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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Only Diet Coke will do

I was reading Indianapolis Monthly magazine today and in her column, Editorial Director Deborah Paul reported on a few things that might be included in her blog, if she did indeed blog. The following entry jumped out at me:

"Diet Coke is the best thing ever invented." She goes on to admit that when she orders a Diet Coke in a restaurant and the waiter says "Is Diet Pepsi okay?," she always says yes. "...but really it isn't. Diet Pepsi isn't okay," says Paul.

Well, I was high-fiving that statement so I felt compelled to write her and let her know how much I agreed with her. Like she cares what I think. But I e-mailed her anyway. Not only did I let her know that I agree with her, but I laid out my sob story that Chick-fil-A no longer offers regular Diet Coke.

"You know what else is not okay?," I wrote to Mrs. Paul. "Coke Zero. Much to my chagrin, Chick-fil-A has changed their beverage offerings. Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Coke Zero or regular Coke. I am not a coffee drinker -- I need my morning caffeine to have bubbles in it. So the Chick-fil-A menu choices do not work for me."

Now, just so you dear blog readers (all 7 of you) don't think I was barking up the wrong tree -- though if Mrs. Paul wanted to throw the power of the media behind my Diet Coke crusade, I woudn't argue, please know that I have also e-mailed Chick-fil-A with my concerns. (Hmmm...beginning to think a reordering of my priorities is warranted.)

Remembering that criticism is best swallowed with a little sugar, I offered up a compliment first:

Dear Chick-fil-A: I visited one of your restaurants this morning on my way to work and I was served by two delightful older gentlemen. Bill cheerfully took my order in the drive thru. Then Mark, equally cheerful, handed me my food. It was quite obvious that they both were having a good time and were ready to pass those positive attitudes along to customers. That was the great part of my visit. The NOT so great part was that I was dismayed to learn that my regular Diet Coke is not on the menu any more. I am a Diet Coke purist and to only have the option of caffeine-free Diet Coke (generally acceptable, but not when I need my morning boost) or Coke Zero (BLECH!) is enough to make me choose another restaurant if I plan to visit during the breakfast hours. Please -- keep Bill and Mark and bring back REAL Diet Coke!

They responded:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Chick-fil-A. You are very important to us, and we appreciate your positive feedback. We want you to have a great dining experience each time you visit our Chick-fil-A stores. We will forward your kind comments to the Operator of our Pyramids restaurant, so he can share them with his Managers and Team Members. We think it's a good thing when we can let them know how much our Chick-fil-A customers really appreciate their smiles, efforts, and courteous service. Regarding your comments about the availability of diet Coke at this location, I hope you find the following information helpful. Chick-fil-A proudly serves many Coca-Cola brands of soft drinks, freshly brewed iced tea, and our own fresh-squeezed lemonade at all of our locations. However, based on customer demand, the local Operator of the restaurant may choose to offer additional soft drink brands. If you have a favorite Coca-Cola brand product not currently offered, I would encourage you to let the Operator know. We look forward to serving you at one of your local Chick-fil-A Restaurants again soon.

So I'm thinking about picketing to speak out for the rights of Diet Coke purists everywhere (or at least on the NW side of Indy). Let me know if you'd like to join me!


varangianguard said...

It is my own personal theory (based on zero research, just some superficial observations) that "diet" drinks are a cruel hoax perpetrated upon the masses by the moguls of the soft drink industry.

Why, one might ask? Well, because I believe that the artificial sweetener components of "diet" soft drinks, in actuality, makes your body believe that it is ingesting large amounts of cheaply convertible energy (sugars).

Once the digestive process has proceeded past a certain point, messages are passed to your brain that, in reality, no sugars have been ingested. Amost immediately, certain other parts of your body (fat cells) have begun a highly agitated campaign for the fulfillment of the empty promise of a cheap sugar "fix", made by said "diet" soda drink. The poor brain, being heavily outnumbered, and outvoted, gives in and commands one or both of the hands to begin surrepituously slipping other, known, sugar resources into oral cavity for immediate reduction by mastication and immediate relocation to one's stomach for processing. This, to placate the rumblings from the neighborhood of the widest adipose tissue concentrations. Usually, this also manifests itself as an unconcious set of actions, carefully discarded by the gatekeepers of both long and short term memories. Most commonly heard comment is something like, "I only had a Diet Coke® and a salad since breakfast". Still, a package of cookies or crackers is "missing", and blaming the dog or the kids on a daily basis only leads to eventual disbelief from your friends and relatives.

You've wondered where those "extra" pounds came from, and why they won't go away? I think that maybe now, you should know. At least that's how I rationalize it for my part.

Unknown said...

You have verbalized (webized?) something I have been mentally masticating for several months...I am downright ticked off that I cannot find "DIET VANILLA COKE" any more at the stores. All I find is the crappy (and I assume cheaper to manufacture!) Vanilla Coke Zero with its strangely metallic aftertaste. Yes, I go ahead and buy it because it is still better than (ugh!) vanilla diet pepsi. I, too, am not happy with the non-caffinated diet coke option at the fountain of more and more of my restaurants. I'll happily join you on the picket lines whenever and where ever we can strike a blow! (Of course when I finally get a job, my free time will become much more limited!)

Audrey said...

I agree with you 100%! I prefer Diet Coke over regular and for a restaurant to only offer caffeine free diet is just crazy talk! :)

Eternal Lizdom said...

That's MY Chick-Fil-A!!! I go there about once a week because I work over there! I know those guys!!!