Monday, May 2, 2011

Party on, Mariano

Never mind the buzz about Osama Bin Laden. The frozen-margarita machine is about to turn 40!

The official anniversary is May 11, according to a press release issued this morning. It noted that the Smithsonian Museum spent a year verifying the date and the identify of the inventor, a Dallas restaurateur named Mariano Martinez, who, like Fergie and Adele, usually goes by his first name.

The Smithsonian—as far as I can tell, an institution supported by our tax dollars—pointed out that the frozen dispenser placed tenth on a list of American inventions. Number One was the light bulb, and you have to presume the slider and the straw were in their someplace.

"No, it's not the Model T, but we have a lot of little things in the museum that are little innovations that became important,” said Smithsonian curator Dr. Rayna Green.

She doesn’t need to convince me. When the kitchen of my current house was renovated, I argued passionately for replacing the stove, a worthless dust collector, with a genuine margarita dispenser. But apparently that concession to reality fell beyond the “for worse” provision of the marital vow, as my wife (who refers to herself as my first wife) sharply pointed out at the time.

If only I'd had the data point that was released this morning: Americans drink 185,000 frozen margaritas in a typical evening hour. Think of how many more Facebook friends we'd have landed with an in-house margarita machine!

I don’t mean to trivialize the historic news of this day. But let’s give it up for the frozen drink machine. Without it, what would a dozen Tex-Mex chains serve with their nachos and chips?

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