Sunday, August 18, 2019

Oh, The INhumanity!

Mrs. HM can't take much more. You've read her recent chronicles of the lack of Diet Coke at The Gas Station Chicken Store, and once it was blessedly restored, the absence of 44 oz cups. The most recent magical elixir debacle involves no shortage. That's the cruelest squirt of all.

Thursday, I popped in for a 44 oz Diet Coke, secure in the knowledge that all systems had been go... for at least a week. I had faith that all was right once again, just like in the olden days, when there was nary a problem procuring my precious.

I pulled a foam 44 oz cup, and started my fill. It always begins with a few pieces of ice. No cubes here, they are crushed. I don't want much ice, because I add it at home to prevent meltage and subsequent weakening on the way home. After the tinkle of crushed ice on foam, I pushed my cup against the Diet Coke lever on the soda fountain.

Hullo! What's this then?

The Diet Coke came out all foamy. That's unusual. I filled my cup, and took a taste, as I always do, to bring down the volume and prevent sloshing out the X where the straw goes, on our gravel road, especially the Farmer H and Buddy badly-blacktopped hill.

Huh. That didn't taste like my usual Gas Station Chicken Store Diet Coke. It had a sweet tang. It left an aftertaste that made me thirsty. If I didn't know any better, I'd have sworn that was REAL Coke. I took my cup up front. There was a line ahead of me and then behind me. So I didn't say anything. Just took my not-so-magical elixir home. Where every sip screamed that something was wrong with my 44 oz Diet Coke. By supper time, I was done. No more for me. I bet there were 20 oz left.

Friday, I skipped The Gas Station Chicken Store. I didn't want to take a chance on a tainted Diet Coke. I got a Polar Pop at Orb K. It was nice and crisp, no aftertaste, just like a Diet Coke should be.

Saturday, I figured I'd give The Gas Station Chicken Store another chance. Surely somebody had brought it to their attention. Or maybe the mix had been off, and now it was back to normal. Again, I filled my 44 oz foam cup. Again, I took a sip. YUCK! It was still that off-tasting swill. Yet I had already pulled a cup and filled it. The lone clerk was busy. I could have poured it out and left. But that would be stealing. So I went up front, waited, and paid.

I told the clerk, "The Diet Coke tastes like REAL Coke! It's been like that since Thursday. It's not the usual taste. Something is off."

"Oh, I need to check on that." Said the lone clerk, as a line formed behind me.

I didn't know when he'd get the time to check. But I DID know that I was not going to drink that tainted Diet Coke! I didn't care that I'd paid $1.69 for it. They fooled me twice. Shame on me, but I WAS NOT going to drink my mistake. I headed for Orb K and a Polar Pop. I had not intended to stop there. I made sure they were not out of Diet Coke.

When I returned with my 44 oz Polar Pop of Diet Cokiness, I put it in T-Hoe's cup holder, and took out the GSCS soda. I poured it under T-Hoe so as not to force people to step in it, then I threw away the cup in their trash can. That discarded soda foamed like a vinegar/baking soda volcano! Diet Coke doesn't do that. It only foams a little, when being put in the cup.

Let the record show that I had considered bringing the tainted DC home, to have Farmer H taste it. You know, like people who keep milk in their FRIG II shove it to others after it goes bad, saying, "I think this is expired. TASTE IT!" I didn't want to juggle two 44 oz cups of beverage, though. Besides, if it turned out to actually be REAL Coke, it would not be good for The Diabeetus from which Farmer H suffers.

Of course I told Farmer H about it when I got home. He turned all Sherlock Holmesy, and said, "The simple way to figure that out is to pour out a little bit and see if it's sticky. Well. I'm not going to buy another one to do that experiment. I can't go in the GSCS and put my fingers under the spigot and wait for them to dry and see if they're sticky.

I'll take my winning scratcher (another $40 winner for the second day in a row, bought at Orb K thanks to the DC fiasco) in there, and if the Man Owner is working, I'll tell him of my DC woes. Otherwise, I'm going to ride it out at Orb K with Polar Pops until Thursday, when I assume a new canister of Diet Coke will be hooked up.

Of course, it might take longer, without me buying a vat of it every day...


Sioux Roslawski said...

I don't consider it "stealing" if you get a cup of it, it doesn't taste right, and you pour it out. Of course, do what you did, and tell them, but you shouldn't have to pay for something that's substandard.

Of course, don't think of me as a legal expert. I'm the one who (25 years ago) called in sick to work, using a payphone and standing on a sidewalk (watching for cars so I could place the call during a quiet time). I'm the one who once helped steal a dog (the dog was being abused). I'm the one who once told my students I used to be a professional wrestler.

Yeah, I'm no expert when it comes to the law, but I DO know my way around soda spigots in gas stations.

Hillbilly Mom said...

As I recall, you were also cross-dressing when you stole the dog. I also recall your face on a stick, propped under the spigots of this very soda fountain. That was right before I heard sirens, I think...

The Woman Owner of TGSCS used to have a sign taped up that said: If You Pull a Cup, You Have To Pay. I think that's because around here there are ne'er-do-wells who might stand and drink soda from the fountain, then throw the cup away. It would be like eating seven pieces of the chicken special, and bring the box back with a lone piece left, saying it wasn't any good. She had a sign for that, too.

I am not going to risk the ire of the Woman Owner. It would be like asking for bread with my Medium Turkey Chili.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Surely the WO is not as bad as the SN?

River said...

Well heavens to Betsy Muriel! Don't wait for Thursday. Get in there and demand action. Make them taste the stuff and then fix what's wrong. Oh, wait, you're not Muriel.....
This is why I buy my cola in bottles, so I can be sure I'm getting what I want. Not that I drink cola, but I sometimes buy it for my daughter K who has the same name as you.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I don't want to find out. It's one thing to consciously not get a Diet Coke there until I think it's fixed. I DON'T want to hear, "NO DIET COKE FOR YOU!"

The clerk said he checked it, and I believe him. Thing is, I don't trust other people to tell me how Diet Coke should taste. My mom LOVED the McDonald's Diet Coke, which I think tastes like it has been sitting in the drive-thru melting for several hours, all watery, barely with any flavor. I won't get a Diet Coke at Dairy Queen, because at the two local ones, it tastes like they've mixed in Pine-Sol floor cleaner.

You are a good mom to buy cola for your well-named daughter! It's like my mom bringing me home some chicken livers when she went out to eat!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Taste something, say something ...

Hillbilly Mom said...

Heh, heh! Wish I'd thought of that! It would have been a great title.