While I was gawking at Facebook yesterday evening, I was trying to decide as to whether or not I was up to making some chicken soft tacos for the end-of-the-day repast. The past day or two, my system has been a bit dodgy and I was not entirely keen on eating something that was destined to come (if you’ll pardon the crudity) shooting out the other end not long afterward (particularly if it was not my idea). Nevertheless, I threw caution to the wind and made three hard tacos (I changed my mind at the last minute) with some shredded chicken purchased from Publix last week (it was a BoGo sale).
An hour-and-a-half later, I seemed to be suffering no ill effects from the spread, so I jokingly wrote “Bring on the KFC!” No sooner had I done so when my esteemed blogging colleague and fellow William Bendix devotee Erica pointed out that Oprah Winfrey was providing coupons at her website for free dinners at the fast-food chain, touting their new Kentucky Grilled Chicken. (Let me just take a moment here and remark on how very, very wrong this is. Look, I know when I go into KFC that I’m about to put into my mouth something that is most assuredly not good for me and which just might turn on me any day now, like a game of Russian Roulette. But I don’t care; that which does not kill me only makes me stronger. So this grilled chicken bullshit…sorry, kid, but we’re sold out of crazy. Try somewhere else.) But, hey…free food is free food, and so I thought it might be worth a gamble.
The only problem is I had read at Salon.com that a number of people were having problems trying to get the coupons to download. (Here’s the full story.) So as encouraging as Erica was, I had trepidations. But I forged on, attempting to get it to work. First try? Nada. Second try? Zip. Third try? Zilch. I kept getting some sort of message saying that the program could not properly access one of the files on my computer, and it would shut down, leaving an unsightly blemish on my computer (there would be a window showing where I tried to download the coupon program, and I could not get it to close…I ended up with three of them). I even rebooted the computer and gave it another try—still no soap. (Apparently, Oprah is giving me the finger, and it isn’t licking-good.) So I got back on Facebook and explained to Erica that my computer simply wouldn’t cooperate…and in a sour-grapes tone of voice remarked that I didn’t care much for Oprah and her free chicken and free cars anyway. (Erica then observed: “What a revoltin’ development this is!” I couldn’t help but laugh.)
This morning, I rose early to grab a shower and get a few things ready to send out in the mail because my mother was on a grocery run and I decided to tag along when she promised me a lift to the post office. But before this, the exterminator makes a surprise visit and while conducting a routine inspection, informs me that I have termites. (Lucky me.) He lets me know that he’ll get with the company that leases my place and they’ll have to come back and treat the house. Later, my luck continues to sour when I learn that the main reason I went to Publix with Ma—they had a special on those tasty bacon-wrapped scallops—has been rendered moot since they’ve ran out of the item. (I hate when that happens.)
Anyhow, the point of today’s post is to talk about how—in the matter of soft drinks—you can’t go home again…though I’m pretty sure that’s not what Thomas Wolfe had in mind when he wrote his same-titled sequel to Look Homeward, Angel. You see, Publix is running a special where if you buy 2 six-packs of soda pop (7-Up, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, A&W Root Beer or Diet Rite) you get a third one free—and after buying one of the 7-Up (I’m not a huge fan of Sprite, though I will drink it if I have no other options) and one of the Ginger Ale I was trying to decide what my freebie was going to be.
They had six-packs of Orange Crush among these other soft drinks, and while I would have been more than happy to grab one I wasn’t sure if Crush qualified and I didn’t want to take it up to the counter only to discover it wasn’t. So I did something kind of crazy—I picked up a 6-pack of Royal Crown Cola (which was covered, according to the fine print). I figured that since it was technically free it wasn’t like it was a foolish expenditure, and if it was truly awful I could chuck it in the trash bin.
I can reasonably guesstimate that it’s been nearly twenty-plus years since I’ve drank RC; at one point during my childhood it was still a popular beverage thanks to its sponsorship of the New York Mets and an ad campaign dubbed “Me and My RC,” featuring a memorable TV ad with a young Sharon Stone delivering pizzas by skateboard (and sung by Barbara Mandrell’s sister Louise). The taste of the cola seemed vastly different—sort of flat, not like in previous times when if you drank it too fast you’d end up with a tremendous sensation of pain in your nasal cavities. Still, it retains a cult status…and the previous time I was in Publix RC was on a display end cap with—I kid you not—Moon Pies. (The RC Cola/Moon Pie combo was once dubbed “the working man’s lunch” in the 1950’s throughout the South—the town of Bell Buckle, TN holds an annual “RC Cola and Moon Pie” festival every year.)
When I got home from the store, I threw one of the RC’s into my freezer and an hour-and-a-half later pulled it out, opened it and took a swig. While I won’t be changing my allegiance from Pepsi Cola anytime soon, the RC wasn’t that bad…though it still seems a tad flat. I’m not going to tell my father this, though…he reminisces often of a time when he used to put peanuts in a bottle of Royal Crown Cola just to watch it fizz. Me? I’d settle for Sharon Stone getting on that skateboard again.