Posted by David
on Sep 25, 2003 in Upside-down Hippo
| 0 comments
I was going to write today about my new sound system. I think it’s called a sound system. I actually don’t know what a sound system is. But anyway . . . its sound, it’s a system. Work with me here.
I was going to write about my new sound system, which I purchased in a brief fit of consumer insanity last week. The fit lasted only long enough for me to saunter into Circuit City, slap down my credit card, and saunter out a great deal poorer but as the owner of a brand-new stereo tuner with surround sound, five tower speakers, and enough power to blow the roof off my building (or at least make my downstairs neighbors very, very angry).
I was going to write about that, and about how it took Rob hours to put together and set up, and about how we couldn’t get it to work at first, and we thought it didn’t work, and then we found out we were doing it wrong, and it did work after all.
I was going to write about all that.
And then I had some root beer.
Last night, Rob brought over some cans of A&W root beer for root beer floats. This morning, the empty cans were lined up, waiting to be recycled, and I noticed something strange about them. The cans, painted the typical A&W golden brown, are festooned with subtle-but realistic-illustrations of water droplets, as if they have been sitting in a bowl of ice on a humid afternoon and condensation has formed.
Don’t they look cool and delicious and thirst-quenching.
No, they sort of look like they’ve been dunked in poison and left to dry.
What the A&W people hope to get out of this, I can’t imagine. I mean, their slogan is “frosty mug taste,” not “frosty aluminum can taste.” Most customers buy A&W root beer from the store shelves, where people certainly look askance at any sort of alien liquid dripping down the products they are considering purchasing. If they do happen to buy it from a machine, the decision has been made by the time the can puts in its appearance. Those little drops of refreshing dew aren’t going to influence anyone one bit.
I suppose I’m just cranky because I don’t see why people have to change things all the time. What was wrong with the A&W cans they had when I was a kid? It is true that the great mantra of marketing is that things need to appear fresh and new, but what’s wrong with stale and old? I mean, it’s an aluminum can full of poisonous chemicals, for heaven’s sake. Why not highlight the fact that no one would be able to tell the difference if it was manufactured yesterday or in 1979?
Or maybe I just answered my own question. Never mind.
I wish I could blame my purchase of a new sound system on mistakenly drinking root beer manufactured in 1979, but it was all my own idea. My television speaker blew out, and I somehow got the notion that adding on some surround-sound speakers that cost twice as much as the TV did originally would be a better idea than replacing the set.
It’s sad that a can of root beer, if left untouched, would last decades longer than a television. Of course, the television, buried in the junkyard, might get the last chuckle if someone twenty years later encounters the dusty A&W can, wonders what that stuff is dripping down the side, and throws it away without opening it.