Take Me To Your Blender

Note: In the search for the Nation's best cool non-alcoholic beverages, panel members find that Americans are in love with milkshakes. There are a few that are addicted to Starbucks' Frappachinos, smoothies or Icees. The question is, what is the next cool treat for America's taste buds ?

Chapter 1—Waistin' Away Again in Smoothie Ville

A panel of beverage surveyors had gotten information from people from all kinds of different backgrounds and beliefs in the United States for the best non-alcoholic beverage in the nation. Many of those interviewed had admitted to being addicted to coffee or caffeine and were trying to get themselves off of those addictive substances. A lot of those "addicts" were not having any fortune "kicking the habit". But Americans were longing for something new, something refreshing, something different. Things like Pepsi Clear and Fruitopia had come and gone like a summer rain. Now the nation was looking for something more substantial and exciting, but they were also looking for something substantial. Everyone seemed to be living in "Smoothie Ville" or "Frappachino Town".

It was up to the surveyors to start trying to come up with their own concoctions and have random people test them. Of course, different drinks would match different people's fancies and the project would take months, so they had to get started immediately.

Chapter 2—Split up, Gang !

Harold, the leader, had his recipe of peach cooler ready and was getting a lot of positive feed back about it. Ezra, Harry's second in command, and doting wife, had introduced her special tea chilled with frozen blocks of fruit. Tea drinkers nationwide rejoiced at Ezra's take on iced tea and how beneficial tea was by itself. Gus, one of the underlings, took the sweet-tooth route and decided to make milkshakes that had never before been attempted. A peanut-butter cups shake was made, but it could even be healthy, if the right ingredients were used. The two identical brothers, Lenny and Sammy stuck to Icee-like beverages.

After months of surveying their beverages, the group got back together and compared their findings. Icees among the general populous were still extremely popular and preferred over milkshakes on sultry days to cool off. Tea came in second in that very category, but strangely enough, Harold's concoction had been the most popular of all. Not only did it satisfy health nuts but it was also tremendous on a hot day. Now, if only they could market peach cooler in a horrible economy. There…was the rub.

Chapter 3—Beverages Don't Build College Funds

Harold and Ezra Reid had two teenagers of their own and were having difficulty getting funds for their sons, Lee and Clark. A new beverage for national consumption alone would not get them what they needed, and their other job of general surveying wouldn't earn them enough money either. Nights at the Reid house had often been spent discussing this problem and no relief seemed to be in sight. However, the two took each day one moment at a time and weighed what options they did have. Lee and Clark helped as much as they could and decided to get part time jobs. Even though the jobs were monotonous and only earned minimum wage, it would amount to some sort of help for the Reid family later on in life. Times were hard, but the family realized they had to work together, and they had to help their friends, Gus, Lenny and Sammy.

Gus was possibly the hardest hit by the economic hiccups and distress. He was a veteran amongst all of them. The oldest member of the surveying team, he had become a surrogate father to them all and a voice of wisdom. His wife had since died of an incurable disease and his children and grandchildren had all but disappeared from the picture. The only true friends he had happened to be the census takers that had formed an "alliance" together as an extended family, working together and helping him through dire straights.

Chapter 4—A New Lease on Life

Lenny and Sammy had been sailing on troubled waters as well, but they hadn't seen anything as bad as Gus had. Together, the Reid family and the Carlton twins were able to buy him a new home that was close to a retirement community. With any luck, Gus would be able to make some new friends and have no trouble adapting to his new way of life. But like the others, he needed more than just census taking and selling his delightful milkshake concoctions.

He had already gotten a position volunteering at the local thrift market and needed another job that would be more substantial for him. With the career coaching of Lenny and Sammy, Gus would be able to discover what his real calling was and he could still keep census taking as a second job to sustain him.

Although it took many months, the Carlton brothers had been able to find a position that Gus wanted to have since boyhood. Ever since he was small, he had wanted to work on automobiles. He had some experience but decided to get some schooling on mechanics and had been able to get the schooling for free thanks to his age. At last, Gus had been living his childhood dream and he couldn't be happier. He only wished that anyone who had ever had a childhood dream such as his could perhaps have some help. Like so many famous personalities he wanted to reach out and help those like himself that wanted to make their dreams come true.

So, the extended family put their heads together and developed a plan to make dreams a reality.

Epilogue