ERIE, PA—According to leading fast-food-industry analysts, area consumer Don Turnbee's soft-drink upgrade Monday from large to extra-large was motivated not by a desire for the extra volume of soda contained in the larger size, but rather to acquire a special, limited-edition collectible plastic cup.
Turnbee obtained the cup, an attractive, 24-ounce stackable beverage container that offers easy lidding and multiple reusability, at an area McDonald's, where the cup is available for a limited time only.
"I didn't really need the extra soda," Turnbee, 39, told reporters shortly after closing the deal, "but I figured since it's only 10 more cents I'd just go ahead and get the cup, too."
Spokespersons for the McDonald's Corporation expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the negotiations, and said they were confident that Turnbee's beverage upgrade would benefit him in the long run.
"It's a mutually beneficial transaction," McDonald's vice-president of community relations Nathan Kravitz said. "As a company, we receive an additional 10 cents, helping us maximize our beverage-purchase-based corporate revenue and ensuring our ability to continue to offer delicious, thirst-quenching, affordable soda in the future. For Turnbee, the advantages are, I believe, obvious: He gets to keep the stylish, dishwasher-safe cup, which he will enjoy using over and over again."
Despite the satisfaction of both parties involved, the Turnbee soda upgrade has not been without controversy. According to sources within the Turnbee household, Turnbee's wife, Shelly Turnbee, reportedly rolled her eyes dismissively upon seeing the newly acquired cup on the kitchen counter of their home.
"Mrs. Turnbee has repeatedly complained about the stacks of what she describes as 'useless' plastic cups cluttering up the cabinets and taking up space," a story in Tuesday's Washington Post reported. "From her viewpoint, it's a matter of practicality: Mr. Turnbee already has a large number of cups of this variety that rarely, if ever, see use."
The cup, featuring a McDonald's logo on one side and an eye-catching, multi-color illustration of a grinning cartoon hamster on the other, is part of an advance promotional tie-in for Don Bluth Studios' upcoming straight-to-video animated release, The Happy Hamsters II: Adventures In Sillyland.
Turnbee's two children, Chris, 6, and Kelli, 4, reportedly enjoyed the cup and its Happy Hamster design for approximately 12 to 14 seconds before returning to their television viewing.
Among the plastic cups previously collected by Turnbee: a McDonald's NBA All-Star/Looney Tunes cup featuring Hakeem Olajuwon and Foghorn Leghorn; a Taco Bell limited-edition Demolition Man cup; six Burger King collectible Dick Tracy cups featuring Dustin Hoffman as Mumbles; two Pittsburgh Pirates silver-anniversary commemorative cups from 1987; and 43 souvenir cups from Kigawaunagee Corn-Fest Days.