Saturday I strode into the gas station chicken store and pulled a foam cup, pushed it up against the ice lever for a few cubes, and set it on the louvered plastic under the Diet Coke spigot.
SWEET GUMMI MARY!
The Diet Coke spigot had a handwritten note taped over its logo: DIET COKE OUT.
Huh. Perhaps Mrs. Hillbilly Mom has tunnel vision when it comes time to fuel up on 44 oz of Diet Coke each day. I'd already pulled the cup. They frown on that at the gas station chicken store. They used to have signs (maybe they still do--apparently I'm not the most observant of persons) saying that if you pulled a cup, you paid for a soda. Perhaps there'd been ne'er-do-wells abusing their fountain privileges.
Anyhoo...I put more ice in, and ran a Diet Mountain Dew for Farmer H. Told the little cashier guy he's killin' me, making me miss my daily Diet Coke. Of course I still bought a couple of scratch-off tickets there. And I told him, "I'll just have to go over to Orb K, your competitor. It's CHEAPER there, too, you know!"
That little guy proved why he's worked there so long (at least 6 months) without drawing the ire of the woman owner. "Yeah. But ours is BETTER!" He's got a point.
Anyhoo...I didn't even bother to go in there on Sunday. I knew that Diet Coke was not going to be fixed on a Sunday. It's happened before, and my optimism was handed to me on a platter under a silver dome labeled DISAPPOINTMENT.
On Monday, I took a chance. Nope. But I didn't pull the cup. I did, however, still buy two scratchers, and told the man owner, "You're killin' me here! Now I have to go PUT MONEY IN YOUR COMPETITOR'S POCKET AGAIN! I knew better than to come in Sunday, but I'd hoped it would be fixed today." He apologized. Said they would have it fixed Tuesday. His chicken gal tried to sell me an 8-piece. But I wasn't having it. Even though it was ON SALE for $7.00 instead of the regular $8.99.
Tuesday, I went back. HALLELUJAH! There was my beloved elixir, fit as a fiddle, foaming up over the rim of my 44 oz cup. I was so overjoyed that I decided to reward myself with an 8-piece chicken. At the price of $8.00. While the chicken gal was boxing it up, I chatted with the man owner. Telling him I was SO GLAD the Diet Coke was back. And that I could have saved a dollar on chicken if he'd had that Diet Coke the day before.
He rang up my order, and pointed at my 44 oz Diet Coke. "That one's on BJ." [that's his wife, the woman owner] "You've had to wait so long. She'd give you that free because I messed up." He does mess up quite a bit. Ordering the wrong kind of cups, or forgetting the Diet Coke. I guess he was hoping this would stay our little secret, how many times I'd been in there looking for Diet Coke.
Yep! Mrs. HM scored a FREE 44 oz Diet Coke on Tuesday.
Of course, Even Steven, the great equalizer, could not let her revel in that joy for long.
When I got home and opened my 8-piece box of gas station chicken, I saw that the girl had put in 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 1 leg, and 3 wings.