My McDonald's Shamrock Shake Journey: An Emotional Roller Coaster

I approached the counter and excitedly said, "One Shamrock Shake, please!" The cashier replied, "What?"

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I thought today was going to be a good day. I really did. Boosted by lard chips and Valrhona chocolate at Serious Eats HQ, I was ready to conquer the world. Little did I know that Mickey D's had it in for me. Here's how it happened:

Part 1: Intrigue

I came across a Talk topic on SE:NY that asked where to find a Shamrock Shake in New York City. My first thought: What in the world is a Shamrock Shake? Second thought: Where can I get one? The trap was set.

Part 2: Research

A quick Google search led me to ShamrockShake.com, a site where people post Shamrock Shake location queries and findings. Sadly, I had no luck for New York City. C'mon tipsters, get on it! We have to be hipper than Milford, Connecticut, right? Next, I called McDonald's headquarters. They said they don't have that information because, as most McDonald's are independently-owned, they have no control over who sells the shake and who doesn't. Sigh.

Finally, I looked up all the McDonald's locations in the SE HQ zip code and started cold calling. At one point I had to start speaking Spanish because the woman couldn't communicate in English. Good thing I had just spent a term in Barcelona! Unfortunately, that was probably one of the demoralizing conversations I had—she initially said she had it, then she didn't, then I was on hold for three minutes, then an English speaker came on the phone and just said, "No." Hopes dashed and dreams crushed, I persevered.

Part 3: Success or Epic Fail?

After twenty-four phone calls, I achieved success! Or did I? As I approached the McDonald's, I was hopeful. After all, the manager I spoke to on the phone had doubly confirmed this location had the Shamrock Shake. I entered through the shamrock-laden doors and entered the McDonald's where leprechauns go to die. Shamrocks hung from the ceiling and there was a small wall with shamrock charity stickers all over it. I approached the counter and excitedly said, "One Shamrock Shake, please!" The cashier replied, "What?"

Uh-oh.

Apparently, they weren't selling Shamrock Shakes, and the manager I had spoken to on the phone had conveniently left already. Is this some sort of Irish conspiracy? Is this an IPO (Irish People Only) thing? What does it take to get a Shamrock Shake around here?

After that final dream crusher, I trudged back to SE HQ. After a bit of Googling, I found this New York Daily News article from 2007 that says New York is a dry state for Shamrock Shakes. Has anything changed in the past two years? Or do I need to investigate cheap airfare options?

Mickey D, I curse you and whatever marketing genius thought up the Shamrock Shake.

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