Thursday, September 20, 2012

Supply and Demand

One of life's tragedies is when something monumental occurs, something that is so huge and dramatic and staggering that the earth actually tilts even more on its so-called axis than it already does. I say 'so-called' so I can have plausible deniability when so-called scientists revert back to their original flat earth theory, which you know perfectly well they'll do if it means a government grant to study just who was responsible for that nonsense about globes.

And then the monumental, staggering thing is overshadowed by smaller, less significant events -- in this case, the Republican and Democratic conventions.

Because of all that political stuff, the universe nearly missed the earth / axis thing mentioned in the opening paragraph, namely, the LDS church finally admitted in print that Joseph Smith never -- no, not once -- said anything about Diet Coke. Not in speeches, not in writings, not in a boat, not with a goat, and certainly not in the presence of green eggs and ham.

As you well know, this came as no surprise to me and my wired band of rebels, although we're happy to no longer have to drink our Diet Coke in caves or behind the water heater.

But here's what else you missed when you were watching the Democrats party (had a nice beat and I could dance to it) and / or the Republicans hold Stake Conference (allowing dear Mitt to practice his 'passing a kidney stone' face, which I think was supposed to be his 'looking very loving and caring and not richer than Australia' face):

There was a full-on RIOT at BYU following the announcement!

I'm not talking about the announcement that the University of Utah football team had defeated the Cougars 24-21 after a questionable episode wherein all the BYU fans rushed the field and dragged their players to safety before they inadvertently kicked a successful field goal one minute before Sunday, which would have forced the game into overtime and created a real conundrum for the Gnat Strainers Booster Club.

No, this riot had to do with BYU declaring that the reason caffeinated soda hadn't been sold on campus until now was that -- you need to sit down, because this declaration will make you want to jump right back up again and holler, "Seriously?" -- there had never been a demand for it.

I know, right??

I personally myself am acquainted with just scads of BYU faculty members -- and by 'scads' I mean 'two' -- and I know for a fact -- and by 'fact' I mean 'I'm just making this up as I go along' -- that contraband Diet Coke has been spirited onto that campus in blue tote bags and giant purses for years!

No demand? What were those poor, deprived BYU students and teachers supposed to do -- stand at the cafeteria soda dispenser and demand that Diet Coke squirt out of it immediately or there would be heck to pay? Goodness, they're all so wan from lack of caffeine they barely have the energy to ignore the fact that "Cougar Eats" is a silly name for a food court.

(Note: I don't know if it's actually called 'Cougar Eats' any more on accounta I've only been on the BYU campus a handful of times and I never ate there because -- wait for it -- they didn't sell Diet Coke.) 

One year Elisa Scharton and I were at a conference at BYU, and we stopped at a Chevron station on our way to the campus to purchase junk food and Diet Coke (which, no, is not in the junk food category, thankyouverymuch. It has diet right in the description).

When we got to the conference, another conference attendee caught us with our drinks. I was astonished at her powers of observation, as I had cunningly hidden my bottle in plain sight on the counter where they were handing out name badges and (evidently) 'judging other people' day-passes. And she asked the poor kid working the registration desk whether we were permitted to have that on the premises (she said it in italics and everything). For what it's worth, I hadn't given it a moment's thought. But then I'd driven up from Vegas and was just happy to see that everybody involved was dressed. It was therefore entirely likely that my moral compass required a bit of recalibration.

But back to the hapless undergrad at the registration desk, who said -- and while this is a direct quote it is not necessarily a comment on the quality of education at BYU, though it does cause one to raise an eyebrow -- "We are not affiliated with caffeine."

I had heard that BYU did not affiliate with terrorist groups or human traffickers. But I was shocked to learn that they had severed all negotiations with caffeine.

Anyway, back to the riot. Sit down again, this gets hairy.

A young man who can not be identified because I don't feel like searching Google this late at night, took 200 cans of Coke and Pepsi to the BYU campus, and began handing them out for free.

He was only able to distribute 50 of the cans before campus police brutally -- and by 'brutally' I mean 'quite pleasantly, all things considered' -- requested he vacate the premises before they called down fire and brimstone upon his head as per university policy.

So, like ancient messengers bearing unpopular news before him -- Jonah and Elijah spring to mind -- that brave boy scooped up his caffeinated beverages and wheeled his little cooler off the campus as fast as anyone can travel when dragging those stupid wheeled coolers behind them.

That was it. That was the riot. Hey, I never said it was Kent State.

But though he'd been banished, he'd made his point: Despite the efforts of the BYU propaganda machine, there was obviously an incredible demand for free soda on the BYU campus. Boy, were campus officials' faces red, which was even more annoying because they were caught at BYU sporting the University of Utah's colors right there on their foreheads.

I for one am proud of Mormons in the News these days. Mitt has learned to look earnest, Brandon Flowers said, "Oh, yeah?" to a stuffy Norwegian atheist before performing with his band The Killers of Anyone Who Mouths Off About Mormons, and Glenn Beck ... well, give me a minute on that one.

But I'm mostly proud of that young Cougar and his Cooler of Righteous Indignation. Nothing like raising a frosty, frothy Ebenezer in defiance of zealotry everywhere.

And I am so relieved we have the official go-ahead to affiliate with caffeine again. I always enjoyed their peppy little meetings.

And by 'peppy' I mean 'buzzed.'


L.T. Elliot said...

We. Are. Vindicated! *wild fanfare*

Pianamama said...

Hilarious, as always. Have you tried the peanut butter m&ms? My husbands favorite part is the peanut butter - he doesn't care for the chocolate. So my Christmas stocking present to him will be a baggy full of just the peanut butter nuggets after I've eaten off all the chocolate. It's a win-win. Unfortunately, I don't care for diet coke to help slide it down. Can we still be virtual friends?! Is it fudge season yet?!

Sherrie Shepherd said...

I love this!! All except for that "diet" part. As a leaded Coke addict I can't agree wholeheartedly to BYU being caffeinated, just not aspartameated

Sherrie Shepherd said...

I meant can. Not cant. I CAN agree to BYU being caffeinated. Sheesh. Stupid auto correct.

Cheeseboy said...

I never once was questioned about drinking Coke during my time at the University of Utah. In fact, they actually sell the stuff in vending machines there!

Barbaloot said...

I'm personally shocked at the level of debauchery already being displayed and think BYU should continue it's lack of affiliation with caffeine. What's next? We're not longer the most stone cold sober university?!

Also, I think it's just called the eatery now? I'm not sure, though.

Stacy said...

Well, see, DeNae, you and I and LT all know that our previously illicit daily Diet Coke infusion was the only thing keeping us from being translated on the spot. Now that Diet Coke has been declared NOT to be a mortal sin (except, obviously, at BYU,) we better prepare for sudden rapture.

mCat said...

Oh my, my poor abs are sore from laughing. One of your finer pieces of work my friend.

I've been on campus only a handful of times and every single one of them with a liter bottle of contraband stashed in my bag. EVEN IN THE BOOKSTORE!

Dixie Mom said...

I do think that was the lamest excuse to come up with for never having caffeinated drinks. It's basically a lie.
Just be there during Women's Conference and you'll know why that's a lie. I can't even tell you how many times I'v heard people complain about it.
One way or the other, someone should just apologize. It's could be a misunderstanding from church headquarters. It could be BYU's principles...either way...just say, oops...let's get you some caffeine! Time to stop making Diet Coke drinkers feel like their sinning!

Just SO said...

I can't even begin to tell you how hard I rolled my eyes and guffawed at the statement that about caffeinated drinks not being "in demand". Isn't there a little commandment about "Thou shalt not lie"

Love this post. Just had a DC this morning. (It would have been a full on Coke but I'm on a weight loss quest for the next 7 weeks.)

Julie Rayl said...

Hi. I'm new to your blog and I have to say that this post was hilarious. Great way to start the day. Sure would have liked to have been on campus when that guy was handing out the diet cokes. lol Thanks for the great post.

Sharon said...

Loved this!!! Granted, I try not to drink caffeinated sodas but not because of the WoW, just because I feel better when I don't. In fact, I avoid all soda, caffeinated or not. But I may make an exception the next time I'm on the BYU campus. Who knows how long it will be until's already been 20 years since the last time. Wait...I did have some Mtn. Dew on vacation. I was driving a LONG way, I needed it!

Fiauna said...

Love it! And, thank you for making this muddy topic clear.

Jami said...

I love this post. Funny and true.

Once upon a time, I was a no caffeine girl. Then I had kids and a physical issue with a narcolepsy-type thingy and Diet Coke beat the speed the doctor wanted to put me on. (Oh all right, that was hyperbole. It was a form of amphetamine, not actual speed.)

Garden of Egan said...

OK, that is hilarious.

I sorta have lost my interest in caffiene now that it's all sanctioned and stuff. It was my rebellious adventure.
Now what am I gonna do?

D-Zine said...

The REAL issue is that people who are self-proclaimed Coke and Pepsi addicts need to add those substances to their own personal Word of Wisdom "Do Not" list. The Brethren have recently put all addictions into the same boat: Word of Wisdom stuff, gambling and pornography. If you are addicted to a substance, you should probably not have it anymore, even if other people still can. For some people, they need to stop having chocolate, or ice-cream, or herbal tea, or french fries. If you are THAT devoted to a particular substance, YOU have a problem that is specific to YOU, while other people have problems that are specific to them. Any addiction will inhibit your ability to feel the Spirit and choose the right.

The other issue with this is the amount of judgement that has been passed on other people whose Word of Wisdom standards in regards to things in the "gray area" has been less than Christian. Judge yourself and what you need to do to feel the Spirit, and stop judging others by your own standard.

Kristina P. said...

I love this. And You.

And I really think that if I were still at BYU, I would suggest Chapter 2 of How To Be a Woman, in my feminism class.

Haha, oh, wait. We didn't have those.

Thora said...

I'm not a diet coke drinker, but I have it on very good authority that there is actually a vending machine in the HFAC (Fine arts - ie, music and theatre) building on BYU campus that sells caffeinated drinks. So apparently the people staying up all night to practice were demanding the caffeine. Also, it is cougar eats. Which I've never thought of before, but it is a rather silly name. (Yes, I'm a BYU alumna, it's true.)

AS Amber said...

I can't even imagine how difficult it must've been for you to put your precious can of Diet Coke inside that circle with a line through it.

I, for one, am very affiliated with caffeine.

This was hilarious!

Shawna Faye said...

"Mitt to practice his 'passing a kidney stone' face, which I think was supposed to be his 'looking very loving and caring and not richer than Australia' face" - Thank you for that apt description, I've been trying to explain to my husband why Mitt's face just bugs me and now, thanks to you, I can tell him.

Also, you know you are truly living in the last days when BYU severs negotiations with caffeine.

wendy said... all I can say. WHO WANTS TO DRINK SODA that's "unleaded"....not me.
It bugged the crap out of me to go to the games and NOT be able to buy a REAL diet coke...REAL

Becca said...

You are precious. And adorable. That is all. As you were.

Charlotte said...

When I read what the BYU spokesperson said I laughed and laughed. Then pulled it up at least 3 more times to read to family members so they could enjoy the ridiculousness of her statement.

Kazzy said...

I am so happy that your little special interest group is finally legitimized. And by 'legitimized' I mean better-looking and happier than anyone else. :)

Melanie Jacobson said...

I still get mad when I think of that story about that lady. I'm going to wash the bad taste away with some Dr. Pepper.

Melanie Jacobson said...

P.S D-Zine sounds absolutely delightful, yes?

Brittany said...

I think my roommates and I spent more time at the Taco Bell than on the BYU campus simply by virtue of the fact TB sold caffeine, so clearly there was a demand. People could have paid a lot less in tithing during those years if BYU had just sold Dr. Pepper at the Cougar Eats.
@Kristina- there actually was a Feminist Lit class when I was at the BYU and it was marvelous. But then they fired that professor for teaching the stuff they'd hired her to teach.

JoeinVegas said...

Your problem was that it was diet Coke, not diet Pepsi Free

Melanie said...

So, a funny thing happened to me once at my "mormon" bunco night. I don't like soda (don't pass out it's totally normal) but I thought I'd have some diet coke like the other ladies, peer pressure and all, and drank my way through the game. Afterwards I was CRAZY awake and talking fast and I couldn't understand why! One of the ladies says, "Well you drank a TON of soda!" To which I reply,"Yeah, but it's diet so no caffeine and no sugar right?" Oh the laughter that followed. . .