Is the beginning of the end in sight? I am concerned for an impending Cupocalypse. Yesterday, I was sorely tested in obtaining my daily 44 oz. Diet Coke.
It started with a good deed that did not go unpunished. I drove an extra few miles to pick up lunch for The Pony, who remained home, lolling about on the spring-sprung basement couch, playing computer games. He's a good fellow, donating demanded time to herd the goats every morning. So I left him to his own devices and went to bring him questionable nourishment. When the girl handed me his medium Sprite, I could hardly grasp it with one hand.
"Is this a MEDIUM?"
"Oh. We were out of medium cups, so I gave you a large."
Don't go thinking there was more soda in a large than in a medium. Burger King fills their cups with ice. That's why I like it when The Pony gets a medium. They come in styrofoam cups, and he gives me his leftover ice for my 44 oz. Diet Coke. This was no good. It was plastic. That precious cubed ice would be all melty by the time I got this soda home. Thanks for the upgrade, Burger King. NOT.
From there, I headed to the gas station chicken store for my delicious 44 oz. Diet Coke daily refill. Then tragedy befell me as I walked around the rear flanks of T-Hoe. Apparently, my hips are wider than they appear in my mind. I rammed that refill cup into T-Hoe's unforgiving metal flesh. It crunched a bite-sized half moon out of the top rim. Sweet Gummi Mary! What else could go wrong today?
There was no trash can on the parking lot any more, so I carried my mortally-wounded cup inside for proper burial. All I had to do was pay an extra thirty cents for a new cup instead of a refill. Or not. Because when I went to grab a 44 oz. cup, I saw that they had once again made a mistake in the ordering of supplies. Rather than the tall cup with a tiny bottom, equivalent to a Scarlett O'Hara waist, they had the barrel-shaped cups with a Rosie O'Donnell waist. And bottom. Those behemoths do not fit into T-Hoe's cup holders. I nodded sorrowfully at the clerk. "Those cups don't fit in my car." Not that she would think I had shoplifted Diet Coke out of the nozzle by holding my mouth under it. I just wanted to explain why I was leaving in a huff, and subtly let her know that was no way to run a gas station chicken establishment.
Lucky for me, I still had a 44 oz. Diet Coke option remaining. The Voice of the Village is on the way out of town. That's where I get my 80-cent or FREE refill. However, their carbonation is sometimes questionable, so they have fallen out of favor as my beverage stop of choice. I trotted in, already tasting that delicious elixir in my mind. I wove my way through the narrow aisles to where a Michelob display barricaded the self-service soda fountain. Scanned the wall holes for my 44 oz. cup. And was as disappointed as Old Mother Hubbbard's canine. That hole was gapingly empty. This was a weep-worthy occasion. I did not want a 52 oz. cup. I did not want a 32 oz. cup. To rub salt in my thirsty wound, the girl right ahead of me was filling the very last 44 oz. cup!
I went to the counter, to the register where the guy was working on a laptop, not ringing up a line of customers. "Excuse me. Do you have any more 44 oz. cups? You're out."
"You will have to ask somebody who works here. I'm the cigarette guy."
Well. Excuse me for the mistaken identity. Perhaps he should invest in a name tag, sallow skin, or a hacking cough. I got in line. At my eventual turn, I inquired about my preferred beverage container. The guy came out from the counter, leaving a line of people behind me, and went into the back room for my cups. For good measure, he wiped the messy counter.
What's up with the 44 oz. cup shortage, Universe?