Hey, I’ve got a short story, “Last Dance”, live at Little Brown’s Mulholland Books website today. Check it out if you have a chance and then dive into the Mulholland catalogue of books by some incredible, entertaining writers
Hey, I’ve got a short story, “Last Dance”, live at Little Brown’s Mulholland Books website today. Check it out if you have a chance and then dive into the Mulholland catalogue of books by some incredible, entertaining writers
Vintage aluminum squirt soda cooler/ice chest. I’d like to take this out back and get it pregnant. Well, that or, you know, put soda in it.
Wait—that also sounds dirty.
Boylan Sodas: Taking the Bite out of my Commute
So, I keep kosher. It’s a strictly regimented diet based on religious restriction that many do not understand. And while this isn’t the forum to defend or explain the reasons why I do, I will admit that it puts a huge damper on certain gastronomic adventures I’d like to undertake—specifically, it prevents me from indulging in any and all soft drinks and carbonated beverages that cross my path. Selective and sensitive to my restrictions, I’ve found ways to enjoy and experience The New but have also been forced to abandon my pursuit of certain sodas due to their exclusion from the specifications that make a beverage kosher.
Often, while cruising for groceries, my eye wanders for The New—an experience I’ve recounted, borne from my Dad’s habit of trying to find non-kosher goods he wanted to bring home and attempt to make them kosher by employing sheer willpower and impromptu staring contests with a product’s label, hoping by mental determination a mark or logo noting the item’s kashrut might appear. The non-kosher goods usually won said contests, forcing Dad to return home with the standards, and by extension I’ve inherited his disappointing, futile struggle.
Despite the generally unchanging nature of Stop N’ Shop’s product, however, I’ll still pick up bottles and inspect to see if they’ve magically fallen under the umbrella of the Orthodox Union (the governing body for most things kosher) and perhaps this week is the week I might imbibe. For the most part, my record’s pretty poor, forcing me—like Dad—to retreat with standards. One of my ongoing struggles, valiantly waged throughout supermarkets and convenience stores in the New York-New Jersey area, has been met with determined vigor by the diverse, inviting flavors of the Boylan Bottling Corporation.
Boylan, a family-owned soft drink purveyor native to my home state of New Jersey, has been delivering cane sugar-infused soft drinks to the Garden State masses for over 100 years. Originated by pharmacist William Boylan, Boylan’s distinctively bottled—glass with unique ceramic labels—birch beer expanded to flavors such as Orange Cream, Black Cherry, Ginger Ale, Root Beer, Grape and more. Sparsely available and somewhat pricey (individual bottles tend to sell at two to three dollars, depending on where you get them), until recently Boylan soda fell into the determinedly stubborn non-kosher soda crowd, thereby staying an arm’s length away from gracing this gastronome’s gullet.
“Until recently” I say for many Boylan products are now kosher…but though I’ve finally won the battle against Boylan’s label, I’ve hardly won the war. Ever since discovering the soda’s kosher status, Mrs. SodaBlog and I have been unable to locate a bottle. Checking bodegas and gourmet delis, supermarkets and newsstands, I’ve trawled and tracked but to no avail—hoping for one last laugh, one final last push against my advancing offensive against their ranks, the Boylan soda bottles retreated into the night to run and hide from my assault. And so, heading into the eighth month of the year 2011, my tongue and palate had yet to savor the unknown tastes and sensations of a bottle of Boylan soda.
Another small digression: While I live in New Jersey, I’m currently employed in Manhattan, requiring a near-two hour commute via bus and train thanks to the fine, upstanding people of both the Manhattan Transit Authority and New Jersey Transit. The commute, suffice to say, tasks me. Sure— I get to rest my head in air conditioned comfort on the way in, but once arriving in the subways, the heat envelops and the masses frustrate. Waiting on platforms, perspiring while staring down tunnels and hoping for oncoming headlights, hoping to heaven that the car will be empty enough to allow for a modicum of personal space…tasking, as I stated. And the return bus trip equals that task, forcing a wait in a poorly ventilated, ridiculously stifling vestibule (unless you’re late to the party, forcing your wait down into a staircase or in Port Authority’s main terminal) as bus after bus passes you by. Finally, trudging with the line, you arrive at the bus only to discover there are no more seats and you’ll have to a) wait for the next bus b) stand on the current bus or c) curl up into a tight, compact ball of fury and bawl your eyes out.
It gets to you, believe me.
Last night, rushing home after an unusually busy Monday at work, sidelined by a minor delay at the ticketing machine, your intrepid scribe missed his bus. Hitting an emotional wall, realizing the next bus would not happen along for thirty minutes, I checked in at SodaBlog HQ to let the Mrs. know I was running late, and headed back into the terminal to use the time wisely and research for the blog. Nearly seduced by the call of a refreshing Jamba Juice, I ducked into an eatery with a considerable cooler, hoping to view their wares but resigned to the possibility of the same old, been there.
And there, lined across a single, multi-layered rack, were four flavors of Boylan soda: Grape, Birch, Black Cherry and Ginger Ale.
Thanking the soda saints and counting my coins, I quickly decided on Ginger Ale and Black Cherry (Grape wasn’t kosher, Birch less enticing) and after purchasing, decamped to a table to sample the wares. Opening the Ginger Ale, I expected to be find a cool, fizzy pull with a slight afterbite and found myself surprised when no bite appeared. The ale—smooth and sweet, like a fruitier 7-Up—pleasantly coated my throat and barely registered as a ginger ale…or at least within the recognizable scales I tend to think of ginger ale. Vernor’s Ginger Ale has long served as my bar-setting ginger ale, with a pop-and-bite that forces a smile rather than a grimace, and while Boylan’s ale barely hit the bottom of Vernor’s benchmark, it left the standards—Canada Dry, Seagram’s, etc.—floundering below. Perhaps the cane sugar enhanced the smooth, clean draught, removing the expected bite? Search me. What I do know is that after that single bottle, I was eager for more and ready to dive into the Black Cherry.
Unfortunately, what offered merit to Boylan’s Ginger Ale—the smooth pull and lack of bite—distracted and confounded in the Black Cherry. The missing bite, the silken smoothness of flavor, also mean that any lasting cherry taste has all been removed from the Boylan bottle. Whereas with the Ginger Ale, I enjoyed the missing aftertaste, I found myself waiting and hoping for something else in the Black Cherry. If I had to compare to anything, I’d label it a Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry past it’s prime—unstopped, uncarbonated, unappealing to the point where I considered covering the taste with, of all things, a strong ginger ale.
Sitting in the bus terminal, weighing the aftermath of my long-fought, hard-won struggle, I considered both bottles and their relative merits and draws. Cool and smooth, offered in eye-catching glass, Boylan took my difficult Monday and removed it’s bite. And while I appreciated the pleasant effect on my intense, unnerving commute…I find myself wondering, a day later, whether or not I miss it from my soft drink.
I suppose the only way to figure it out is to try another bottle.
Again, in honor of this week’s release of Captain America: The First Avenger, a fun little homage I couldn’t get out of my head.
Captain America, The Red Skull and Baron Zemo are ™ and © 2011 Marvel Characters, Inc. All rights reserved.
Years ago I wrote a column called TAKE THAT which offered my unique way of presenting comics to a world that loves and fears them. The column ran at defunct website Buzzscope and the Newsarama Blog and as some of my best writing had been done for TAKE THAT, I’ve decided to run a few of the gems here under the TAKE THAT AGAIN banner.
This column actually appeared at both sites—running in 2005 at Buzzscope and again, slightly revised, at Newsarama in 2008. While written before the current “Brubaker era” (and definitely before the recent Winter Soldier/Bucky Returns storylines), I’ve always felt this piece has been one of the strongest and most inspired bits of writing I’ve ever turned out and with the Captain America film looming on the horizon, what better time to update it slightly and then inflict—er, offer it to my readers again?
As in the past, thanks to Scott McCloud for allowing me to use his book, Understanding Comics, as the column’s structure. Check out Scott’s experiments, inventions and intelligent crackpot schemes.
Now, after the jump, I once again present Captain America in “Understanding Nazis”:
CHAPTER ONE: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
When I was younger, I knew what Nazis were. Nazis were soulless, jackbooted fascists filled with bad intentions, evil thoughts and stupid names.
And though I was dying to fight them, America labeled me too skinny and weak for Nazi-fightin’. Then I was enlisted into a top-secret super soldier program where government scientists altered my muscles, strength and endurance, changing me into liberty’s greatest weapon – Captain America! With a shield on my arm and partner by my side, they sent me to the European Front.
Soon, I was hooked. In less than a year, I became obsessed with Nazis! I decided to become the world’s greatest Nazi hunter and began to practice, practice, practice! I felt that Nazis were lurking everywhere – able to blend into crowds of regular, upstanding Janes and Joes living the dream of freedom. But whenever I tried to explain my feeling, I failed miserably. The other Invaders did not understand my obsession with Nazis, preferring to tackle Japs and Italians. Sure, I realized that Nazis were cruel and calculating, overrunning the Earth with blitzkriegs and sauerkraut —- but – WE DIDN’T HAVE TO LET THEM!
The problem was, Americans felt Nazis were performing acts of evil far, far away from. And as long as the Nazis remained overseas, America would be fine. The problem was that people failed to understand Nazis, that this enemy was not going to be content with remaining far, far away. Proper definition of Nazis – from Hitler to the Red Skull to that dude with the glasses in Raiders of The Lost Ark – would give greater understanding to those who could not realize that stereotypes were fact – and show that the potential of the Nazis was limitless and dangerous.
This is where our journey begins.
The world of Nazi is a huge and varied one. Our definition must encompass all types – while not being so broad as to include any evil groups which are clearly NOT Nazis, like say Commies, Hippies, Skrulls, The Justice League and Twilight fans.
But what are Nazis?
A German political party of the twentieth century, the Nazis controlled Germany from the early ‘30s until the end of the War. The party’s full English name was the National Socialist German Workers’ party; Nazi is short for its German name. Despite the word socialist in its name, the party was fascist, requiring from its members supreme devotion to the Third Reich. Desiring to form a master race that would rule the world, they fought the influence of peoples not of “pure” descent, particularly controlling Jews by depriving them of property and confining them in camps. The Nazis killed an estimated six million Jews and marked for extermination the mentally and physically handicapped and “enemies of the Reich” such as Slavs, communists, Gypsies, homosexuals, Christians who resisted the government, and defenders of intellectual freedom.
I hate them so much.
Much has been recorded about the psychological and military tactics Nazis used in books, journals, films and old back issues of All Star Squadron – but to define Nazi, we must first do some aesthetic surgery and separate form from content, much like I want to separate the Skull’s head from his wormy little body jabbing my FINGERS INTO THE BLOODSHOT SOCKETS OF HIS FASCIST MASK AND….
Oh. Sorry about that.
The structure known as “Nazi Germany” was a vessel that held any number of evil ideas and images. The content of those ideas were, of course, up to their vile and terrible creators: Hitler, the Skull, Arnim Zola, Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker, Colonel Klink, U-Man, Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List and of course, Baron Helmut Zemo.
Ahem. Again, sorry.
At one time or another virtually all the evil in the world has received critical examination: Communism, Terrorism, Hippie-ism, the Masters of Evil, Rupert Murdoch and that guy from No Country For Old Men with the oxygen tank. But for Nazis, this attention has been rare. Well, rare in comics, anyway. Let’s see if we can help rectify the situation by crafting a proper definition:
Nazis (naht-seez, nat-seez) n. plural in form, used with a singular verb. 1. Kraut Fascists Operating from 1939-1945 that tried to blow Captain America’s poor partner Bucky to patriotic bits at the end of the War and finally killed him last year. 2. Zemo.
I admit, this isn’t the sort of thing that comes up a lot in casual conversation – and if it does, you tell me which slimy rock that scum Zemo is hiding under – and in most cases, the only definition we’re likely to need is “Ratzi Scum.” But with a definition under our belts, perhaps we can shed some new light on the history of Nazis in comics.
If the history of Nazis in comics’ varied past is any indication, the future will be virtually impossible to predict – for example, knowing where and when the Red Skull will next rear his murderous crimson head. But our definition can offer some clues, and this time the secret is not in what the definition says but in what it doesn’t.
For example, our definition says nothing about Nazis relating to DC Comics, Image Comics, Oni Press, Dark Horse Comics, Boom, Archaia, IDW, Top Shelf, films, books, CNN, actual historical textbooks or first hand accounts of the Nuremberg War Trials. No names are listed in our definition, no types of evildoings other than blowing my poor partner Bucky to patriotic bits, god bless his soul. Twice now.
Nothing is said about HYDRA and AIM. No one cares who fought Namor, the Human Torch or Dum Dum Dugan apart from the times I was schooling them and the creep in question wore an ugly purple mask with a foofy fur collar. Unless we’re talking about the Red Skull or Hitler, of course. They’re pretty evil, I guess.
Those of you who hunt Nazis for a living – or would like to someday – probably know that keeping up with names and dates is a full time job. There are so many Nazis in comics that it would take an army of readers to study them all. Well, I fought with an army, son. The United States Army. I’m here to tell you however much you may try to understand the world of Nazis in comics, part of that world will lie in shadow… a mystery, out of reach… inches from my clutching grasp, waiting to be gripped and strangled BETWEEN MY STAR SPANGLED FINGERS—
Anyway, our attempts to define Nazis in comics are an ongoing process which won’t end anytime soon. A new generation will no doubt reject whatever mine discovered and this one finally decides to accept… and so they should… but I’m here to tell them they’re wasting their time.
CHAPTER TWO: THE SIX STEPS
So far, we’ve mostly dealt with unique properties of Nazis. To recap: evil, killing, Bucky’s senseless double death and who cares what those pansies in the Justice Society did, especially now with the DCU reboot.
But there are properties that Nazis share with all other forms of evil. Though it seems innocuous enough now, there was a time when the idea of National Socialism was ridiculed. Then Hitler wrote that damn book, they took over Poland and invented giant swastika robots. We kicked their asses, of course, but today many, “Can Nazis return?”
It is – I’m sorry – a really stupid question. If we must answer it, the answer is “yes, stupid.” Especially if your definition of evil is as broad as mine.
Evil, as I see it, is any human activity that doesn’t grow out of purity, goodness, the American dream and not killing people with giant swastika robots. Humans cannot spend every waking minute being good and pure, otherwise I’d be out of a job. There will inevitably be times when humans don’t have the American dream in their hearts. And because those humans attempt to assert an evolution-bred instinct of trying NOT to do the right thing, evil is the way they assert their identities as individuals and break out of the role goodness casts us in. This is how we get people like the Serpent Society, M.O.D.O.K and Rich Johnston.
The genius of society is such that even these individuals have their uses from a standpoint of the American dream. Three, in fact.
First, they provide me with a purpose in life.
Second, they provide an outlet for emotional imbalances, aiding in women’s’ penchant for getting weepy and needy whenever I save them, helping me get girlfriends.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, they give me something to beat up.
The “evil genius” says to the world: “I want money! I’m not doing this to get laid or fame or power or greed. Okay, maybe power and greed – but really, I’m doing this for money! And to see Captain America DEAD!” And in the end, they provide me with the above three uses.
But the Nazi – pure evil – says to the world: “I don’t do this for money! I don’t do this for power and greed! I do this to see people die! Especially plucky young sidekicks!” And while I enjoy kicking their jackbooted asses, in the end the price is too high.
In other words, Nazis have no practical value whatsoever and sometimes it might take half a century for the rest of the world to find out. I’m talking to you, Italy.
“Pure evil”, or Nazi evil, is tied to the question of purpose – of deciding what you want out of evil. The creation of evil in any person will always follow a certain path:
First, the impulses, ideas, emotions, philosophies and purposes of evil. Evil’s content.
Second, the form it will take. Will it be a book like Mein Kampf? A drawing, like Schweitzer’s newspaper propaganda? How about stealing the Cosmic Cube, the most powerful weapon known to man and using it to recreate the world? Or perhaps through the greatest evil of all – a comic book?
Third: the “school” of evil. I’m not talking about that place the Taskmaster runs, damn his oily hide. I’m talking about the style, vocabulary and subject matter – the company line they hand out to the rank and file, making them believe that building giant swastika robots will somehow make the world a better place.
Fourth: Putting it all together. What to include in the Master Plan. The Final Solution. Who to include and who to leave out. How to arrange and orchestrate war on the peace lovin’ men and women of the U S of A and the known free world.
5. KILL BUCKY
I hate you, Zemo. With all my heart.
Lose to Allied Forces and go underground for several years. Wait until your greatest nemesis returns from an icy tomb of suspended animation that he’s been trapped in for over twenty years and then show your ugly purple hooded face once more. Then, taunt America’s greatest living legend about the death of the only son he’s ever known and challenge him to a fight to the death in your favorite summer castle. Lose, die, pass family hate along to your son.
In all evil, it’s the re-surface that Nazis appreciate, like an apple chosen for its shiny skin with rotting worms beneath the crimson fruit. Yeah, Red Skull – I’m calling you a crimson fruit. Come and get me.
Any Nazi creating any criminal act will follow these six steps whether they realize it or not. All evil works begin with a purpose, however arbitrary. All take some form, belong to an idiom and possess a structure. They all come back. The learning process of evil is a slow and steady journey from end to beginning, and it’s at the core of evil that the most important question Is finally asked:
“Why the hell am I following a dude with a television for a head when I can be ruling Earth myself?”
It’s a cycle as old as evil itself. It begins all over the world, as young evildoers discover hate for the first time and in a few cases, develop a love for Fascism that will last a lifetime. These would-be Nazis experience ideas, events, idioms and emotions directly and an awareness of form develops, an awareness that evil is more than just words on paper – that making evil requires certain skills – and that those skills can be learned.
And it is my job to punch them all in the brains with my very heavy shield.
CHAPTER THREE: KILL ZEMO
So, why should we try so hard to understand Nazis?
We live in a state of profound freedoms. No human being can ever know what it’s like to be you and no one can take away your individual freedoms, no matter how many times you cut one of them down and two more rise to take their place.
Understanding Nazis is serious business. Today, with the new fangled electronic mail and mass media, voices have a chance to be heard the world over – whether White, Black, Asian, Jew, Gypsy, Red, Hippie or Dame. Those of us who tackle evil must understand it. I’ve been trying to understand Nazis for over sixty years. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.
1) The first step in any such effort is to clear our minds of all preconceived notions from movies, books and television. We need to learn to separate the form of evil from its often-inconsistent contents. Some evil is great, some small.
2) The best definition for Nazis will, I think, be the most specific: Kraut Fascists Operating from 1939-1945 That Tried Blowing my Poor Partner Bucky to Patriotic Bits and, After he Survived, Killed Him This Year. With a little refining, such a definition can take Nazis far into the future – especially in comics, if Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction have their way, damn them to hell.
3) Throughout their history, Nazis have harnessed the power of evil to command legions of followers into creating giant killer swastika robots and bombs that kill young, innocent masked boys. Sometimes they do all from behind ugly, ridiculous masks.
4) As evil grows into the next century, Nazis will aspire to higher goals, sometimes involving Cosmic Cubes and Spears of Destiny, sometimes hiding behind veils of secrecy. But the truth about Nazis can’t stay hidden forever. And sooner or later the truth will shine through. And then I’ll find you, Zemo. Oh yes. I’ll find you.
This is the world of Nazis as I understand it so far. I’ve learned a lot about them since the day I took that serum while my cowardly friends urged me to go 4-F. I know I have a lot left to learn.
I hope you’ll consider exploring evil and fascism on your own, fighting the good fight and ferreting out National Socialism wherever it rears it’s ugly, racist, terrible red skull head.
Think about it. And thanks for listening.
Captain America is a member of the Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and a founding member of the Invaders. He has held many positions in his lifetime including Agent of SHIELD, Marvel Comics cartoonist, time-traveling corpse and presidential candidate. At the time of this writing, he is in the middle of working on his second book, THE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO KILLING M.O.D.O.K.
This ran on the back inside cover of RANT COMICS #3, a minicomic I printed in 2003. I’ve always liked it, particularly for what it implies about cartoon cats. EVIL cats!
Check out this fairly comprehensive website with a running list of reviews about obscure soft drinks. As Aaron and Mike state: “Together we’ve been serving your flavored-carbonated-non-alcoholic-beverage-review needs since 2008. We, as Soda Jerks, serve one purpose here… to review the beverages you haven’t had the honor of tasting yet.”
Love the site, love it’s flavor, check it out for reviews on drinks ranging from the classic A&W Root Beer Float all the way to Zuberfizz Cola. Mostly rarer and hard to find drinks, though…anyway: read, enjoy, find your new bliss.
Not a Free Slurpee Day: No Dice on Frozen Treat, But Here’s a Bit of Entitled Whine.
“Somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.” — Ernest Lawrence Thayer
Regular readers have grasped my passion and dedication when it comes to tracking down, tasting and enjoying carbonated drinks. Recently, a post about frozen drinks—kissing cousins to soda—appeared at this blog, and I figured it remained clear that slushies and the like fell under the same fervor as soda in Casa del SodaBlog. So, as can be seen with the post before this, it’s not rocket science to figure out that Daddy likes Slurpees. But I haven’t expressed yet to what extent.
See, growing up in suburban Detroit, riding bicycles and flippin’ baseball cards, daily trips to the local 7-11 were part of my summer routine. Back then, 7-11 still offered arcade games and comic book spinner racks, shelves of Topps cards and Ferrara Pan candies…but above all, for about 50-75 cents, a tall serving of frozen heaven could be had and enjoyed sitting on cinderblocks or straddling our bikes right out there in the parking lot. I’ve seen promotions come and go—from Marvel Superheroes tie-ins up to and including baseball holocoins hiding under a flap at the base of the cup. As I grew, developing into a working teen and then road-tested college student, Young SodaBlog eschewed morning coffee and then designer teas for the 7am drive-time Slurpee—rain, shine, snow or hail. Slurpee in the morning, Slurpee in the evening, Slurpee at suppertime.
So, I’ve paid my dues when it comes to buying Slurpees. And every year, when July 11th rolls around, I view it as a mini-holiday and make plans to take an hour out of my day to track down the closest 7-11, pay homage and collect my free slurpee no matter how small or paltry. Last year I was home, so I drove the half-mile distance from my New Jersey home to the local store and indulged my cold tooth. This year (uh, today) I’m working at my day job in Manhattan and though 7-11 has proliferated throughout New York in the last few years, it’s still tough to get to one. The closest 7-11 to my office is a mile away on Church Street and so…as my lunch break commenced…I stepped out to the blisteringly humid city streets to enjoy a cold reward at the end of a mile-long hike uptown.
To be fair, if you pay attention to the promotion on the 7-11 website, there’s a qualifying line of copy that reads “while supplies last at participating locations.” The line is small, written in what I like to call “legal type” and is colored in a way that it’s all but hidden. The larger copy basically says “Our birthday, our bash—enjoy a free Slurpee!” and then gives you a link to find a store. Most casual readers won’t see that qualifier, and if you’re reading about the promotion in the news or hear about it from friends, that “while supplies last” bit is glossed over or forgotten. What they fail to inform the general public about is that each participating location gets a certain amount of cups—say, one thousand—and once the supply exhausts itself, the promotion for the location is over. No auxiliary supply. No equal amount in a different cup. No direction to a nearby store. Simply a little sign that reads “We’re out at 11am. No more free Slurpees.”
Now again, to be fair, 7-11 owes me nothing, nor do they owe anything to the general public. And let’s be honest—I mean, it’s about half the size of a small Slurpee for folks too cheap to pay the buck for the small itself. So yeah, this whole post is going to get the “get over it” reaction I’m expecting…but my experience removes some of the fun and festivity surrounding the promotion and if I’d seen the qualifying legal copy a bit more clearly, and if 7-11’s nationwide ad campaign stressed that you better ACT NOW ACT FAST BEFORE SUPPLIES RUN OUT I may have stayed at the office and wouldn’t feel as dejected as I did walking away after a mile-long hike in the humidity, slinking back to work past a Dunkin’ Donuts (from which, I swear, I could hear promotional images of the Captain America Coolatta silently laughing at my retreating, sweat-stained back).
Seriously, though? Come on. It’s a free half a cup of frozen syrup. My kid got one this morning with Mrs. SodaBlog, he loved it, and for that I’m grateful to the good people of the Seven and the Eleven. But next year let’s find a way to get EVERYONE a free Slurpee, eh? Less angry mobs shouting at patiently stone-faced underpaid convenience store managers, threatening to send emails to the corporate offices and/or the local news. Because it tarnishes my image of a cold respite on a hot day, and it takes a pleasant annual surprise and transforms it into an ugly, bitter scene.
How about next year you offer coupons or discounts for half off a Slurpee at a later date for those who make the trek only to come up short? Double or triple the amount of cups provided to participating locations? Or hell, why not just boldly state on the website or advertising promos that it’s a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED situation to manage expectations and let the angry mobs know that if they get there too late they’re shit out of Slurpees?
Because otherwise—and perhaps this might be coupled with business reports I’ve been reading—all it looks like is a way to lure folks to the store with promise of a shiny they may not get, hoping that once they’re there salivating for said shiny they’ll simply plunk down the cash and pay for it anyway.
Which, you know, that’s definitely good business. It’s smart business.
But it sure leaves a terrible taste in your mouth.
July 11th: The Day Angels Descend From Heaven
That’s right, folks—it’s that time of year again, the eleventh of July—or 7/11—when, if you patronize a local, participating 7-11 the angels masquerading as apathetic register jockeys will deliver unto you one container of frozen manna: a Slurpee, dudes, FREE O’ CHARGE.
So run—don’t walk, are you CRAZY?—to 7-11 and get your free Slurpee today.
You’ll be glad you did.
Aw, nertz. Just like the amazing Thor 16 bit game, this Captain America version has come along to ruin my productivity.
Back again, talking about soda like I should be, once I BASH THESE HYDRA AGENTS IN THE HEAD WITH MY HEAVY, HEAVY SHIELD.
Adventure Aquarium, Camden NJ | July 3rd, 2011
THEY STRIKE FROM ABOVE
Adventure Aquarium, Camden NJ | July 3rd, 2011
THEY STRIKE FROM ABOVE
Years ago I wrote a column called TAKE THAT. Fun and ridiculous, the column offered parodies of various notable comic book characters and my unique way of presenting them to a world that loves and fears them. The column originally ran at now defunct website Buzzscope and then for a time at the Newsarama Blog.
Thing is, some of my best writing had been done for TAKE THAT and yet only received limited airplay/readership and so rather than let those pieces disappear into the ether, I’d like to run a few of the gems here at the blog under the TAKE THAT AGAIN banner.
This first piece appeared at Newsarama in May 2008, immediately following the release of the first IRON MAN film. I enjoyed the give and take of this piece, the two differing personalities, inspired by an Aquaman interview I’d done at Newsarama. Here then after the jump, three years later, I once again present the Twelve-Step Tony Stark Interview: