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

In This Section

Vol 38 Issue 42

Senator Mix-A-Lot Sponsors Titties-On-Glass Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC—Seeking to stem a four-year decline in freaky Yolandas throwing they titties on U.S. glass, U.S. Sen. Mix-A-Lot (B-WA) introduced sweeping new putting-'em-on-glass legislation Tuesday. "Now listen up, Uncle Sam / I wanna see soul sistas pressin' that ham / Make me say damn / I wanna rear-end 'em / So I'm callin' a Senate referendum / Bounce by the ounce don't make no fun / I'll take 'em by the ton, son," Mix-A-Lot said. "Don't hand this bill down to no committees / 'Cause Mix don't wait on monster titties / Note to my colleague Tom Daschle / That if the babies be gettin' bashful / No melons droppin' on my windshield / So get them nudie laws repealed." Mix-A-Lot then gave props to the authors of H.R. 1610, from which several key clauses were sampled.

Teen Newsweek Reports North Korea Is The Bomb

Teen Newsweek Reports North Korea Is The Bomb NEW YORK—According to the new issue of Teen Newsweek, a fledgling Newsweek spin-off aimed at younger readers, North Korea is the bomb. "An in-depth investigation of Pyongyang's shopping and recreational options has provided incontrovertible evidence that North Korea is, like, totally the bomb, from its delicious food to its way-inexpensive electronics," Teen Newsweek reported. It remains unknown how the nation came to possess bomb-being technology.

Upper-Middle-Class Woman Worries There's Better Coffee She Doesn't Know About

DEERFIELD, IL—Upper-middle-class homemaker Irene Risser expressed fear Monday that there exists a gourmet coffee superior to the brands she currently buys. "I have Kona Coffee's peaberry flavor, which is really terrific, and I also like to buy Sumatran Rainforest," Risser said. "But I still worry that somewhere out there, someone has better, more expensive coffee than I do." Risser then went on the Internet to search for $25-a-pound breakfast blends.

Christian Slater Dropped From List Of Names To Drop

Christian Slater Dropped From List Of Names To Drop HOLLYWOOD, CA—Citing a rapidly lowering profile, the National Name Drop Index announced the removal of actor Christian Slater from the list of celebrity names to casually reference Tuesday. "Taking into account his lack of major roles since 1998's Very Bad Things and the flaccid box office of last year's Windtalkers, we have no choice but to classify Slater's name as undroppable until further notice," NNDI director Don Hall said. "Until Slater gains at least a supporting role in a hit feature or a lead role in a TV series, he is relegated to Dean Cain Memorial Limbo."

History Channel Admits To Profiting From Nazi Documentaries

NEW YORK—The History Channel confessed Monday that it used Nazi footage to fatten its coffers. "The time has come to bring our network's shameful legacy to light," History Channel president Warren Brabender said. "Over the past 10 years, more than $300 million in ad revenue has been generated through the airing of Nazi documentaries." The channel will likely be required to pay reparations to Americans who viewed the atrocities.

Republicans Take The Senate

In last Tuesday's midterm elections, Republicans retook the U.S. Senate, giving them control of both houses of Congress. What do you think?

Winona Ryder's Probation

Last week, Winona Ryder was convicted of shoplifting $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue. What are the terms of her probation?

Sarah Jessica Gives 'Birth In The City'!

Item! Call it Birth In The City! Or Sex In The Nursery! But whichever word you choose to alter in the title of the show, Sarah Jessica Parker and hubby Matthew "Wargames" Broderick had themselves a baby! According to my sources, the blessed newborn is named Bueller Bradshaw Bloom Broderick. Whew, there's a mouthful! Congratulations to the happy couple, and let's hope the little guy has the acting gene that makes his parents so entertaining to watch. One thing's for sure, though: We'll all be closely watching what Mom dresses the little fella in.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Comfort

  • 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.

Fun

  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

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."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More