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austin_dern

July 2017

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May. 2nd, 2017

Oh yeah, the Pink Thing. Let me delay getting back from Dallas to talk about that some.

I think we first noticed Six Flags Over Texas had something called a Pink Thing from a trivia question one of the ride queue signs displayed. It'd asked about where else you could get a Pink Thing. No explanation what it was, past that it was something you could eat. So we got to looking.

The Pink Thing, turns out, was one of those odd little local things that grew up when the park was new. There was a vendor that made something called the Pink Buried Treasure, a tall, pink ice cream-based treat with a figurine inside. The original vendor left in the late 60s and Six Flags Over Texas went on making them, renaming the product Pink Thing because that's what everybody called it anyway. Neat.

The park's 50th year, 2011, opened with a ominous absence of Pink Things. Six Flags did finally start selling a Pink Thing. But instead of some ``inverted cone-shaped, neon pink, ambiguously-flavored treat'' (see the pictures in the article I liked to above) with a figure on the stick inside, it was a cotton-candy-flavored push-up pop. The park said the problem was previous maker Blue Bell had discontinued the product (a tutti-fruitti, apparently, ``Buried Treasure Bar'') and this was the substitute. Fans were unhappy.

We didn't know any of this and wouldn't learn it until after we were home. What we saw were a lot of signs and mentions of the Pink Thing but not any particular stands we could find that were selling it. Finally toward the end of the night we found where we could buy a Pink Thing. It was a Dippin Dots stand. The clerk warned us that it wasn't on a stick. We had at that point no expectations of a stick. (This may have been a supply thing. Advertisements from 2016 have the push-up pop version, certainly a thing on a stick.)

And it was ... all right. We didn't really get it. I suppose part of it is the Dippin Dots technology is about feeling the ice cream melting, not so much tasting anything. While we were there it was just a bewilderingly touted yet not all that accessible thing. Now it's more something ... clung to out of sentiment, but warped all out of shape from what built the sentiment. It's a strange thing to have found.

Trivia: New York City coroner Charles Norris estimated that in 1925 some 618 people in the city died from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, 388 from carbon monoxide-assisted suicide, and three from carbon monoxide-based homicide. Source: The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, Deborah Blum.

Currently Reading: The Boulanger Affair Reconsidered: Royalism, Boulangism, and the Origins of the Radial Right in France, William D Irvine.

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