Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Depths to Which Val Has Sunk, at the Height of Her Addiction

Remember how I spent an afternoon with my best ol' ex-teaching buddy Mabel on Thursday? I left her house sometime between 3:00 and 4:00. Time means nothing to me now! For remembering things like that. But time means everything to me when it comes to getting my daily 44 oz Diet Coke. If I went straight home, I'd have to go past the homestead into town for my magical elixir. That would tack extra time on my outing, time which Hick didn't have, what with almost dying of starvation while I was away. So I stopped on the way out of Mabeltown at the LOVE Station.

For those of you who don't know, a LOVE Station is a truck stop/convenience store franchise. They usually have a restaurant attached. This one in Mabeltown is always booming. It has a McDonald's on one end, then a Church's Chicken, then the LOVE Station. You can walk through all of them on the inside if you want, or go in the exterior doors.

I figured I'd grab my 44 oz Diet Coke there, so I'd have it when I got home. And also I'd pick up some chicken for Hick the crybaby who didn't want a bacon cheeseburger that had been in the car for a few hours (even though he later ate it after the chicken). I went to the soda fountain and reached up top for a 44 oz cup.

SCREEEEEEEECH!

I did that sound because it's a truck stop, see? Instead of the phonograph needle sound. So it's like putting on the brakes. WHOA! The 44 oz cup dispenser was empty! So I looked at the row built into the wall on the left side, and that top 44 oz cup dispenser was ALSO empty! But at the bottom on the left, there was ANOTHER 44 oz cup dispenser. EMPTY! Yeah. Every single 44 oz cup was missing! That's no way to run a business! I looked around, you know, because surely somebody had seen that I was perplexed, not having a 44 oz cup. The most expensive cup.

Can you believe nobody cared? Can you? That place is always frantic. People here, people there. Truckers acting like they own the place (!) grabbing coffee and oil and sundry products from the shelves that kind of look like Auto Zone. I don't know where all these people come from, and where they're all going. It's like they're competing in a road rally, or Amazing Race. The line is always backed up at the counter, despite two cashiers. So I couldn't go butt in that line and ask if somebody could get me a 44 oz cup.

Don't even think I would go to the McDonald's for my soda. No siree, Bob! I do not like McDonald's Diet Coke, even though my mom favored it. It's weak sauce. Forget Church's Chicken. For all I know, they serve Pepsi there like the Oklahoma casinos. Nope. I HAD to get my 44 oz Diet Coke from the LOVE Station. So I did what any normal person with a daily 44 oz Diet Coke habit would do, and pulled a 32 oz cup, and then a 20 oz cup. Don't even suggest two 20s. That's NOT 44 oz! Besides, why pay more for two 20s and get less, when I could get a 32 and a 20 and pay less. Oh, come on! I didn't drink 52 oz of Diet Coke! There was ICE involved!

I paid for my two sodas and left. I might have stopped by the scratch-off machine as long as I was right there by it on my way to Church's Chicken. Do you know how hard it is to carry scratch-off tickets, two sodas, a box with three pieces of chicken, and have your T-Hoe clicker ready? Pretty ding-dang-dong hard!

Once inside T-Hoe, I set to apportioning my 44 oz of Diet Coke. I had brought two foam cups, you see. Because one time I got a soda at a strange store, and they only had those thin plastic cups. Not insulated. So I brought my own cup-within-a-cup just in case. I poured in the 32 oz cup, and then some from the 20 oz cup (with ice) to top it off. And put on a lid that I had brought. The remainder, I left topless (heh, heh) to sip from on the ride home, on straight stretches that didn't matter if I tilted my head back momentarily.

I was not pleased, once home, that Hick took the food bag and left me to juggle the mail, my purse, those two foam cup-within-a-cup filled with 44 oz of magical elixir, the 32 oz empty cup, the 20 oz cup with a bit of soda remaining, and my giant yellow bubba cup with ice water. I was expecting more help from Hick, especially since my karma points were in the plus column, having held the door open at the LOVE Station for a woman exiting with two bowls of fruit. Uh huh. In a giant barrel of ice right inside the door, they had plastic tubs of mixed fruit. None for Val, thanks.

I may buy gas station chicken, but I draw the line at truck stop fruit.

13 comments:

  1. In NJ, along with dirty water cocktails (tee hee) we can actually buy diet coke in 2 liter bottles, or in cans by the case...we can even buy large plastic cups to drink it from all from what we call grocery stores.

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    1. Ptooey! That stuff tastes like crap! Gotta be a fountain Diet Coke for 44 oz and daily consumption! Then again, with your statesmen's taste for dirty water cocktails, maybe bottled and canned Diet Coke is a treat for your palate.

      And, shockingly, you can get it at the same grocery stores that refuse to sell you snacks, making you search in high cabinets and behind meat in the freezer and under paper towels on the counter for snacks meant for Mrs. C.

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  2. How about getting one of those aluminum cups that keep liquids really cold--like an RTIC or an Ozark-whatever from the Devil's Playgound... filling it with ice from home... and getting 44 ounces of uniced Diet Coke from your gas station... and having your magical elixir last through more of the day?

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    1. I appreciate your enabling. Really! However...

      I don't know what kind of glutton or simpleton you two suppose Val to be! I only get a couple of cubes of ice in my 44 oz foam cup, then add ice from FRIG II once home, having sipped the first inch or so from the beverage.

      I put one foam cup inside another that I have at home, rinsed out from the previous day. My magical elixir lasts from whenever I get it until 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. I do not guzzle it within minutes, nor do I fill it with space-taking ice while topping off my cylindrical trough at the fountain!

      To put my elixir in a metal container seems wrong! Perhaps I'm having a flashback to CANNED Diet Coke.

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    2. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was painted with less attention to detail than Val puts into her daily 44 oz Diet Coke!

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  3. I think I've said it before but I prefer real Coke to Pepsi, but Diet Pepsi is better than Diet Coke, not that I drink many carbonated drinks these days.

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    1. Real Coke is indeed delicious. I prefer that version in a can, icy cold. However, I cannot stomach more than 12 ounces of that sweet, sweet nectar, so sipping it all day is out of the question.

      You will never convince me to sing the praises of Diet Pepsi! I would be a nightmare come to life for those blind taste-test givers.

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  4. Well I've sworn off carbonated sodas these days too but I still maintain that Diet Coke is better than Diet Pepsi.

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    1. I'll take ANY endorsements! You don't actually have to drink Diet Coke to sing its praises on Val's blog.

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  5. Coke wins, hands down, over Pepsi. I am a Dr. Pepper fan, but I really love a good iced tea. I have the Ozark cup and it will still be cold after 24 hours! I am not a big fan of plastic cups, so the Bubba mug favored by HeWho LOVES Diet Coke would never work for me.

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    1. Now I'm going to have to investigate the Ozark cup! I must be able to put a straw in it. And get into its nooks and crannies to wash it. And of course it must hold 44 oz.

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