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Road Trip For America's Future with Tim Murphy

A Good Idea at the Time: Drive-Through Daiquiris

| Mon Aug. 9, 2010 9:09 PM EDT

Natchitoches, Louisiana—Ok, this is a terrible photo. But you know what else is terrible? The concept of drive-through daiquiri joints.

Our guide in Natchitoches (pronounced "Nachos," I think*) told us the two most Natchitoches things we could do—other than go on a B&B-crawl—would be to go to a Chevron and buy meat pies, and then wash them down with drive-through daiquiris. What could go wrong?

I kind of admire the sheer audacity of the drive-through bar. And to be sure, there's a certain novelty and convenience factor: You just roll on in, place your order for small, medium, large, or "family size" (not a typo), and wait for your change; it's really the only reminder in Natchitoches that you're still in the same state as Bourbon Street. But the drive-through daiquiri place also feels a lot like cigarette ads circa 1960, when they'd have the little animated magical pony (or whatever) imploring kids to buy Marlboros. I ordered something called "Skittles";—"Purple Pill" is also quite popular. Both sound like their target audience is only just getting into chapter books.

All of that's kind of a sidecar to the primary flaw, which is that you're served a delicious, cold, slushy, alcoholic beverage in a styrofoam cup, with a straw, in your car. And so, invariably, are your friends, too. You're also probably really thirsty, because the average August high in Natchitoches is 153-degrees, and, like I said, you have this giant, delicious, cold, (occasionally family-sized) slushy beverage that tastes like liquified spiked sour patch kids, just sitting there, a foot-and-a-half from the steering wheel and melting fast. None of us broke any laws, rest assured. But they certainly make things easy.

On the other hand, if you drive an hour west of Natchitoches with your Purple Pill, you'll be in the great state of Texas, where, as MoJo reported in March, cops can arrest you for drinking while you're still in a bar. So it could be worse.

*Actually, Natchitoches is pronounced "Nack-a-dish." Just like it looks. As for its sister city, Nacogdoches, Texas, I have no clue.