Thursday, July 03, 2008

Who killed the golden goose?

There's a Coke machine in my apartment complex, located at the pool which is between my apartment and the mailbox. I would often stop at this machine to purchase delicious Coca Cola products. Coke Zero, to be exact. It tastes exactly like regular Coke! Seriously, you can't taste any difference at all! (I'm sorry, that's a lie, but it's something all people who drink diet beverages are obligated to say from time to time for some reason. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it ain't that good. What is? Nothing, that's what.)

But it wasn't just for the sake of convenience that I would patronize this machine. You see, this was a very special Coke machine. Special, in that it would frequently give you two cans of soda for the price of one. And by "frequently", I mean every single time. You would put your .75 in, there would be rumbling inside the machine and then THUNK, a frosty can filled with sugary, carbonated goodness would roll out. Then, a couple of seconds later, another rumble and THUNK, a second can would appear! Two cans for .75? That's rolling back prices all the way to Mayberry, circa 1960 right there! Oh happy, happy day!

Some people might consider this stealing. You know who you are, and I can hear you out there, in your own voice, saying that to me. I (of course) don't see it that way. To me, this machine is an official representative of the Coca Cola Company. It's got logos and little TMs and R's all over it, just like a Coca Cola truck or an employee in a company polo shirt. Looks pretty official to me. And if an official representative, robotic in nature or otherwise, wants to reward me with free product, well who am I to refuse? Times being what they are, that would be just plain foolish.

Today after picking up my mail, I stopped to get my buy one, get one usual, but this time only one can came out. I stood there for a minute, puzzled, when a neighbor told me, "it's been fixed." I couldn't believe it. Why? How? "Somebody put up a note telling the Coke man what was happening and he fixed it. No more free sodas", he said sadly. At that moment, I think I know exactly how Cheif Bromden felt when he realized that the R.P. McMurphy he knew and loved was gone.

I wanted to pick that machine up, carry it across the pool deck with Coke Zero spraying everywhere and hurl it threw a window as a form of protest. But those things are crazy heavy, you know. Besides, what's done is done. The important thing to do now is to find out who put that note there and begin making their life a living hell in order to drive them out of our community. Because there's no telling what a sick mind like that is truly capable of.

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