The greatest show on earth, or at least between Interstate 5 and state Route 512, opens today. Y’all are invited to cash out your 401(k) accounts, mosey on down to Meekerville and follow this year’s slogan, “Make Your Escape.”
Beware, however, if one of the things you’re trying to escape is multinational corporations bent on monopolizing the market, foiling your freedom of choice and sucking your soul through a straw.
For the first time, Coca-Cola is the sole nonalcoholic refreshment sponsor of the Puyallup Fair. Pepsi was kicked to the curb.
The fair practically popped its top announcing a five-year deal: “Coke’s 125-year-old commitment to quality, community, and family-oriented activities makes it a perfect match with our brand and mission,” Fair CEO Kent Hojem effervesced.
Not that we have any rooting interest in the rival fizzy-drink empire. We stopped buying its brand in 1989 when it quit making that cutting-edge breakfast cola, Pepsi A.M.
But with its power play in Puyallup, Coca-Cola has sent a scary message: It won’t rest until it alone controls the world’s faucets and rivers, and sees them flowing with the company’s frothy brown nectar.
Meanwhile, the Washington State Dairy Council has something to say, too. No stranger to the fair, the council is helping start a nutritional campaign encouraging students to choose milk over soda.
Blimey! Smells like we have a good, ol’-fashioned beverage-industry smackdown! Rumble in the Gold Parking Lot at midnight!
Gee, in a state where voters rejected a 2-cent soda tax last year, we wonder who will win.
Turns out the exclusive contract with Coke, leaked by unreliable sources to The Nose, has provisions strongly favorable to the company and its subsidiary products:
- In even-numbered years, the fair is to be held at corporate headquarters in Atlanta.
- Change famous jingle from “Do the Puyallup” to “Sprite the Puyallup.” Focus group members say the original made them thirsty for Mountain Dew.
- The kids’ trout fishing pond must be filled with Dasani bottled water. The hot tubs? Snapple.
- In a bloodless coup, Puyallup Mayor Kathy Turner is replaced by Mr. Pibb.
- New midway treat: deep-fried VitaminWater.
- As shown in a top-secret photograph, Coke launches experiments using local FFA students to create a super race of cows.
Hyper-caffeinated cows. Also, lactose-intolerant.
Fun fair facts: Here’s some trivia provided by the fair that you can take sitting down.
An estimated 6.876 million feet of toilet paper was flushed last year (enough to cover the distance from Puyallup to Denver) and 401,000 toilet seat covers were used (enough to cover the seats at the Seahawks stadium almost nine times).
We should feel pangs of collective environmental guilt for these stats. Not to mention pity for the guy whose job is to stretch TP across the Rocky Mountains.
No rose for The Nose: We weren’t invited to the VIP party before the grand opening of the new Tacoma City Grocer this week. But we’re told the downtown store gave a long-stemmed rose to each of its guests in a play for their long-term love and fidelity.
So basically, it was an episode of “The Bachelor,” minus the invitation to the fantasy suite.
Fishy business: A record heat wave and a spilled load of bloody fish heads on the freeway make for a nasty combination. So kudos to the state trooper who grabbed a shovel and went to work on I-5 in north Seattle earlier this week.
Like Grandma Schnoz used to say: When life gives you fish heads, make bouillabaisse.
And the winners are: If Tacoma teachers strike next week, they win because they’ve been preaching smaller class size, and you can’t get much smaller than zero. Superintendent Art Jarvis wins because Foss High School is finally empty.
But the biggest winners of all? The Puyallup Fair and Coca-Cola. Taking in thousands of children with nothing to do and nowhere to go is part of their master plan.
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