Area Man Buying Not So Much A Soft Drink As An Image

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GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

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Area Man Under Impression He Got Dressed Up

PROVIDENCE, RI—Explaining that the dinner he would soon be having at an upscale restaurant required him to wear something a bit special, local man Kyle Finnegan was under the impression that he had just gotten dressed up, sources said Thursday.

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MAPLEWOOD, MN—Explaining that he had assumed the deterioration of his physical and psychological state would be readily apparent, 3M sales associate Mark Uhler told reporters Wednesday he honestly thought his ongoing breakdown would be more obvious to everyone around him.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

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Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

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UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...

Fast Food Drive-Thru Just Cow Carcass, Bucket For Money

VENTURA, CA—Calling it the ultimate combination of freshness, value, and convenience, local fast food chain Sunshine Burger announced that, beginning this week, its regular drive-thru windows would be replaced by a cow carcass and a bucket for money...

Oh God, Teacher Arranged Desks In Giant Circle

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Disgusting Couple Always Interacting In Public

MINNEAPOLIS—Saying the pair was making everyone nearby feel uncomfortable, onlookers stated Wednesday they were disgusted by local couple Tyler Meacham and Caitlyn Ashford’s habit of interacting in public.

Siblings Quietly Relieved Oldest Brother Setting Bar So Low

CHARLOTTE, NC—Explaining how the 25-year-old’s personal and academic shortcomings had made their relationship with their parents far easier, siblings Eric and Theresa Conrad confided to reporters Friday that they were quietly relieved their ol...
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Originality

Area Man Buying Not So Much A Soft Drink As An Image

SOUTHFIELD, MI—In a move Coca-Cola marketing executives called "a clear sign of our branding success," highway worker Chuck Burdon, 37, purchased a two-liter Diet Coke during his lunch break Tuesday, buying not so much a soft drink as an image.

Burdon with the soft drink whose branding image most strongly resonates with him.

"Let me tell you, I was mighty thirsty after all that paving," a refreshed Burdon told reporters. "Yet on a subconscious, psychological level, I wanted more than mere rehydration or refreshment. I craved an image. I craved being imbued with the sort of fun, carefree spirit seen in Diet Coke commercials. I also wished to feel like I was part of a larger community of discriminating, likeminded consumers who have the good taste to choose the world's most-consumed diet cola and not some inferior, lower-priced off-brand."

Standing in the soda aisle of a supermarket near the construction site, Burdon was confronted with a vast array of soft-drink choices, each projecting its own distinct image for consumers to identify with and project onto themselves through the acts of purchase and consumption. According to Burdon, key to his decision to choose Diet Coke was the memory of a 1994 television spot featuring model-actor Lucky Vanous as a construction worker who excites young, single women by shirtlessly consuming a can of the soft drink.

"Back when that ad was on TV, me and the other construction workers made a lot of jokes about it," Burdon said. "I think my purchase was partially motivated by a desire to recapture the relative whimsy of those days before Allied Construction owner Bud Wanamaker died of a heart attack and the new owners mismanaged it into the ground. That, as well as the more basic desire to liken myself to the sexy Vanous via our mutual enjoyment of Diet Coke."

Burdon freely admitted that image was more of a motivating factor than the needs of his parched body.

"To be honest, selecting a caffeinated drink ran counter to my physical needs at the time, given the diuretic effects of caffeine," Burdon said. "If my only goal were rehydration, I would have done better with Gatorade or Sprite or, at the very least, Caffeine-Free Diet Coke. Or, I suppose, tap water."

Despite the negative side effects of caffeine, particularly for a manual laborer, Burdon said he is averse to consuming caffeine-free soft drinks.

"To appear on the construction site drinking a beverage that is both calorie- and caffeine-free would be an emasculating blow to my carefully cultivated image as a burly, rough-and-tumble working-class type," Burdon said. "The sight of me consuming such a soft drink would diminish the respect I enjoy from my professional peer group by casting a light of skepticism upon my masculinity and even my sexuality."

Moments before making his purchasing decision, Burdon said he was almost swayed by the memory of a Diet Coke With Lemon billboard featuring an attractive woman puckering her lips. In the end, however, he rejected the soda for similar gender-identity reasons.

"I must admit that my desire to associate myself with such a woman was a powerful temptation," Burdon said. "Nevertheless, the perception of diet soda, an already somewhat feminine product, infused with lemon flavor signified on the packaging by the girlish color yellow, was a bit too rife with feminine overtones for my purposes. I felt that I would be more likely to attract such a woman by reinforcing my masculinity with a lemonless soft drink than by drinking the same female-oriented beverage as her."

Though Burdon spotted a bottle of Pepsi Blue, a drink he greatly enjoyed upon first tasting it in a Safeway parking lot in August, he ruled out the beverage as a possibility for at-work consumption.

"Drinking an adolescent-targeted, convention-flouting, candy-colored fantasia beverage like Pepsi Blue would paint me as an aging and pathetic man desperate to appear youthful and virile," Burdon said. "From its flavor blend to the cheekily angular lettering on the label, Pepsi Blue projects an image far too cutting-edge and impudently rebellious to convincingly mesh with the reality of my 37-year-old self. I purchase soft drinks to identify with a somewhat realistic lifestyle archetype, not retreat into an outright delusional fantasy."