Ice Ice Baby


The Professor Proton lesson for the day: As water cools, it’s molecules start getting really lazy.  Instead of running around like chickens with their heads cut off – yuck – they start just kind of lollygagging along.  And if the temp goes below 32°F (0°C), those slacker water molecules start acting like Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers – they pretty much just sit there, and, voila!  The water magically transforms to the much beloved by some, much hated by others and always mysterious solid…


So why the heck is the U.S. obsessed with ice?

Specifically, why does most every hotel/motel in the U.S. have an ice machine on every floor?  Who needs that much ice?  And why?  It’s one thing if you’re at a mom and pop motel with the kids, and have a cooler for snacks for your Holiday Road trip in your Wagon Queen Family Truckster station wagon.  I get needing ice for that.  Gotta keep the mayo and lunch meat and Aunt Edna cool.

But at a high-end hotel?

This past weekend I was in a lovely Marriott for a night.  I don’t normally stay at Marriotts, but got the room at 50% off bidding on Priceline.  Gotta love it.  Have I mentioned that I travel cheap?

Anyway, a guy walks into the “ice machine room” and proceeds to fill up two buckets with ice.  What the heck?  What’s he going to do with all of that ice?  What’s going on in his room?  Is he entertaining?  Is he making snow cones?  Did somebody cut their finger off and they need to put it on ice until they get to the hospital?

Inquiring minds want to know.

AGMA has never liked ice.  Specifically in drinks.  Ever.  To this day, on the rare occasion I order a soft drink, I always ask for no ice.  I give them the stink eye and send it back if it comes with ice in it.  The server usually gives me the stink eye back.

Europeans used to be on board with me.  Back in the day, you couldn’t get ice in a drink if you were having a heat stroke in the middle of the Champs Elysees.  And the Europeans were okay with it.  They were used to it.  I loved it.  People in the U.S. warned me, “When you order a drink in Europe, they don’t give you ice.  The drinks are room temperature.”  Perfect!

But something happened over the years.  Something insidious.  Ice, in the form of tiny cubes, invaded Europe.  And it appears the Europeans are okay with this.  Now I have to ask for no ice when I order a drink over there too.  Repeat stink eye sequence.

It’s all so depressing.

The creation of ice has to contribute to global warming right?  Wouldn’t that be covered by the Kyoto Protocol?  I mean, it has to take tons of energy getting that water below 32° not to mention that refrigerant stuff that is toxic and cancer causing and probably is the reason Donald Trump’s hair is the way it is.

It sets AGMA’s teeth on edge when somebody takes a beverage out of the refrigerator and then pours it over ice to drink.  Especially in the winter.  What the heck?  For the love of God, how cold do you want your drink?  Do you want everything in your mouth to go numb?  Do you want to crack your teeth?  The shock alone could cause damage to your sexual organs. Actually think I made that last one up.

Supposedly you burn like 8 calories drinking a cold drink. Your body has to use extra energy to melt the ice, and warm your mouth and innards back up again.  But then I wonder at the wisdom of using your body’s precious energy stores for such a banal reason.  AGMA views this as a very dangerous weight loss strategy leading to brain freeze, tingling – possibly cracked – teeth and impaired sexual performance. Okay, maybe not the last one.

So help me out you ice crunchers.  What’s the deal with ice?  The Big Glup full of crushed ice then topped off with ice cold orange soda when it’s 15°F outside?  Or anytime?  And why the heck would you need two buckets of ice in high-end hotel?

This could get interesting.