By Keith N Fisher
Are you one of those who takes full advantage of a soda fountain? By that I mean, do you fill your cup, drink half, and fill it again?
I remember a time when I could buy a bottle of pop for a ten-cents from the machine at the gas station. Of course there was a deposit on the bottle, so we hung around until we finished.
Soda fountains were in hamburger stands and I don’t remember how much a drink cost from there, but it couldn’t have been much more. When they moved the fountain out for the public to fill their own cup, things changed. Some places offered a fixed price, allowing me to get free refills. Generally, cup size didn’t matter at those fountains. It was all you could drink anyway.
The all you can drink rule was a boon to the soda-drinking public, but it caused a greedy attitude. Now, there are many fountains offering a cheaper price for refills, but they don’t offer all you can drink.
While working in a convenience store, I watched customers come in, fill a cup with soda, drink half, then fill it again. I wonder how they justify their greed. It might be different if there was an, all you can drink sign, or free refills, but in my store, that wasn’t the case.
I also saw people taste different kinds of soda, change their mind, and not purchase a drink. Why would they buy one? Their thirst had been quenched.
Shaking my head, I ponder how our society came to feel so entitled? I remember my experience at the gas station and wonder if it’s a money thing. Then I realize wages were lower back then, the cost of living, far less.
Today, there is unrest in the world, political polarization threatening our republic, and many other problems to deal with. So, Why would I bring this up? What could soda fountain ethics have to do with writing?
Much of my writing is based on my life experience. My characters are modeled after bits and pieces of the humanity, I’ve seen. Plots are driven from my personal experiences and those of others. With so many different occupations under my belt, there is richness in my writing. I learned a lot about people while working at a convenience store. I learned a lot about drinkers when I managed a bar.
I’ve always been a meticulous observer. Therefore I thought I had a handle on human nature, but lately, I’ve been mystified. Humanity seems to have slipped a cog in the gears of life.
So I ask, What do you do? Does the self-serve drink machine offer an all you can drink invitation? Can you buy a bottle of pop and expect to get another for free?
Good luck with your writing—see you next week.