In the 1990 film Back to the Future Part III, Christopher Lloyd’s eccentric inventor Doc Brown is flung back to late 19th century America and into an “Old West” pulled straight from the movies. When Marty goes back to rescue him, he finds Doc happily ensconced in the local community, posing as a blacksmith of sorts and building incredible inventions with the technology of the time. He shows Marty around his workshop, one room of which is filled with a massive steampunk contraption built of wood and metal, wheels and gears. It chugs with effort as it serves its purpose: producing a single cube of frozen water. “It’s a refrigerator!” Marty marvels. No, you idiot. It’s an ice machine.
Refrigeration: a world-altering innovation that redefined modern life. Ice: a natural wonder, tamed by humans. The ability to make ice at will—a power thoughtlessly wielded by so many every day—would seem a wild and transformative magic to those living 500 years ago, 250 years ago, even 130 years ago. What a gloriously chilly time to be alive.
My simple pleasure for Happier Week is just that: I am extolling the virtues of our frigid friends, the humble ice cubes. As I explain in the video above, I am familiar with ice in a broad sense, and iced beverages in particular. But to have ice you have to make ice (or buy it I guess, but fuck that). And between a job, commuting, assembling dinner and managing two young kids, and owning a small freezer with scant room for ice trays, I often used to forget to make any. I would sigh and drink my tepid tap water. My warm, syrupy diet soda. My watery, room temperature “iced coffee.”
But not now. Not anymore.
The pandemic summer has me sweating, and my portable AC ain’t cutting it. I need some chilled beverages, baby. We’re talking iced coffee, iced tea, Thai iced tea, and so many more you can discover for yourself when you click the little arrow above.
And remember, as Mr. Freeze once said, “In this universe, there’s only one absolute… everything freezes!” That’s… probably not true, actually.