The Rise and Fall of the One-Dollar Coke

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Caffeine.  It’s every teacher’s best friend.  In my case, it is also my nemesis.  You see, while most teachers get their caffeine fix from their antioxidant-rich morning cup of coffee, I get mine from an afternoon pick-me-up of Coca-Cola.  My name is Mrs. L.  And I’m a coke-aholic.

You wanna know what’s even worse?  Like most addicts, I try to convince myself that I’m not really a Coke-aholic.  I could stop if I wanted to. Didn’t I quit for 9 months while I was pregnant? I tell myself.  I even pretend like I don’t have a problem by not keeping any Coke in the house.  If it’s not in the house, I won’t drink it, right?  Wrong.  What do I do instead?  I drive through a drive thru and pick some up.

A couple of months ago I was incredulous when I saw on the McDonald’s menu that a small, medium, AND large Coke each cost the same amount: $1!  What? I thought.  How can this be?  This doesn’t make any sense.  I ordered a medium.  I paid $1 plus tax.  The next day I ordered a large.  I paid $1 plus tax.  I was beside myself giddy-happy.  Never mind the fact that I could pay less if I just stopped my neuroticism, bought some at the grocery store and brought it home.  I thought I was getting the deal of the century. I’m lovin’ it, I thought.

This love affair went on for several weeks.  I became acquainted with the McDonald’s staff.  I knew which McDonald’s was most likely to have the best ice-to-soda ratio.  I knew which staff member did the best job of wiping any soda drippings off the side of the cup.  I was a very chipper, caffeinated Mrs. L.

But then one day it happened.  I gleefully drove up to the drive thru speaker.


“Welcome to McDonald’s.  What can I get for you today?” came the familiar voice.

“A large Coke, please,” I said with a smile.

“Anything else?”

“No, thank you,” I said as I began counting out the $1.09 from the change I had collected in the center console of my car.

“Okay that will be $2.14 at the first window,” came back the voice.

I stared at the speaker in disbelief for a few seconds.  “O . . . kay . . .” I finally replied.

Darn you, McDonald’s.  Darn you and your delicious fries.  Darn you.