City Paper is not for tourists
“Have you ever visited the Coca-Cola Museum?” I inquired of my bandmate. We had set our automobile’s controls to the heart of Atlanta, and were speeding towards that sprawling metropolis at speeds in excess of 80 m.p.h.
“No,” my bandmate replied. “What is the Coca-Cola Museum?”
“As you may be aware, the corporation that manufactures the popular soft drink Coca-Cola is headquartered in Atlanta,” I explained. “This corporation has erected a museum in its own honor to celebrate its profits and its product—-a sweet, bubbly, black beverage first concocted in Georgia before the dawn of the 20th century.”
“But one does one do in a Coca-Cola Museum?” my bandmate queried.
“The so-called ‘Coke museum’ offers a free education in all topics Coke-related,” I explained. “One can learn about the history of the Coca-Cola and the evolution of its aesthetics; one can study the Coca-Cola’s ingredients and read about its ongoing war with the Pepsi Corporation for control of the global marketplace; and one can, with heartfelt nostalgia, remember all of those special Coca-Colas one has drunk—-the Coca-Cola consumed before the first day of kindergarten, the Coca-Cola consumed before winning a little league game, the Coca-Cola consumed before unexpectedly losing one’s virginity at the senior prom, the Coca-Cola consumed on the last night of Hell Week during fraternity or sorority initiation, the Coca-Cola consumed before failing the New York or California bar exam, the Coca-Cola consumed on one’s wedding night during an awkward exchange with an unfamiliar relative, the Coca-Cola consumed before signing one’s first mortgage without a full understanding this legal document’s contents or meaning, the Coca-Cola consumed before the birth of a child one feels unready or unable to raise, the Coca-Cola consumed before one’s retirement from a job that one always thought would offer more stability, financial remuneration, or meaning, and the Coca-Cola consumed before the gastrointestinal, open-heart, and/or brain surgery one might survive but, ultimately, may not survive.”
“Hmmm,” my bandmate replied.
“In addition,” I added, “The Museum offers ‘all you can drink’ free samples of Coca-Cola products from around the world. These can be consumed until one becomes sick.”
“I’m sold,” my bandmate replied. “Let’s go!”
“I suspected that you would be initially suspicious, but ultimately enthusiastic about the Coca-Cola Museum,” I replied. “Coke is, after all, life.”