkshake machine

Published 10:41 pm Thursday, August 13, 2009

In the midst of heat indexes that reached into triple digits this week, the fantasy was a cool one.

Our very own milkshake machine, the Suffolk News-Herald’s front-office staff decided, would be the perfect answer to the problem of Suffolk’s stifling August heat. And the auction of equipment, fixtures and supplies from the shuttered Bridge Road Burger King would provide us the perfect opportunity to snag that machine at a bargain.

Admittedly, one or two of us thought about the possibility of buying the machine as the foundational piece of equipment for a new ice cream shop to serve folks downtown. But it occurred to us that being around ice cream all the time might make it seem less of a treat and more like work, which — when you’re talking about something as special as ice cream — seems almost sacrilegious.

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On the other hand, a milkshake machine in the front office would capitalize on the special treat angle, while giving us another reason besides love of the job to come back to the office after a long day covering outdoor events in sweltering temperatures.

On Tuesday, several of us put our heads together and considered how much we’d be willing to spend for the luxury of office-made milkshakes. We’d briefly considered an official capital expense request from Boone Newspapers, but when our previous request for a gas grill raised eyebrows, some of us thought better of asking for a milkshake machine, as well.

With a total of $34 committed to the cause, reporter Andrew Giermak set out to cover the auction. Sadly, though, someone there had deeper pockets, picking up the machine for $350. I imagine Andrew didn’t even bid.

As it turns out, there were a few things we could have bought for our $34 — assuming we were interested in multiple copies of an Xbox video game featuring the Burger King in bumper cars — but all the good stuff was picked up by people who might actually put it to good use, rather than a news department cranky and delusional from the summertime heat.

We probably could have put in a bid for the old grease and chicken nuggets that were left in the fryer when the restaurant was closed down for failure to pay back taxes, but we’ve got enough old, crusty food in the office refrigerator already, so it’s just as well that Andrew took a pass.

We’ll just have to chalk up the milkshake machine as another dream that won’t come true, I suppose. But if you’re the one who wound up with it — and if you’re feeling generous sometime — my favorite flavor is strawberry.