Friday, June 15, 2007

i'm lovin' It

Have you ever poured a fountain drink that didn't taste quite right? Diet Coke has a hint of Root beer? We have a joke in our family about dispensing a fountain drink. It is not as simple as putting ice in a cup and pushing the cup against the lever and letting the precious brown liquid flow in to the cup. First, you dispense some ice and check the amount of ice. It's never correct on the first try, so you dump a few cubes out and then add a few more. Sometimes this process is repeated until the right amount of ice is in the cup depending upon atmospheric conditions and the type of cup. Hot weather means more ice, Styrofoam cups mean less ice. In our family there's a winter ice ration and a summer ice ration. Then you serve a small amount of soda in the cup and taste the mix to make sure it's alright. As I perform this ritual I often think these actions resemble tasting a vintage of wine (not that I've done that but I've seen it done.) If the mix meets your approval you commit and fill the cup. Then you take a few sips, because sips are free, and refill the glass before proceeding to pay for your drink.

Well today Charlotte, Laura and I were having lunch at McDonald's. I went for refills and at the soda fountain I and met the Coke man. He was measuring the mix ratio of the fountain. I love to know how stuff works so I asked him about what he was doing. I first asked him if he was cleaning the fountain and was disappointed to hear that he wasn't. Have you ever wondered how often those machines are cleaned? I have, and it kind of disturbs me, I have issues I guess. Then the Coke man and I discussed ratioing a soda fountain which was cool to learn and appeared more technical than I expected. I returned to the table smiling and told Charlotte there was someone at the soda fountain she'd like to meet. Uncertain what I could mean she went to the fountain and before I knew it she was laughing and chatting with the Coke man.

As it turns out McDonald's has a contract with Coke to handle everything about their soda fountains, with the exception of cleaning them which the Coke man said they do themselves. I laughed as Charlotte and the Coke man discussed the many companies who handle their own soda fountains and the Coke man explained that's why they never taste quite right. It was quite a moving moment for Charlotte to talk to the "expert" and have all her suspicions confirmed.

So next time you enjoy a soda at McDonald's know that the ratio of soda water to syrup is professionally set. (I can't believe this is another post about soda but this even made us laugh and of course when we sat back down at our table we said, "we're bloggin' this.")


Jennifer said...

thanks for visiting my blog, good to meet you. Your post is a riot! We do the same thing with Coke machines... Diet Coke is my downfall. I love the title of your blog, too. I often joke about how I can't believe I'm responsible for "maintaining" 60 toenails and 60 fingernails! God bless!

Rich & Mel said...

You guys make me laugh. I amazed at what I read here sometimes, but you know, it's the simple things in life that are usually the most interesting.



Alycia said...

This may solve one of our on-going debates about Diet Coke at the American restaurants here!! It does not taste the same as back home or in the cans!!! It is sweeter, almost like regular Coke, but without the overloaded sugar taste. Anyway, I have questioned the servers many times and sent my drinks back a few ~ because I was sure they were giving me regular coke! This explains the Okinawa mystery of the day! They pour their own syrup ratios and aren't getting it just right! Wow! Can't wait to share this one with my husband! Why didn't that ever occur to me before? haha. Have a great weekend!

charadam said...

I have sent a few drinks back a few times. We are all passing it around the table trying to decide if it is really diet Coke. We have even joked about a lithmus test that would show if it is diet or not. :) I am glad I am not the only freak out there.

Kate said...

Atmospheric conditions for ice - you are a pilot through and through!! And I agree those conditions are necessary to check when it comes to icing a diet coke!
And don't ever tell me how rarely they clean those machines. I don't want to know. I love my diet coke to ever want to know! (And I have issues with restaruant ratings!)
I was thinking of taking the kids to the new Coke museum here for a "field trip" soon. I am now determined to send you all any and all info I get there! ;)

charadam said...

Kate, I can't wait to go there!

Rich & Mel said...

Too funny! I crave McD's coke and diet coke at time. I love their coke! On our way out of town today, I tried to get Rich to stop for a McD's diet coke, but he didn't want to pull the trailer into the parking lot. :(

I was on the lookout for Sonic on our drive, but none were found.


Lawanda said...

Well, I am going to have to just say- "AHA!!"

Thanks for the informative and fun post! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks soo much for sharing the Coke story with me! It just made me SMILE :o) Now I know why Coke is the best!!!! Have A HaPpY Week-end! Love - Stacey