The Icebusters Sno-Cone Machine.

Today, you’re going to see the spirits of the dead run a lemonade stand. TGIF!

Okay, so it isn’t a lemonade stand. It’s a snow cone stand.

The Icebusters Sno-Cone Machine, made by Lanard in 1985, was an incredibly strange attempt to steal shine from the Ghostbusters craze.

I’m not being a brat, right? This thing had to be inspired by Ghostbusters. Why else would they call it Icebusters? I understand that a snow cone maker technically does bust ice, but you really wouldn’t put it that way that unless you were trying to be Egon.

So we can agree that Ghostbusters was to blame. That’s freakin’ freaky. Some guy made the inconceivable mental leap from Ghostbusters to snow cones. I can only envision the steps between Point A and Z as a sea of disembodied animal heads, floating against a wall of wild, swirling colors. The existence of this machine was a complete slap in the face to 1985’s still-running “Just Say No” campaign, because damn, if drugs were gonna lead us from Ghostbusters to snow cones, inject me now and give me a lot.

My Icebusters set was missing the instructions, and the red shovel.

Fortunately, I’ve owned enough homebrew snow cone machines to know how these work, and I couldn’t imagine the plastic shovel being so integral that to go on without one would effectively blow this entire haunted house of cards over. My saga would continue.

It’s pretty obvious that they just slapped a new sticker on some preexisting snow cone machine. Nobody puts ghosts in a springtime setting unless it’s going to save them money.

Even the ghosts themselves look like big fakers, appearing more like fat men who covered their bodies in shaving cream than true floating specters. This whole thing reeks of conspiracy, but I must forgive Lanard, for their machine is topped by a smiling ice cube monster.

Actually wait, no. He’s not smiling. He’s sweating.

Of course he is! He’s ice, outdoors during a unseasonably warm September, enduring the hard light of a photo shoot, against a backdrop of green memory foam. Notice how Ghost #2 seems to be looking right at me, as if to say, “You’re pushing him too hard?”

The ghosts and Sweating Ice Monster are comrades who look out for one another.

Oh, aside from the instructions and the shovel, my set was also missing its promised packet of red Fla-Vor-Aid. It’s probably just as well. I’m always looking for more excuses to say good things about Ghoul-Aid. “The best Kool-Aid flavor ever!”

Yes, in place of ancient Fla-Vor-Aid, ancient Ghoul-Aid got the nod. I was about to make Ghoul-Aid snow cones. Me. I was going to be the one to do this magical thing. So here’s what I want you to do. I want you to find a yellow Frisbee. I want you to cut the meat out of that Frisbee, so that it looks like a big yellow halo. Now throw it at my face.

Sweating Ice Cube Monster is here to push real ice cubes down the chute, so we can kill them and use their mangled corpses as the main ingredient in dessert. Sweating Ice Cube Monster looks almost too eager to help with this, perhaps feeling that if he can’t enjoy the spoils of regular ice cube life, nobody can.

That’s the back of the machine. I have nothing to add to this. Just didn’t want anyone to assume that there was some big red cone-making button hiding back there. No, it’s this. You’re gonna have to work a little.

With elbow grease and a prayer, the ice breaks down into snow cone shavings. The metal inside the machine looks a bit like a cheese grater, and as you destroy the cubes, it makes a terrible noise. Like a donkey trying to imitate the sounds of fireworks. But I suppose that helped drown out the pained cries of the ice cubes, who so wrongly believed that they’d serve out their sentences in cups of Pepsi.

Only the lucky ones, poor ice cubes. Only the lucky ones.

It was here that I remembered why these things come with shovels. Without a shovel, there’s no good way to get the ice out. You either have to use your fingers, or hold the machine horizontally over an empty cup. Having attempted both of these methods, I can confirm that neither is as effective as using a plastic shovel.

Uh, okay. Yep. I messed up somewhere.

Ghoul-Aid was never going to work as well as the thick syrups used in pro-level snow cones, but I should’ve at least made Ghoul-Aid ice cubes or something. Instead, I tried mixing shaved ice with a bit of warm Ghoul-Aid, and the results looked like the portion of the snowy landscape that you’re never supposed to eat.

What I created was not a Ghoul-Aid snow cone, but a glass of Ghoul-Aid with ice in it.

But that’s still way great.

Regardless, I’m keeping the Frisbee. I shall retch myself impossibly thin and use it as a hula hoop.

Someday, the act will take me to television, and you will know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that I had a plan all along.