Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Got a Caffeine Monkey on my Back

My name is Doug Bennett and I’m addicted to Diet Coke. For most of my life, this hasn’t presented much of a problem. But things have changed. I now find myself scouring downtown streets for just a few drops of the good stuff.

Let me explain.

When I first started working at Humana, we had a refrigerator stocked full of free drinks, including Diet Cokes. From now on, I will refer to this time as the golden years. Oh sure, there were a few hiccups. I can recall a few times when the lovely administrative assistants in government relations couldn’t stock them as quickly as I could drink them. But for the most part, we had a virtual endless oasis of brown nectar right at our fingertips.

Unfortunately, like GM and Chrysler before it, our refrigerator fell victim to the ailing economy. Juice and water survived. Diet Coke got the pink slip.

My world came crashing down around me. I felt confused, vulnerable and sleepy. Not to mention the fact that I’d need thousands of quarters to quench my thirst.

Even with a pocket full of change, finding a new supplier proved difficult. The soda machines in my building exclusively carry Cokes in plastic bottles. I prefer canned Cokes, which is a quirk I hadn’t really noticed until the refrigerator ran dry.

As a result, I was forced into the streets, broken and thirsty with a big caffeine monkey on my back. After a few days of emptiness and lukewarm bottles, I found a snack shop in the lobby of a building across the street that carries Diet Cokes in the can.

I wish this was a happy ending. But, like the government relations aides before them, the snack shop people can’t seem to keep pace with my ravenous consumption. On bad days, I turn the corner to find empty slots where Diet Cokes ought to be. The entrepreneur in me wonders how they could possibly let such a golden opportunity slip away.

Anyway, things might be finally looking up. One coworker is willing to sell me Diet Cokes at a discount to finance her wedding. Additionally, I hear the building is moving to canned sodas as part of its greening initiative. And who knows? If the automobile industry can recover, maybe the refrigerator can, too. In the meantime, I’ll see you on the mean streets.


Hahn Ho said...

I miss Diet Coke. Where I live, they've completely phased out Diet Coke to replace it with Coke Light and Coke Zero. Horrible. I miss my Diet Coke. But, then again, I've quit drinking ALL soda since February. But I still miss my Diet Coke.

Doug Bennett Jr. said...

Congratulations on kicking soda to the curb. I'm afraid it's too late for me!