On May 23, 7-Eleven’s SlurpFREE Day, the ubiquitous convenience store gave away free 7.11-ounce cups of its signature frozen drink from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to “launch the upcoming Slurpee season.”

As far as I understand, at most locations around the country the promotion was carried out without incident. Not so in downtown Baltimore at the Light/Pratt location, where 20 to 30 middle schoolers descended en masse, and — no doubt overcome by this rare opportunity to consume a slurpee in a special small size, and for free, no less — allegedly shoplifted and even got physical with the store owner (though the store owner “wasn’t violently hurt”).

7-Eleven was quick to release a sober statement on the low-grade riot, calling it a “rare and unfortunate event.” Yeah right. More likely, there’s something in the Slurpee that turns children into mindless, shoplifting zombies. Watch for my upcoming documentary, Slurpee Madness, on the topic.