Monday, October 28, 2013

Anesthesia Loosens Tongue, But Not Teeth

I never saw my mom take a sip of alcohol, much less get drunk, but I recently got a pretty good feel for what that might look like.

Mom was in the hospital for surgery. They gave her a “little bit” of something to relax her. A short time later, the party began.

First, mom spoke a bit of gibberish. Then she regained her footing for a minute and started to make sense again, sort of. When the doctor entered the room, she promised she wouldn’t “monitor him too much” and would “just go along.” I’m sure he was quite relieved to know she wouldn’t be taking notes during surgery.

The doctor thanked her, looked at us, smiled and said, “They’ve given her some medicine. No kidding. The best was yet to come.

Next, mom saw a diminutive male nurse. “Look at that little fellow,” she said, apparently mistaking him for a doctor. “He’s been in two or three surgeries already today, hasn’t he?” When “the little fellow” came to take mom back, we could barely contain ourselves. Thankfully, she was finished commenting on him, but not finished talking.

“I’m pretty relaxed now,” she told me, “except for my teeth.” I checked around for witnesses to that gem. Unfortunately, there were none.

Finally, they started rolling mom back to the operating room. We were worried. You could cut the tension with a knife … until mom looked back over her shoulder, smiled, waved and nonchalantly said, “toodle loo.”

There’s no telling what mom said next. Regardless, I heard enough to know she would be a lot of fun at a cocktail party.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Coke Museum's Approach is Refreshing

I recently visited the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta where I had the opportunity to taste sodas from around the world. Some of them were quite delicious, while others left a bad taste in my mouth.

I gravitated toward the sweetest concoctions, including South Africa’s Bibo Kiwi Mango, which reminded me of something I’d enjoy on the beach with a little rum, and Thailand’s Kiwi Apple, which reminded me of a Jolly Rancher.

In contrast, Italy’s “Beverly” reminded of something you’d use to get information from prisoners of war. No wonder they discontinued it.
Then there’s the most controversial of all Cokes ... New Coke. You couldn’t sample this ill-fated beverage at the museum, but you could learn about it in a small exhibit in the “Pop Culture” area. The exhibit detailed how a new formula for Coke had fared well in taste tests. Buoyed by this success, Coke decided to replace its old formula.

However, the backlash to New Coke was immediate and overwhelmingly negative. Protestors demanded the return of the original Coke formula. It wasn’t long before Coke executives obliged. For a while, they sold New Coke and “Classic” Coke together, before quietly brandishing New Coke to the brand graveyard.

Some accused Coke of a massive publicity stunt, but executives denied it, saying they were neither “that smart nor that dumb.” The exhibit included the statement that announced Classic Coke’s return, complete with editing marks.

Kudos to Coke for tackling its biggest blunder head on. In contrast, I’m told the College Football Hall of Fame once had an entire exhibit devoted to Ohio State Coach Wood Hayes with no mention that his career ended when he hit an opposing player.

I find Coke’s approach to be, umm, refreshing. Like it or not, New Coke is part of Coca-Cola’s history. I don’t remember New Coke’s taste, but I remember the incident. And I’m certain of this much: It couldn’t have been any worse than Beverly.