I Popped My Sonic Cherry: Dan America’s Experience at the Latham Sonic
I have seen the roller skaters rolling and I have tasted the fruit of the frank. Yesterday the new Sonic in Latham opened its doors and I was there, it was my first time at America's drive-in.
For years I could do nothing but watch their fancy commercialism, while watching my cartoons. They would tease me with the promise of loaded hot dogs and milkshakes and slushes and people would mock me!
"Just go down to Kingston," they would say.
I refused to drive all the way to Kingston for lunch or dinner, instead I waited.
"There will never be a Sonic around here," they said.
I refused to believe them.
I was not the only one. Kevin, my friend and fellow Latham native, waited 14 years for this day also. For Sonic to come to us.
When I first found out that Sonic was finally coming to the Capital Region, I was excited, but when I found out that its location would be down the street from my apartment I felt as if Sonic had come to Latham just for us.
We set out on our Sonic adventure at 12:30 p.m. We parked across the street at Chipotle, because we refused to wait in traffic, we were too excited to put up with that mess. I don't recommend parking in one restaurant's parking lot just to cross the the street to go to a different restaurant, but no one seemed to notice.
When we arrived at the doors, we were told that we had to wait outside until we could join the line inside. The line inside almost went out the door, and there were cars wrapped around Wade Road Extension, spilling out to Route 7, waiting to pull into the drive-thru.
I watched the servers on roller skates, skating to and from the cars at the the drive-thru and felt giddy. Then I noticed that people were going into the Sonic, but no one was coming back out. Ether they were trying to trap us inside, or it was that good.
"Where is the news?" I asked Kevin. "This is a major milestone in the history of Latham." Then the news showed up, but so did the storm.
It took about 20 minutes before we were allowed inside. Once we walked through the doors, my mind was blown. Inside it looked nothing like King's Buffet, it looked nothing like the Hardy's that my sister worked at years ago. It looked like a completely new building inside, so much that I almost forgot where we were.
Then I noticed the servers roller skating inside I thought, "how did they learn how to do this?" I thought, do they have some special Sonic roller skating school? I kept waiting for someone to fall but it did not happen. Kevin said, "they must of been practicing at Guptill's." It seemed logical but I could not help but wonder, so I asked "Do you think that they set up an obstacle course or something?" "Maybe," Kevin replied. "Do you think they all belong to some weird cult, like in that Corey Haim movie?"
Before Kevin could answer, all of the employees on roller skates lined up and began skating around the entire restaurant, inside and out, while chanting "Others don't! Sonic's got it!"
I was terrified. Just then I noticed that the kitchen area is closed off. Just like Wonka's factory, we could not see the workers. I turned to Kevin and in a discreet tone, I asked "What's going on back there?"
Kevin shrugged and we moved up in line. We were next and I had not yet decided what I wanted to eat because I had become baffled at the fact that it felt like we were approaching the front desk at a hotel. "What's going on here? Are we at a hotel?"
"You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave." Kevin said.
Then it was our turn. The people taking our order spoke with a southern accent. "I knew it!" I thought to myself. "This is not a place to get food, it's a portal! A Sonic portal!"
Then we ordered our food and had to wait another 20 minutes at a table on the floor. We watched Disney Jr. until our food arrived, and when it did, it was glorious.
I had the bacon cheese dog on a pretzel roll, and now I think that I can never eat another hot dog again. I did not order a shake or a slush, because I wanted a taste of that Sonic meat and it was worth the wait, even the fries were good.
Kevin ordered a shake and some sides, and he was pleased as well. We were living our dream, in Latham, just like we always wanted.
The food was so good I could not leave without more, so I got up and ordered us both a Round 2 to take home.
When it was all said and done, I was no longer afraid and I realized as we left the Sonic that I was indeed still in Latham, but a changed Latham, just like I was changed man, who had just popped his manly Sonic cherry.