‘I’m Having a Heart Attack!’

American Ice Cream 04-07-2015_6138 I’m pretty sure the American Ice Cream Drive-In on the left as you come into Jackson was once a Dairy Queen. It wasn’t one of my haunts. (I was more a Wib’s guy.)

You know how certain family stories grow up to be family legends over the years. I wasn’t along the night that Dad and the rest of the family stopped in for what must have been a new product. I don’t know the official name of the frozen beverage they were served. Today it would be known at 7-11 as a Slurpee and other places as a Slushee.

Much like people didn’t really know how to eat pizza at first and ended up with burned mouths, Dad apparently didn’t know how to drink his frozen concoction. It was so cooling, so refreshing, so good-tasting, that he must have sucked it down in big gulps.

Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia strikes

American Ice Cream 04-07-2015_6142When the resulting brain freeze hit him, he told the family that he thought  was having a heart attack. Fortunately, the condition didn’t last long and all he suffered was embarrassment.

Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, by the way, is the scientific name for “ice cream headache,” a term that has been in use since at least January 31, 1937. Much to my surprise, the first published reference to “brain freeze” was on May 27, 1991. I could have sworn I heard the phrase used long before that.


5 Replies to “‘I’m Having a Heart Attack!’”

  1. BruneTimeMemory: My Dad the beloved ‘Fat Chuck Brune’ experienced his first Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia and thought he’d died and gone to heaven years before that when I brought him home the now famous Dairy Queen item termed the Blizzard, which has been a staple on their menu since its introduction in 1985, a year in which Dairy Queen sold more than 175 million Blizzards.

  2. It was a Mr. Misty, cherry flavor. I was in the car that night. The learning curve of how to safely eat one was very quick after that famous moment.

  3. You are correct that the American Ice Cream in Jackson was a Dairy Queen which was and still is owned by the Thompson family.

  4. Yes,that was the Jackson DQ. Sometimes, after a long, hot summer day, especially when Dad and I made chopped dry hay, we would drive to Jackson for a cone, Royal Treat, or maybe a Dilly Bar – ( I don’t remember Blizzards then …) – The drive from the farm to DQ had ‘460 air conditioning’ – all four windows down, doing 60 mph ( on Hwy 25, anyway ). Nice memory, thanks again,Ken!

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