The Great Dairy Queen War does not appear in high school textbooks because it was so bloody and bitter that nobody wants to even think about it anymore.

Also it was technically a small war.  It only involved about 40 people, and it took place on the border between Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.  In other words, it was not a war that was covered in-depth by The New York Times.  Nevertheless, it happened.

It was June 14, 2007 when the war broke out.   A 40-year-old man, exhausted from a day of teaching science to 4th graders and issuing each of them their very complicated personalized medication regimes for ADHD–every kid but one in his class now had ADHD–this man was driving home and he thought he should reward himself with an Oreo blizzard. So he pulled over and he stood in line and he got one.  Everything would have been okay if he had just gotten in his car and driven away.  But he was excited about his blizzard, and was feeling friendly, so he sidled up to another guy who was leaning on a garbage can nibbling at a vanilla cone.

“Check this out,” he said, turning his blizzard upside down and shaking it.  “Best blizzard in all of Eau Claire,” said the 4th grade teacher, with a wide satisfied grin on his face.

“This is Chippewa Falls,” said the man with the vanilla cone.  He was wearing a bandana and the 4th grade teacher looked out the window and noticed a very large motorcycle with a skull lashed to the handlebars.

“No, this is Eau Claire, this Dairy Queen belongs to Eau Claire,” said the 4th grade teacher, ignoring his gut unease beause he happened to vividly remember when this particular Dairy Queen was built.  It was when he was in junior high school, and he remembers because it was also written up in the school newspaper.  The Eagle Eye.

“Chippewa, my friend,” said the biker guy, standing up straight. “You ain’t nothing.  Eau Claire is nothing,” said the biker. “You think you’re so hot but you ain’t.  This is our Dairy Queen and just because you got Luther Hospital AND Sacred Heart you think you’re something.  Well let me tell you something.  Ever heard of a little brewery called Leinenkugel’s?  Yeah that’s ours.  And so is this Dairy Queen.  So why don’t you get back in your precious volvo and turn on  NPR on your way home to your llama farm.  How about that?”

The 4th grade teacher thought for a second.  “Leinenkugel’s is owned by Miller,” he said.

“Oh no you didn’t,” said the man with the bandana, and he pushed the rest of his cone into the 4th grade teacher’s face, and without thinking, the 4th grade teacher took a swing at the biker and knocked the cone out of his hand and within moments, all the other patrons who had been pretending not to notice this brewing altercation found themselves taking sides–Eau Claire or Chippewa–and in the end 14 people died and twelve others went on to write tell-all books about the incident.  None of which became best-sellers, or even okay-sellers.  Nobody cared, really, they just went to a different Dairy Queen that summer.

Well.  That Dairy Queen will be re-opening this summer after a long and painstaking renovation.  It is still unclear whether this Dairy Queen is in Eau Claire or Chippewa Falls.  Only the County Clerk knows for sure, and he’s not talking.

One thing is for sure, though.  That Dairy Queen, whomever it belongs to–sure does make one hell of a blizzard.

Advertisements