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Ask Tuffy – Ice Castles Sunday, July 29, 2007

Posted by Tuffy in ask tuffy, tuffy.

Dear Tuffy,

You seem to be pretty smart in the ways of science and alchemy, so I am writing to you in hopes that you can help me with a dream that I have been working on for many, many years. A dream so great, that if we can create it, it will bring us riches beyond our wildest dreams.

I am of course talking about –

The Water Slurpee.

In the dog days of summer, there is nothing on this green and blue marble we call home better than an ice cold Slurpee.

However, regular Slurpees are filled with sugar and calories and Blue Dye #17, and no one wants hang out with a hyped up fatty with blue teeth. Sometimes you can find Diet Pepsi Slurpees, but it’s usually in the spinner that is broken so it comes out all watery and not very Slurpee-like.

I’ve tried making Water Slurpees at home, but so far, it has not gone very well.

The first time I tried it, I just put a bowl of water in the freezer and then went back every 30 minutes with a fork and stirred up the forming ice to try to make the Water Slurpee that way, but after a couple of hours of doing that I lost track of time and fell asleep on the couch watching a Law & Order marathon on TNT. Next thing I knew, Chris Noth had been replaced by some guy who looked like he had coconut for a head and I had a bowl of frozen water.

The next time I thought I was on to something. I filled my blender with ice and then filled it half way with ice-cold water, just like when I get those Jose Cuervo margaritas in a jug. Well, I guess I wasn’t thinking about cold with cold, because when I hit “blend”, the cold water just stuck to the ice and I just got a blob in the bottom of the blender. I guess I needed another type of molecule or something in there so the H20 doesn’t mate with the other H20. I tried jabbing it with a spoon, but stupidly used one of my wooden spoons, which ended up getting ground up in the blades. Long story short, I ended up with a big ice cube with splinters.

(I thought about doing ice with hot water, but I once saw a ‘Better or Worse’ cartoon where the mom put cold water in a hot pitcher right out of the dishwasher and it broke and then bratty Michael and the dog Farley laughed at her. I’m already down a wooden spoon, and I don’t want to risk the blender too.)

Well, I’m rambling on and on here Tuffy, but if you could help me figure out a way to make Water Slurpees, I promise we can name then after you. Turpees or something. However, we’ll still split the riches.

Thanks for your help,
Turpees #1 Fan

Dear Turpee Fan Nonpareil,

I am shocked and saddened by your desire to make me a part of your sins against nature. Why not a cottage cheese Slurpee? It’s no more an abomination against God than your Turpee.

Slurpees exist solely as a syrup delivery vehicle. They are meant to make sugar even more dangerous and delicious than before. To pull the syrup from a Slurpee is to pull the unidentifiable filling from a Twinkie or Brett Favre from the Packers. One only exists to support the other as an otherwise useless host body. Without that important thing, the significance of the other becomes perfunctory at best.

However, I am inclined to help you in your quest for the convenience store equivalent of liquid tofu in no small part because of the intriguing photo essay enclosed with your letter. (So many uses for a Slurpee straw; who knew?)

I stepped into the high security wing of Tuffy Laboratories earlier this week to study this issue further. Here are the results:

First, I look good in a lab coat. I often wear just a lab coat around town and ask people if they want to see my test tube. I get more takers than you would initially guess because I look just that good in a lab coat.

Now, to the matter at hand. A brief recreation of your experiments proved out your analysis, TurpeeLover53@aol.com: ice clumps, wood splinters, and Chris Noth just isn’t that inspiring as an actor.

Then I did the unthinkable: I did some research into the matter. Apparently, all carbonated frozen drinks are created by mixing the syrups with filtered water and then injected with carbon dioxide. The sweet/cold/gassy mixture is then slipped into a cylinder surrounded by cold coils that keep the mixture below the normal water freezing point. The cylinder is scraped from the inside and churned constantly.

The combination of the sugar crystals, the air, the water with impurities removed, and the churning both help prevent the water from being able to form large crystals and break down any large crystals formed. This makes it easy to get your syrup up through those gaping straws.

You haven’t given me a lot to work with. You’ve taken out nearly all of the ingredients needed for small ice crystals. Artificial sweeteners are out. Supercooling is Right Out. Really, there’s only one part of the process still standing: chipping at the ice fervently to keep it tiny.

Considering your distinct lack of a Slurpee machine you can crank to 11, here’s your best bet: grind down the ice and club soda as best as you can with your pathetic non-industrial blender, pour the mixture into one of those novelty frozen mugs, and shove it in the freezer for a few hours with an ice pick attached to one of these:

Advantages: Will fit nicely in your freezer; will claw the hell out of anything you love; requires little investment
Disadvantages: Easily distracted; hard to train; slight risk of catsicle

Small Child
Advantages: Will fit well enough in your freezer; will work hard for your meager affection; doesn’t know well enough to bitch
Disadvantages: Must constantly nag to work harder; child labor laws limit the number of Slurpees you can get out of a child each week

Wee Man (from Jackass)
Wee Man
Advantages: Will fit in your freezer with enough shoving; will work hard for promise of reality series; will do just about anything for $5
Disadvantages: Will eventually figure out you don’t have a reality series; still needs $5

Good luck with your tasteless efforts. Also, please remember that Tuffy Laboratories, Tuffy Enterprises, and Tuffy himself are not liable if anything leaves your freezer in a different state of life than it entered.



1. TheStarterWife - Sunday, July 29, 2007

I cannot breathe…. laughing too hard… broke into tears at “Chris Noth just isn’t that inspiring as an actor”

“convenience store equivalent of liquid tofu”

Genius. Thank you Tuffy… thank you.

2. Baba Oje - Sunday, July 29, 2007

We really need to start some kind of contributor outreach program.

3. Tuffy - Sunday, July 29, 2007

No more interventions! They cut into my drinking time.

4. Clare - Sunday, July 29, 2007

I may have heard about your questioner’s question before you responded to her question, Tuffy, and I suggested club soda to the questioner.

What this means is that I am a scientific genius too.

5. Yostal - Sunday, July 29, 2007

See, here in Detroit, you get Crystal Light Slurpee, it’s win-win. But well done Tuffy, well done.

6. TheStarterWife - Sunday, July 29, 2007

Crystal Light Slurpee??!?!?!? WHY IN DETROIT?!?!?

Besides, water – more refreshing.

7. Tuffy - Monday, July 30, 2007

Clare, any association between the above and scientific genius is purely coincidental.

8. Yostal - Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Detroit consumes more Slurpee than any other U.S. metropolitan area (my hometown in suburban Detroit is considered to be America’s per capita Slurpee capital, in fact). As a result, almost every 7-Eleven has a minimum of eight Slurpee flavors at any given time and most have 12, so they need to have options.

9. Friday Football Foodie – Pizza Loaf, Watermelon-Vodka Slushees, and Garlic Bits | sarah sprague - Saturday, December 31, 2011

[…] Anyone who knows me, knows I love slushees, Slurpees, and dream of someday having the water-only Slurpee; The Turpee. […]

10. You WILL Have Enough Ice: 14 Days of Super Bowl Recipes | sarah sprague - Tuesday, January 3, 2012

[…] is how passionately I feel about the subject.  To this day, I am still rather upset I cannot get an all-water Slurpee to work, despite Tuffy’s best […]

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