July 16th, 2002


One More Reason to Drink Coke

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a loyal Coke consumer. In a life marked by skepticism of marketers and distaste for “big names,” it is my only brand loyalty. When I was a small child, my mother would not let us drink glasses of soda except on special occasions, but whenever she poured herself a cup, she would allow us each just one sip from it. When I finally broke my sugary-drink habit, back in 1998, I switched to Diet Coke. One of my friends tried to give up caffeine for Lent one year, but broke down mid-way through. “Diet Coke,” she lamented, after commenting on the difficulties of paying bills, working two jobs, and having a husband searching fruitlessly for work after several months of unemployment, “is the only good thing in my life. I can’t give it up, too.”

I will not aver that Diet Coke is the only good thing in my life, but it has always been there for me: inexpensive, sparkly, sweet, peppy, and non-fattening. Through the doldrums of work and the highlights of roleplay, I can rely on Coke to be just the same as it always has been. (Aberrations like New Coke notwithstanding.)

Coca-Cola, as a company, has done little to earn my undying devotion, apart from putting out a consistent product at a cost less than most companies charge for bottling water. Yesterday, however, they did something of tangible good—and something particularly difficult for a large corporation to do. They announced that they would list stock options an expense in their financial statements from now on.
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