I was in New York City for the day recently and whilst walking down a quiet street not far from Times Square I was approached by a dubious looking guy in a long coat who was pulling a wagon covered by garbage bags. After a furtive look over his shoulder he leaned towards me and mumbled “Lady, you wanna soda?” He opened up his coat and there suspended in the lining was a variety of large bottles of soda. He had Coca Cola, Seven Up and Mountain Dew.
Before I could say anything, he mumbled that for another dollar I could “Get a cold one.” He eased back the garbage bags and revealed a cooler packed with ice and Big Gulp cups. My mouth watered at the thought of an ice cold Coca Cola, and with a cup that size I would not have to buy another all day. It was hot out…I was really tempted, but what if the Soda Police caught me?
If Mayor Bloomberg gets his way, that might be the only way to get a Big Gulp in the Big Apple. He recently proposed a ban on all sugary drinks over 16 ounces. Personally I am not a fan of the oversized sodas; I would only spend the rest of the day looking for bathrooms so I tend to stick to smaller servings. However on a scorching hot day, I will buy a bigger cup and half fill it with ice before getting the soda. This won’t be possible with the new law.
Diet sodas will not be affected by the ban; you could still get an oversized Diet Coke. So if you go into a convenience store to the soda dispenser, will they have Soda Police to make sure you are not filling the large cup with the sugary stuff? Maybe they should just get rid of all big soda cups….or get rid of all self-serve soda machines. I mean you can’t trust overweight people like me to stay away from soda, so maybe you should take away our access.
And for the people who don’t have a soda habit, this ban could also affect other beverages; milkshakes and smoothies could shrink, too. I wonder if Starbucks is nervous the ban will restrict their lattes and frozen coffee drinks. Their stores will be filled with jittery people sucking down several cups at once to get the same caffeine jolt.
Maybe this will be like prohibition all over again, there will be Speakeasies springing up in dark alleyways serving vats of ice cold soda. Before long the same joints will be selling buckets of popcorn to go with the soda because Mayor Bloomberg has his eye on them, too.
I wonder where it will end? No more free refills, no more giant ice cream sundaes, no more footlong subs? Family-sized bags of chips will disappear and cookies will come in packages of two. I had better hurry up and go visit NYC now before the Soda Police become a reality.