RC Cola Celebrates 10th Purchase

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Vol 31 Issue 01

Poor Kwanzaa Sales Disappoint Retailers

WASHINGTON, DC—Kwanzaa officials received sobering news Monday, as the Department of Commerce announced that Kwanzaa holiday sales for the U.S. totalled $178. The figure represents the lowest total since 1992, the year the holiday was invented. At Abe's Kwanzaa Emporium in Los Angeles, rows of unsold Kwanzaa trees were thrown out, while rolls of Kwanzaa-themed wrapping paper gathered dust in giant bins. Even A&M Records' much-hyped holiday CD, A Bryan Adams Kwanzaa, fared poorly, selling just three copies.

Area Pie Hole Shut

TEMPE, AZ—A local pie hole was definitively shut Saturday. After droning on incessantly about matters witnesses say were trivial and "more than just a little" annoying, the pie hole was forcefully instructed by a loud-mouthed neighbor to be shut. Plans to re-open the pie hole are being withheld until it needs more pie.

Oakland Teacher Mistakenly Teaches 'Economics'

OAKLAND, CA—In an effort to abide by the Oakland Public Schools' new "ebonics" instruction regulations, one area teacher mistakenly began teaching the subject of "economics" to her 11th-grade class Monday. Suzanne Byrne, a 13-year teaching veteran, badly confused students when she attempted to explain to them such complex economic principles as stagflation, Keynesian incrementalism, and the invisible hand of laissez-faire capitalism. School superintendent Melvin Washington was outraged upon learning of Byrne's actions, saying: "The voodoo she was teaching involved numbers and complex calculations, which no high-school student can reasonably be expected to understand." Washington insisted that instruction be limited to the study of ebonics, or—in the school's new higher-level Sanford and Son-themed curriculum—the study of "Lamontics," which helps young people better understand Lamont Sanford.

Budget Talks Dreadlocked

WASHINGTON, DC—President Clinton cited "a profound lack of irie vibrations" as the main reason budget talks became dreadlocked this week. Congress and the President had been in negotiations since last October, but according to House officials, a common ground could not be reached due to "a lack of positive riddims." "If only Ras Tafari were still with us," Rep. Glen Browder (D-AL) said. "He would have given us the wisdom to cut back on porkbarrel legislation and get the budget passed." Sen. Al D'Amato (R-NY) added: "Hopefully, we can reach some sort of bipartisan compromise and get this natty dreadlock resolved. Praise Jah." After talks stalled again Monday, legislators tabled negotiations until next week, using the recess to get high.

Unambitious Terrorists Overturn Trash Can

JERUSALEM—The Bedouin Free Army, described by State Department officials as an unambitious offshoot of the PLO, is claiming responsibility for Sunday's overturning of a garbage can near the Western Wall. According to reports, the group intended to bring attention to what they called a "serious lack of pens" in Bedouin Army encampments near the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials had ignored the group's most serious act prior to Sunday, the 1995 slamming down of a phone receiver "really hard," according to State Department files. No one was hurt in the trash can incident, though several pieces of crumpled paper, three falafel balls and a shoe were badly scattered.

Our Street Gangs Are Probably Using Bad Language

While recently wandering the rotting underbelly of my favorite local urban wasteland at 3 a.m., I was accosted by a roughneck gang of thugs who demanded my wallet. With a grandfatherly sense of duty I handed it over to them; then they clonked me over the noggin and ran off.

Murder Down In The Big Apple

Murder rates dropped in New York City for the third straight year in 1996, with total homicides in the city under 1,000 for the first time since the mid-1960s. What do you think of the surprising statistics?

1996 Was The Year Of The Celebrity!

What a crazy year it was! So many big names made news in 1996, it will certainly go down as The Year Of The Celebrity. With that in mind, let's look back into Jackie Harvey's crystal ball...
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  • 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.

Race Relations

RC Cola Celebrates 10th Purchase

ALBANY, NY—Employees at Royal Crown Cola are jubilant in the wake of the 10th product sale in the company's 68-year history.

"This is a historic day for RC Cola," Royal Crown CEO Tad Lipscomb said. "Our tenacity and dedication to providing a top-rate cola beverage have finally paid off. The double-digit barrier was a difficult hurdle that we have been approaching for decades, but now the sky is the limit."

The milestone sale took place Monday afternoon, when Ames, IA, resident Stephen Dutchins, 81, purchased a two-liter bottle of the wildly unpopular cola at a local Food Lion grocery store. "They put the Coke and Pepsi on the top shelf, and I couldn't reach them," Dutchins told reporters. "I decided my thirst was significant enough to justify buying an unknown brand."

Added Dutchins: "My wife died several years ago."

"We are proud that Mr. Dutchins chose to switch to crisp, refreshing RC Cola," said Lipscomb. "And we anticipate a long, productive relationship with our newest family member."

For pushing the cola manufacturer over the nine mark, Dutchins was awarded a case of RC, bringing the company's number of consumed servings to 34. Technically, however, the actual number is closer to 14. "The free case would have brought us up to 34 servings, but Mr. Dutchins opted to throw away 20 of the cans when he learned that a new Pepsi machine had recently been installed in his apartment complex's laundry room," RC's Kent O'Shaughnessey said. "But we're still very excited about the four cans he did consume and enjoy before realizing that."

Asked about the phenomenal sales of competing brands of cola such as Coke and Pepsi, O'Shaughnessey said, "I try not to think about the competition. I mean, they're doing their thing—you know, cornering a majority of the soft-drink market while making billions of dollars and enjoying tremendous name recognition throughout the world—and we're doing ours."

Wall Street rallied in the wake of the purchase, driving up Royal Crown stock an eighth of a point to finish with a quarterly high of 1/8 point.

The gain delighted RC Cola workers involved in the company's corporate profit-sharing plan, who stand to rake in as much as 11 cents. "I've been working here at RC for nine years now," said line supervisor Jim Keeghan. "And I've got to tell you, this sale is even sweeter than the other one."

Lipscomb was equally excited by the Iowa purchase. "Adding this sale to one in Buffalo in '93, we are clearly gathering momentum in our drive to shoot ahead of Safeway Budget Cola by the year 2000."

Asked for an accounting of all 10 RC purchases, Lipscomb said, "Well, I don't exactly have them all memorized. How could we possibly produce a precise tally, anyway? The important thing is that we've sold about 10 RC products. Most definitely almost 10. Shooting distance, certainly."

RC Cola, the last of the major players in the famed "cola wars" to break the 10 barrier, is best known to most consumers as the creator of such memorable television advertising jingles as the mid-'70s' "Me and My RC" and the early-'80s' "Cola-Lovin' Woman, Cola-Lovin' Man," in addition to the late-'80s slogan, "People go out of their way for the taste of RC." Surprising to most, however, is the little-known fact that the company also manufactures physical bottles filled with actual cola.

"We like making cola—we're good at it, and we think the nine million bottles that have piled up in our factory over the years shows it," RC Cola marketing director Toby Hallock said. "But once in a while it feels kind of nice to actually sell one."

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