Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives… and I will be picking two posts from the blogs of those participating from the first six months of 2020. If you don’t mind me rifling through your archives… just let me know in the comments or you can find out the full scope: Posts from Your Archives – Pot Luck – 2020
This is the first post from thriller writer John W. Howell and this week John shares the top ten things not to do at the launch of that very popular soda….in 1886
This week marks the anniversary of the first time Coca-Cola went on sale at a drugstore in Atlanta in 1886. Its inventor, Dr. John Pemberton, claims it can cure anything from hysteria to the common cold. This is something we have to try. If you go, please take the following list so that you can be safe from the faux pas that could alter history forever.
Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Sale of Coca-Cola in 1886.
10: If you go, do not ask for a big gulp to go. If you do, at best, the server will pretend not to hear you. At worst, the police will be called. (The problem is, Kaiser, the first formula contained cocaine and the cops think you are a drug fiend.)
9: If you go, do not ask Tiny the WWF champ and soda jerk to add some cherry juice to your glass. If you do, at best, Tiny will let you know he has no cherry juice. At worst, Tiny, who has been sampling the product all morning, so your request triggers unpleasant memories about not telling the truth about chopping down a cherry tree. (You see, Kajatan Tiny has been on a treatment plan, and your request just sent him over the edge. I think if you start running now, you’ll be out of there before he finds his hatchet.)
8: If you go, do not ask for a bottle of Coca Cola. If you do, at best you’ll get a funny look. At worst, Dr. Pemberton will want to talk to you in the back room. (There is a problem, Kala. You see, Coco-cola was a syrup that was combined with soda water. It wasn’t until 1899 that the first bottle was sold. Now Dr. Pemberton want’s to know where you got the idea for a bottle. By the look on his face, I think I would opt for an insanity plea.)
7: If you go, do not think you will amaze the crowd with an exploding mentos trick. If you do, at best you won’t find mentos and a bottle. At worst, you locate a bottle, and since mentos were not invented until 1932, a big ole mint. (You managed to get Coca-cola and mint all over the pharmacy, Kalani. Dr. Pemberton is looking feverously through his desk drawers. I happen to know he keeps a Smith & Wesson .44 caliber revolver in that desk somewhere. I think it is time to say your apologies and hot foot it through the door.)
6: If you go, do not order a Coke. If you do, at best, the clerk won’t understand you. At worst, you’ll be surrounded by steelworkers. (The term Coke referring to Coca-cola was not coined until 1941 in an advertising campaign, Kalen. Therefore the steelworkers are more than happy to take you to the plant and give you a big ole bag of coke. Your super worry now is how to get away from your new best friends. Muldoon wants to buy you a drink.)
5: If you go, do not mention the name Pepsi-cola. If you do, at best, no one will hear you. At worst, since Pepsi was not introduced until 1894, Dr. Pemberton is thinking you are having a stroke. (Just lay back and let the good doctor put those leeches on you, Kalin. If you try to get away he’ll know something is up.)
4: If you go, do not let anyone know that the name Coca-cola was not trademarked until 1892. If you do, At best, the people you are talking to have no idea what a trademark is. At worst, you happen to mention it to Asa Griggs Chandler. (So Chandler spent about $2,300, which is worth $67,455 today acquiring the assets of the company and trademarked the name in 1892. You gotta believe, Kalle, he never would have thought the scheme up on his own.)
3: If you go, do not order a “Black cow.” If you do, at best, you’ll be asked to leave. At worst, someone will take you out back where the animals are kept. (You know a “Black cow” is ice-cream and Coke, Kami. Since such a concoction was not developed until later, you could not expect folks to understand you even though the ice cream soda was invented in 1874 in Philadelphia. I hope you are happy with your new milk cow. I’m not sure it will transport back here all that well. Those brown eyes are sure cute, though.)
2: If you go, do not talk about diet Coke. If you do, at best no one will care. At worst, you’ll be overheard by the local distributor and will be asked to meet him outside. ( It looks like he has a number of clients who use cocaine to maintain their weight, Kamron. I would not try to tell him he was mistaken. Afterall you now know who he is and that could get you. a free swimming lesson in cement overshoes.)
1: If you go, do not ask for a second glass of Coca-cola. If you do, at best, the clerk will refuse. At worst, Dr.Pemberton will enroll you in his newly established “Coping Clinic.” (Yes, a fiction writer would make up the story that one of the reasons he formulated the drink the way he did was to provide a funnel to his new sanatarium business. Do not deny you are hooked on his concoction, Kanishka. He’ll just use that as evidence that you are besides even if the story is not true why take a chance?)
©John W. Howell 2020
John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. The fifth book is a collaboration with the award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
Books by John Howell
One of the recent reviews for His Revenge
His Revenge follows on the heels of the previous book, My GRL. I had fun revisiting a great character, John Cannon, an ordinary nice guy forced into the role of a hero. He’s once again kidnapped and trying to outwit the terrorist mastermind plotting to create havoc in the US. I do recommend reading the books in order, even though the author provides adequate backstory to get the gist of what previously happened.
There’s plenty of action and danger, though less than in the first book. The pace starts out a touch slow, but when it picks up, it charges ahead. John isn’t a macho, gun-toting character, and the solutions to his problems rely more on his wits and a clever plan, along with some strongly developed allies that added depth to the story. The characters face some tough choices that will make the reader squirm.
The bad guys are quite diabolical, heartless, and seemed to cover every base. But they also struck me as a touch gullible, especially since they’ve been outwitted by John before. That said, the rationale backing up the plot is detailed and the solution well-crafted. The writing is professional, the dialog and characterization excellent. I’ll be reading more of John Cannon in the future.
Thank you for dropping in today and I know John would love to receive your feedback. thanks Sally.