Monday, September 24, 2007

Yes I Will Extol Big Gulps Thank You (You're Welcome)!

This evening I attended a concert, more specifically a hip-hop show. While the experience on the whole was enjoyable, it was also a remarkably taxing and extremely fatiguing endeavor, as is the case anytime one stands up for four hours straight in a room packed wall to wall with people determined to either get themselves kicked out by security or to constantly have one arm raised in order to contribute on a gesticular basis to a musical display that really doesn’t lend itself to live performances as well as guitar-based complaining does. Nevertheless, there I was, sweating about as much as you’d expect (an appropriate amount) while being forced to endure the close proximity of more armpits than I’d like to remember. When the concert was finally over I needed something to restore my life to the kind of bad-but-not-3-hours-of-armpits-and-swelter-bad that* I’m accustomed to. 7-11 was open. 7-11 has Big Gulps.

Maybe you do not know this, but Big Gulps are one of the most remarkable things that exist in the world of commercially available fountain soda containers. You can walk into a 7-11 and fill up a plastic cup capable of transporting 44 oz. of liquid. You can get any main kind of soda in that cup. You can put any combination of three additional flavors (lemon, cherry, vanilla) into that soda by pressing a button on the dispensing machine. If you are in Japan you can probably also buy a time machine and a TV that fits between your eyelid and your cornea as well. You will pay 99 cents before tax for this, (the drink, not the Japan-only electronics) and if you live in a state where food products are not taxed (Taxachusetts is not such a state). Sometimes the 7-11 clerk will let the tax slide, because it only comes to $1.04 where I am. This was one of those nights. And thank God, you know?

Listen: think about it. 99 cents for 44 oz is remarkable. That is 2.25 cents per oz. Imagine if this rate held constant for all soda purchases. A 12 oz can would cost 27 cents, and a 20 oz bottle would only set you back forty-five cents. Sometimes it is possible to get soda for this cheap inside of containers made of aluminum or equipped with screw-on caps, but these opportunities necessitate that one travel all the way to countries where people get kidnapped every five seconds and dying of dysentery is considered a foregone conclusion instead of an unlikely achievement the way it is in America. Look: before you tell me how little it costs soda manufactures to produce their carbonated wares, and the economic, environmental, and cultural atrocities these major corporations wreak on developing countries (is this term no longer PC? Whatever), and how even at two-and-a-quarter cents per oz I am still being gouged and lining the pockets of blah blah blah please remember to shut the fuck up, because – statistically speaking – if you are talking to me and I am awake enough to listen to you I am probably consuming soda.

*This is sometimes simply referred to as "Going-to-Alabama-Bad"

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