The above photo was taken this past weekend at a toddler session. It made Flickr's Explore and "Interestingness Page 1" for 06.24.07 with the title "you're totally showing these at my senior graduation banquet, aren't you?"
Dear Coca Cola Company,
I have been a loyal customer of your product since, oh say, birth. I loved you so much at an early age that my mother had to put me on Coca Cola restriction and limit me to one can per day. Little did she know when she told me, "When you're old enough to buy your own you can have more..." that her statement would coincide with the release of your 3-liter bottles, the 7-11 Big Gulp, and the 1-liter take-along bottles. I sure showed her, huh?
Anyway... I stood by you through that whole "New Coke" debacle. (Thanks, in part, to my uncle who stocked up on "Old Coke" as if his garage were a bunker in which the Cold War survivors would all be hungry, yet highly caffeinated.) I flunked every "Pepsi Challenge" ever given to me by choosing your product and asking for seconds of it. I reduced the tip of any waitress that dared ask me the question, "Is Pepsi ok?"
But you almost lost a lifetime of brand-loyalty this summer. After having children, I no longer had any choice but to do the "Diet Coke" thing. I fought following the same path as countless women before me had been forced down, but eventually my metabolism failed to report for duty, and I had to inform my tastebuds with much regret that aspartame was now on the menu. And then, as if handed down in bottled and canned form from heaven itself, you released Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla. A wonderful combo of sweet and tart carbonated goodness. Drink Diet Cherry Coke by itself? No thank you. Chug Coke Zero Vanilla straight up? I'd sooner drink Crystal Pepsi. But two bad tastes did indeed taste great together.
Until, 18 months after my addiction began, I could no longer find it on the shelves. Anywhere. Only to soon read on Wikipedia, "With low sales figures, and the return of Vanilla Coke (now Coca-Cola Vanilla) by June 2007 in the United States, doubt is cast over the future of Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla."
Well out of sheer desperation this weekend, I bought a 12-pack of Diet Cherry Coke and another 12-pack of Coke Zero Vanilla and decided to mix them together, with a twist. And you know what? It's the EXACT SAME THING as Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla. So just where did the "black" go? Straight to your souls for removing my very lifesource off the Publix shelves. That's where.
But dear Coca Cola executives - I have beaten you at your own game. I am now the home meth-lab of Diet Coke / Zero products. A Coke divided against itself cannot stand.