And Now: China Enters the Ice Cold Cola War
FRESH FRUIT – Rhode Island’s Alternative Weekly
February 5, 1979
There are over one billion people living in Red China. That is a lot of people. No two ways about it. Now word has leaked out to the West that these billion folks, babies included, are hard at work modernizing. Of course, any degenerate slob that’s read some modern history or tried to redecorate a kitchen will quickly tell you that modernization takes a lot of effort. People who are modernizing tend to work up a powerful thirst. This is the first rule of the twentieth century: modernizing people are thirsty people.
The sweaty-mouthed problem can only be solved by one fluid: the carbonated beverage. It is the invention of the Wicked Technologists of the West, and the power brokers of this fine land think it’s high time we stop hoarding all the stuff for ourselves. Besides, the tail of dollars always wags the diplomatic dog; and in this case, the diplomatic dog is our relationship (I’m O.K. – You’re O.K.) with China and Russia, the Red bullies of the East. Ever since former used-car salesman (and president) Richard Nixon told the darling story of Tanya on Russian and American television, we’ve been giving the Cold War a little centralized heating.
We’ve taken showers with the Russians in outer-space and we’ve ping-ponged with the Chinese on land. We’ve sold the Russians amber waves of grain, and the feeling is on Wall Street that we would have coughed up our purple mountains too had the price been right. We even arranged a quicky divorce from Taiwan because we were so anxious to get the People’s Republic in the political sack. Never mind birth control for the Communists’ teeming masses, we Americans have products to be sold. And not just luxuries either, but essential staples like SALT.
Let’s not forget all the wonderful things the Chinese and the Russians have done in return. Those Pandas that China gave us are the cutest damn things in Washington, even cuter than Amy Carter. And the Russians have been swell guys for sending around their basketball team to be tarred-and-feathered in the states. But what the Chinese and the Russians don’t know is that these niceties are all for naught. Apparently, they are unaware that we have secretly uncorked (or can-opened) our secret weapon: the Cola.
Everyone knows that the Commies long been sapping our vital bodily fluids through the painlessly pernicious process of water fluoridation. Anyone who’s been to the movies knows that. Well, a few years back, after watching “Dr. Strangelove” for the third time, Nixon decided to fight fluid with fluid, and he laid the highway for Pepsi-Cola’s parade to Moscow. Since Pepsi signed their no-cut, no-trade contract with the Kremlin, there has been scant singing on the part of the sons and daughters of Mother Russia about anything resembling feelin’ free. Give them time. Feelin’ free doesn’t happen overnight. Jefferson knew that.
In time, they’ll learn the slogan, and with the slogans will inevitably follow the rise of bourgeois, capitalistic democracy and the fall of totalitarian communism. Or, so think the schemers at Cola Control. Pepsi is our way to Americanize Russia: we know that a people, no matter how resilient, cannot for long live with the agonizing contradiction of drinking Pepsi and supporting a communist government. Could you? When the chips are down, Peps will stay and Marx will go.
Now the Coca-Cola corporate controllers down in Atlanta wanted a piece of the action as well. If Russia went Pepsi, they figured China would go better with Coke. They were right. Unassumingly, the usually sharp Chinese were taken in by the appropriate red cans. And wouldn’t those white waves and lettering be a comfy symbol for their peaceful intentions? Moreover, Red China was flattered by the Coke executives’ suggestion that, all along, they had wanted to sell to China and not to Russia because they had realized that Chinese Communism was The Real Thing. They convinced Teng that Mao had made a grave mistake by kicking Coke out of China. Yes, sir, the Coca-Cola executives sure knew their Marxist dialectics.
They also convinced Teng (pronounced Dung) that the good people of China who are often forced to stay up all night modernizing, would be more alert and vivacious with the help of Coke’s liberal dose of caffeine. Forget tea, said the men at Coke. Tea had never worked. When the Chinese relied on tea, thousands of years went by and all they had to show for them were some dainty vases and a few terrific haikus. All this will change with a little Coca-Cola in their veins. And of course, the Chinese will unwittingly be drinking the very essence of the American Way of Life with every drop of carameled, sugared, carbonated water. This has been our government’s plan all along.
But these are just the long-range goals. Pepsi’s march to Moscow and Coke’s push to Peking will surely benefit Americans. For one, all the money reaped in sales (Carbo-dollars) will finally provide us with a way to balance the influx of Soviet controlled Petro-dollars from the Mid-East. In addition, every ruble and yuan spent on dental bills caused by the noxious soft drink sugar and phosphoric acid will be one less ruble and yuan that the Pinkos can use for their war machine’s attempt to make the world sing in perfect pink harmony.
Second, every moment spent agonizing over the gaseous stomachs sure to be caused by all those 16-ouncers will necessarily be one less moment thinking about world domination, a Kremlin in Kansas City, and ping-pong in Portland. This is bound to hurt the Communist cause. Lastly, all the toxic chemicals in Pepsi and Coke should give the Communist countries a cancer rate to be proud of, one that will make swift cuts into the Communists’ manpower advantage. Fizz a few million middle-aged Commies out of the picture and all of a sudden a good old land war seems like nothing to be afraid of.
With their lethal killer saccharin, the diet varieties cannot but help the cause. Diet Pepsi and Coca-Cola’s “Tab” should also have a more subtle effect: they will make the Commies vain. I ask you, where vanity walks can rampant individualism lurk but a city block behind? One slug of Tab, and revolutionary solidarity will give way to French jeans and jogging. One gargle of Diet Pepsi, and the Russians will want Cosmopolitan, not Communism.
Let’s face it, once we hook the Russians and the Chinese on our colas, then we’ve got them in the palm of our hands Jimmy Carter and Barry Goldwarer may be feuding in public, but it is all a show to make things seem legitimate. Neither man would dare endanger the first train-load of 500,000 bottles of Coke which left Hong Kong last week for Shanghai, Canton, and Peking. Behind closed doors at Cola Control, these men and others are insuring the security of the United of States of America not only with cruise missiles, but with carbonation.
But if you think they’re sitting on their cans after sewing up Russia and China, you’re wrong. Every enemy must be taken care of, even if they are not yet in power of their country. This is why our government is helping Seven-Up, till now shut out of all Cola strategy, land an exclusive contract with the government of South Africa to sell their product to South Africans blacks. After all, our government has long considered them to be an UnPeople in an UnNation. And Cola Control is hoping that the UnCola will Undo them. Permanently.