Chasing DQ

Tonight Ann wanted to attend a Nerf gun war with her youth group. William, however, was too young to attend.  Although we wasn’t expressing any sourness toward the situation, (he even eagerly discussed the various pros and cons of the various Nerf guns that have accumulated in the house over the years with Ann before we left), I thought I’d take him out for a little treat of his own.  After a brief walk to the adjoining school to check if the basketball courts were empty, (they weren’t—two were filled with Asian men playing basketball and the other with Asian women performing some Yoga-like poses on small mats), we got in the car and I suggested desert.  William amazingly passed over Cold Stone and fixated on a chocolate-dipped soft serve cone from Dairy Queen.  I queried the GPS and it found a few nearby.  I knew the one in Canton—it was nice and had some seats inside.  However, I had other plans for William that were in Westland, so we headed off on our 2.8 mile journey to Newburgh Road.

After a while the GPS led us to a strip mall and happily chirped that we had “reached our destination.”  We slid into the parking lot and were greeted with several of the standards—a drug store, Subway, and a tanning salon—but no DQ.  As we maneuvered through the cars and people, the headlights finally came to rest upon a For Lease notice hanging in a dark window above which hung an even darker Dairy Queen marquee.

So it was back to the GPS.  This time we had two choices that were pretty equidistant from where we were and where we were going to later: one on Wayne Road and the other Ford.  I figured Wayne Road near the mall was a good bet and would have a nice establishment.  However, when we passed by the mall and turned onto Wayne the GPS said we still had over two miles to go.  I thought I must have mistakenly selected the wrong destination, but after pulling over to punch it in again it insisted that it was the closest location, (still followed closely by the one on Ford Road).  So William and I forged ahead leaving the bright shopping district of Westland and crossing into a more sparsely populated area where many smaller establishments were already closed and asleep.

Finally the GPS announced our arrival on the left where sure enough I spotted the large, blazing Dairy Queen icon.  Below it, however, sat a small building flanked by a couple snow-covered picnic tables that didn’t look much larger than the sign towering above it.  As we drove closer any hopes that the building would be deeper than first expected and would have at least a couple tables indoors were quickly extinguished.  William didn’t want to eat outside and frankly neither did I, so we decided we’d give the one on Ford Road a try.  We figured that it was a pretty busy road and had lots of businesses and restaurants along it, so would likely have a larger Dairy Queen.

As we forged ahead I realized that the kids and I had taken almost this exact same route before.  In that case it was in search of an elusive pair of cheer shoes for Ann to be found at Payless.  We started in Canton, were directed to the mall, which then sent us up Wayne Road who turned us back to a store on Ford Road.  Our DQ hunt took the same path except a little further along each branch of it.  As we passed the Payless where Ann had finally found her shoes, William pointed it out and said he remembered going there and jumping over the decorative wall separating the store from the parking lot.  At this point I had a good feeling that our current quest had to end in the same successful manner, but dryly said to William that I expected the Dairy Queen to be a heap of fire-damaged rubble when we got there.  William dryly retorted that he fully expected it to be a drive-up only.  It turns out he was right…

We pulled around back and discussed what to do.  William suggested eating in the car, but his tone suggested it really wasn’t what he wanted.

To be honest, when I first suggested desert I was thinking about a nice bowl of chocolate ice cream mixed with M&Ms at Cold Stone, (I thought for sure William wouldn’t pass up Cold Stone—a rare treat).  But now I thought that there was absolutely nothing that would deter me from getting his hands on that soft-serve vanilla dipped in chocolate and served in a papery cone.

At this point I noticed that the clerk inside of the Dairy Queen was nervously looking out the windows trying to get a look at what we were doing.  I realized that this probably seemed sinister—a solitary car sitting near the back of the store in a dark and deserted parking lot, so pulled up where he could see us better and started entering the now-familiar “point of interest” into the GPS exaggerating the movements to be seen better.  The clerk looked relieved and walked away from the windows to busy himself with something else.

Then came the thought that DQ must not be the only place that served what we wanted, so asked William if McDonalds had the same thing, (we had passed one shortly before).  William thought that they did, so we headed off to Plan B.  However, Plan B—while having booths, chairs, heat, and soft-serve, did not turn out to offer soft-serve dipped in chocolate.  I was about to walk out and pound on the GPS again when William said that he’d like a McFlurry with Oreos.  I thought that suddenly sounded like it absolutely hit the spot so ordered a couple.  The cashier smiled at us and said that she’d, “fix us up good.”

(The night’s adventure didn’t end there as I still had another plan.  That one took another convoluted route, but also ended in success…)

(This journal entry abruptly ends here with the following note.)

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