Lately, it seems that America is so damn… American.
From movies to T.V commercials to video games to online dating, everything seems to be getting faster, sleeker, sexier, bigger.
It’s like Turbo-life, or Existence 3.0 or something.
Take the new Planet of the Apes movie. The blazing intensity of the disturbed chimps’ eyes, the explosive violence of its fury and the sheer visceral overload of it all are enough to give you a heart attack. And I’ve only seen the trailer! The original version from the 60’s or 70’s looks positively quaint in comparison. So does the 80’s remake, for that matter.
I tell you, for a television-deprived family like mine, today’s film trailers are practically a quasi-religious experience. And a similar effect occurs when I catch a rare glimpse of modern T.V.
Online dating, too, seems to have shifted into overdrive on sites like OKCupid.com, with its “matching” percentiles and new location-based smart apps that let you find someone in close proximity who’s available NOW. And the omnipotent Facebook itself seems like some sort of hyper-real form of socialization… A sleek, simplified compression of a human soul into some pictures, jumbled thoughts, and text. A recent piece from NaturalPapa.com seems to confirm that even young male brains are starting to get “rewired,” losing the ability to process information that stimulates gradually and requires more subtle forms of thinking and emotionality.
Only music and publishing seem to have kept in a relatively stable place, where the status quo is still fairly conventional and not one million miles ahead of its former self.
So perhaps it’s only natural that in a nation where more is more -and when I say more I mean MORE -dessert should follow suit.
And at 16 Handles, the hot new frozen yogurt chain that seems to be expanding across NYC at an astonishing rate (I’ve spotted three in Manhattan already)…well, forget about following suit. This place takes the frail, desiccated and kindly ol’ gent that dessert was in “the olden days” and blows his freakin’ head off then sh*ts chocolate fudge down his neck!
I mean, this stuff borders on DISGUSTING!
And that’s coming from a guy who would basically sell his mom to Al Qaeda for a few pounds of gummy worms. Yeah, I’m THAT serious a sugar-holic.
Yes, 16 Handles may very well cross the line into pure and total DESSERT EVIL.
Upon entering 16H’s mock spaceship-looking emporium, pumping with shiny, happy pop music, you make your way towards the back initiation area. There are several different empty cups for you to choose from. You pick your own size. Seems harmless enough so far, right?
FOR GOD’S SAKE… PICK THE SMALLEST AND ALSO SHARE IT WITH SOMEONE ELSE!
Really, no single human being needs his own bowl of this sinful ooze.
Next, you begin walking along the wall brandishing THE notorious 16 Handles themselves: Sixteen different flavors of mega-rich and luxuriously creamy frozen yogurt.
Now, here one must note what is probably 16H’s major distinction and innovation in the crowded field of frozen desserts: YOU serve yourself. At the conclusion of the fun and appetite-enhancing creation process, your Frankenstein treat is weighed and priced accordingly. And THAT of course is the secret to giving us gluttonous Americans the key to our own self-destruction!
Look, I’m a guy who runs about 10 swimming and weight-lifting buttressed miles a week, who generally avoids carbs at all cost and consumes mostly eggs, fruits veggies and meats. When it comes to eating right, I make a serious effort and most women I know are positively REPULSED by my obsession with remaining lean since I weigh less than almost all of them and basically look like a 26 year old. Nonetheless, any vestige of self-control vanishes in the presence of a depraved orgy of sweet indulgence like 16 Handles.
How can you practice portion control with 16 FREAKIN’ flavors right in front of you!?
I tried, I really did! But… pulling your own portions is simply an invitation to doom. It’s (USA-bred) human nature.
Now let’s talk about these flavors. These ain’t the spectacle-wearin’, in bed by nine with a mug of hot cocoa, don’t drink, don’t smoke flavors of old like Vanilla or Strawberry, NO SIR-EE-BOB.
Instead there’s heart-stopping sex-bombs of furious sensory titillation like BLACKBERRY ADDICTION, NY CHEESECAKE and CHOCOLATE EXPLOSION.
I mean, these could almost be porn stars.
But where 16 Handles really blows your mind is the toppings.
Now, I explained to SuperDuperKid his tragic mistake later on, but on this visit he had to learn for himself.
You see, he blended the Two Realms.
When it comes to frozen delicacies, one must keep these two mighty areas separate:
Chocolate and Fruit. Now, of course there’s exceptions. Strawberries dipped in chocolate, for example. But combining say, choco-mint ice-cream with gummies is a major no-no.
It’s simply not meant to be, like, say, animals and people together sexually.
Suffice it to say, SDK learned this painful lesson at 16 Handles.
But Lord knows if any place can cause one to violate this mighty tenet, it’s the big One-Six-H.
Your topping selections begin at the clearly-to-be-avoided fruit department: Mango slices, maraschino cherries and lychees are just a smattering of possible choices.
But when you step over to the next table… well, here comes the dazzlement:
Cap’n Crunch, brownie bites, cheesecake wedges, baby peanut butter cups, gummi bears, cookie dough, Fruity Freakin’ Pebbles…!
It’s a veritable orgy of decadent sweetness! And I haven’t even touched on the syrups.
Yes, in the electro-fried USA of 2011, where mega sensory overload is commonplace and enacting something too intensely, quickly or slickly seems impossible for so many citizens, 16 Handles is indeed right at home. Is it gob-smackingly delicious? Hell, yes. Is it healthy? Well… the website claims Chocolate Eruption has only 110 calories per 83 gram serving. Not too bad actually. Is it still too much? Well…..
In this regard, it’s a bit like Vegas: A super-fun experience of extremes that makes for a great place to visit… But I wouldn’t want to live there.
Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict:
You MUST. But only once… then never again.
Details: Seriously, you’ll be happier after if two or even three people split one cup. These things are deadly.