Thursday, March 9, 2006

Proof Of A Thing Gone Too Far

I knew by the foam.

In a sealed cup, I could tell by the color and character of the foam pressed up against the inside of the plastic lid that she had poured me a regular Coke and not the Diet Coke that my very life practically depended upon. Honest to god, I knew it. I knew! I very nearly said something to her as she handed the plastic cup to me, but I was sure she would think me a nutcase. (Me: "Excuse me, but I believe that's a regular Coke." Her, blinking, thinking to herself: he can't see it; he can't smell it; he hasn't tasted it; he didn't watch me pour it; it's carmel-colored and fizzy; WTF?! But in a Lizzie-like gesture she would say: "Why don't you taste it first, because I'm sure I poured it from the right spigot." And then, like all seers and visionaries, I would have to shame her with my preternatural gifts.) But no. I shot off a flight attendant smile and thanked her and drove away--but slowly, so that I'd be able to catch the drive-thru loop again--undressed the straw in my much-practiced, Fonzie-like one-handed technique, and took a pre-grimacing sip even as I pulled on the wheel to return directly to the scene of the crime.

She wasn't mortified exactly as my bald head shone back into view (I was mortified for her), but she was clearly flummoxed. Turns out, she did pour it from the right spigot, but the manager, who happened to be walking by as I drove around and back up to the window, explained how we could both be right: she said that someone had hooked up a Coke syrup container to the Diet Coke line earlier this morning, but they hadn't bled the lines out completely!

And you all thought I was just a pathetic hack.


Esbee said...

"by the color and character of the foam"

I'm completely impressed. And I want to know, if you went somewhere that had Pepsi and Coke, would you recognize a Diet Pepsi's telltale foam? RC Cola? Can you tell if it's caffeine-free? Just how far does this gift go?

Joshua said...

It is time Please follow this link, to your destiny.

Anonymous said...

'Gifted' can apparently mean very many things.

- Jeffy

wunelle said...

Esbee--I'm able to tell DC from any Pepsi product quite easily by taste. Ditto w/ Diet Rite, which uses Splenda (quite different-tasting). I could not, however, tell DC from Diet Pepsi by foam alone. My gift has limits. (I think the foam thing is a result of sugar / no sugar; they definitely do foam up differently when I pour them. So I probably COULD tell a Pepsi from a DP by foam.)

I think I actually can tell some slight taste difference between caffeinated and decaf, but it's not identifiable enough to say which was which (likewise the differences between cans & bottles). It doesn't count for as much as the quality of the water used to make the soda.

Joshua--hahaha! I think they should just pay me for my loyalty! I already work for them; they just don't know it ;-)

Jeffy--One man's gift is another's folly. Don't I know it! (But you like Hydrox over Oreos, so your judgment may be compromised!)

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm, Hydrox (doing my best Homer Simpson impersonation).

Not to take your discussion off on a tangent, but did you know that Hydrox are no more? They disappeared a few years ago. They were not nearly as central to my existence as the DC is to yours, but imagine trying to find a suitable substitute among the pretenders if DC were to go the way of Tab.

Actually - don't try to imagine such a doomsday scenario, I wouldn't want nightmares to ruin your sleep.

- Jeffy

BrianAlt said...

Interesting. I was thinking about this for a while. Is this two wrongs making a right? No. Is this a right and a wrong making a wrong? Or making a right? No, no.

It's two rights making a wrong!!

How often does that happen?

woolf said...

For the record, I just saw and ad for Tab on TV the other night. I've heard you have to order it; you can't just go to the store!

wunelle said...

Tab. To me it's like drinking poison. With sugar added. I can't imagine ordering it specially. God help me if I ever have to do this with my DC!

Brianalt--I have to cast my vote for two rights making a SUPER-right! Or maybe just putting myself smugly above judgment: my gift gives me a get-out-of-logical-scrutiny-free card ;-)

As for the demise of Hydrox, there's at least a smidgen of proof that not ALL companies are badly managed!

Esbee said...

Hi, woolf. You can already buy Tab in stores, and have been able to for ages. I drink it all day long. It doesn't have sugar; it has saccharine. Good stuff, and no longer a carcinogen!