Happy birthday, America!
Full disclosure, I didn’t buy you anything. Later on this week I’ll fudge and pretend there’s a gift card in the mail that got lost but I can definitely send another one…(This is where I trail off) Don’t bother? That’s awfully kind of you. I won’t. Look, at least I remembered. Remember that one year that Christmas fell on Hanukkah? Awkward. And you know how much I love Hanukkah. Jesus was pretty bummed that year, but look, Hanukkah only comes eight nights a year, you know.
Well, I remembered, and better yet, I found something awesome to help you celebrate. No, it’s not that beer caddy hat you asked for. I’m not made of money, you know. It’s Luigi’s Limited Edition Birthday Cake Real Italian Ice, as opposed to the short-lived JWOWW Limited Edition Spray-On Tan Fake Italian Ice that came out last summer. Yes, it’s Luigi’s birthday, too. But look, it’s cool to celebrate multiple occasions, right? In any case, this is birthday cake-flavored Italian ice with sprinkles, so you can start freaking out like Nintendo Kid now.
The package is full-on birthday, with the kind of graphic shenanigans 90’s MS Paint designers only dreamed of. We’re talking balloons, ribbons, stripes, endless confetti, sprinkles, more sprinkles, different sprinkles, jimmies, balloons with Luigi’s smiling face on them, and games. Oh, the games. Even if you’re alone with only the whirr of surveillance cameras of your neighbor’s bathroom for company, the games on the back of the box make you feel like you’re at a real birthday party. There’s a word find, a one of these things is not like the other game, and a hidden pictures game. This seriously makes me want to go renew my subscription to Highlights.
Luigi’s has been around for 40 years. In that timeframe, I have exactly two memories of the company. The first was when a friend and I, in the third grade, would get Luigi’s cherry Italian ice every Friday, flip it over to reveal the frozen syrup crystals on the bottom, and eat it backwards. We formed our own club. And to think that later on, only one of us would be diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. The second was visiting my grandfather at his office, finding the endless stacks of empty cups washed out to use for crafts or paint. That man ate Luigi’s by the case and had the charm and health to show for it. So Luigi’s has been an omnipresent, if not always there product in my life, like an absentee father. And now they’ve come so far. Birthday cake Italian ice. It would prove to be either delicious or inedible.
Well, I have good news and bad news, America. The good news is that this Italian ice is pretty delicious. It has the luxuriously fatty mouthfeel and texture of full-fat ice cream, but only contains one gram of fat. It tastes like frozen cake batter- that is, the flavor is so concentrated and milky that it puts cake batter ice cream to shame. Perhaps the only strange thing about this is that the sprinkles, when frozen, take on an off, somewhat fruity flavor, but since they’re only scattered on top, it’s not a big deal. It’s also a little too gummy when melted. The flavor is great- very vanilla heavy, not overly sweet, and with a thick, custardy melt. The bad news, America, is that it turns out I am my grandfather’s granddaughter. I ate all of your birthday gift, America. But look, no hard feelings, right? Maybe when my birthday rolls around, you can create a few more jobs in the legal field? No? Too soon? Okay, America. I’m going to go order that beer caddy.