‘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.