The 89 Cent Solution
Some refer to sugary soda beverages as “liquid candy.” I say they’re wrong. It’s liquid gold. “There’s gold in them thar self-serve dispensers!”
The history of soda portions is super-sized fun. When introduced by McDonalds in 1955, a cup of soda weighed 7 oz. By 2012, however, a 12-ounce soda was considered “kid’s size.” McDonalds, Wendy’s and Burger King all rolled out 42 ounce size single-serving potions called, respectively: Supersize, Great Biggie, and King Size. Since, then, however, those paltry portions have been dwarfed by the Mega Jug at KFC (64 oz), the Beast at ARCO (85 oz), HuMUGous at Kum & Go (100 oz) and the Team Gulp at 7-Eleven (128 oz).
Are you noticing a trend yet? Your keen scientist brains should already be extrapolating future results. My linear regression line indicates that by 2042 a single-serving size will be approximately the capacity of a backyard swimming pool. I call this the LaGrange Point of Soda Evolution. We’ll have achieved something truly special when we’re actually able to swim in our serving sizes.
The point is: We’re a thirsty lot.
With all this in mind, a construction worker name Christopher Lewis of North Charleston recently was having lunch at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, S.C. He went to the self-serve soda dispenser and got himself a soda refill. And, by doing so, prompted an improbable chain of events that has irrevocably changed the face of law enforcement as we know it. It makes the Twinkie Defense look like child’s play.
Behold the power of liquid candy.
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SWIM (Someone Who Isn’t Me) is at it again. In this case, SWIM is a person (or persons) alleged to have perpetrated the dastardly deed of opening a beverage container and heretofore not consuming the entirety of the liquid contents contained therein.
Furthermore, it is alleged that these deeds were committed in the unfriendly confines of the Abyss Castle and at great expense to your Guru.
It goes a little something like this:
- SWIM proclaims, “I’m so thirsty!”
- SWIM takes one of your precious cans of 12-ounce beverage. Likely a soda but it may also be a beer.
- SWIM heartily quaffs some of the precious nectar of the gods.
- SWIM sets the can down and aimlessly wanders away leaving a percentage of contents adrift in the oceans of time.
As you might be able to tell by the level of drama and hyperbole, this all pains me so deeply.
Perhaps, you think, why not just pick up the can (yuck!) and take it to SWIM and request the task to be completed? I’ve tried this, and I’m usually subjected to some rendition of “the contents at the bottom don’t taste as good as those on top.”
Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t realize this was the first layered can of beverage in the universe! My bad.
Maybe they think they’re doing me a favor. Those partially filled cans are quite decorative strewn about the house.
Rather than debate such twisted logic, I grabbed my trusty calculator and decided to wow SWIM with some facts.
Assumption: A six-pack of [insert deadly sugary soda of your choice here] costs about $3.00. Even without my calculator I reckon that’s about 50 cents a can.
Q. If someone drinks one ounce of a 12-ounce can, how much did that cost?
A. Assuming $3.00 for a six pack, it works out to cost four cents per ounce. But, if only one ounce was consumed and the can costs 50 cents, then that’s the same as paying 50 cents per ounce. And since the can has 12 ounces, that simple act of unthirstiness creates a $6.00 can of soda.
That’s $6 per can!
I’m sorry, SWIM, but I’d never spend that much on a can of soda for a non-drinker like you.
Tom the Half-a-Life
Is the #beer mug half empty or half full? The answer depends on the existence of a serviceable keg nearby. #philosophy #perspective—
Tom B. Taker (@shoutabyss) July 25, 2013
Half a beer, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be. But half the beer has got to be, vis-à-vis its liquidity – d’you see? But can o’ beer be said to be or not to be an entire beer when half the beer is not a beer, due to some recent imbibery?
Positive? Negative? Is the beer mug half full or half empty? Beer isn’t just something that you drink. It’s something that you do.
I thought I knew beer. It was something I drank once in a while. Nothing special, nothing to write home about. But then I moved to Portland, Oregon, the microbrew capital of the world.
In July 2011, representatives from the Oregon Brewers Festival declared Portland had 40 microbreweries located within the city limits, more than any city in the world and greater than one-third of the state total.
Suddenly I was awash in the stuff. I was drinking a “pint” almost every day of my life. Sometimes more.
Sure, it was nice. The formula is simple:
More Beer = The Good
There was, however, a problem. A big problem. (Surprised?) I don’t like generating cans and bottles. For one thing, in Oregon, you pay a five cent tithe per container. For another, you gots to lug ’em around and shit. And I despise going back to the euphemistically-named “redemption centers” to get those nickels back. Unless you love hacking and slashing your way through a literal jungle of flies with your handy machete. So we’d end up just tossing the empties in the recycling bin, essentially a cash donation to The State. For some reason that gnawed at the very fiber of my existence.
Then, by chance, it happened. I learned of something called The Growler.
I just learned about a wondrous object known as the #beer #growler. To think, up till now, I've only been living half a life! #diminished—
Tom B. Taker (@shoutabyss) July 15, 2013
It was at that moment I learned that I had been living only half a life. (Prior to that I was merely radioactive.) As is often my wont, I celebrated by bursting into song…
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