Tuesday, May 29, 2007

COKE IS IT! (or Listen to Zappa's "Peaches en Regalia" Right Now)

I'm not supposed to say anything, but since you're all my friends I know you can keep a secret. I got a job as an "Experimental Flavor Developer" with the Coca-Cola co. I've actually been doing freelance work for them for a few months, I've done well so they've brought me "in house". I'm pretty excited. Having influence over the taste of the most consumed product on the planet is incredible. I just got a bit of a chill writing that. Coke is a pop culture icon, you know?

It's a weird kind of gig because it's part conceptual and artistic and part science. I have to come up with an idea then work with a team of "flavor synthesisers" to make it a reality. It's like making function follow form, if you know what I mean. I haven't been, nor will I be told how many others are Flavor Developers and we all work independently. I have been told however to not expect to have any of my concepts reach production. That said I really don't know how a determination is made as to my employment status. If nothing you do ever makes money, how does that reflect on an annual performance review?

Anyway, I'm thrilled to get the gig so I'm not really thinking about any future with "The Company". "It's really an honor just to be nominated."

I was told to relax, be myself and just let the ideas flow from within. So, now to the sneak peak . . . My thoughts first brought me to baseball and gave me the idea to add the smell of fresh cut grass to the drink. To really drive home(pun intended) the "at the ball park" experience I want the opening of the bottle to sound like the crack of the bat, then the fizzing of the drink as it's poured to simulate the roar of the crowd. I've been told this is physicaly imposible but they gave me 4 guys and 2 months to work on it anyway. I've already filed for a 1 month extension on the project.

No matter how big a company gets there's always room for expansion. Coke's already conquered the human species so now it's time to reach out. Hence, low carbonation beef and liver flavored Coke for dogs. I tried out the prototype on Angus and he went nuts for it. Cola nuts!

You may not have seen the new "vitamin coke" or whatever they're calling it, but that wasn't my idea. I got a fat raise however for suggesting we donate boatloads of it to starving nations. Once they're up and on they're feet again they'll be our best customers. Unlike the cigarette companies, we want to keep our customers alive.

I've heard the phrases, "red bull and vodka" and "Jagerbombs" belched out in a moist cloud from 20 somethings lately it struck me that the old standby "Jack and Coke" was getting passed by. "intoxiCOKE!" hit me from out of the sky like a lightning bolt from the hand of Zeus. Alcohol infused Coca-Cola! Think about it!

I've also had more than a few mundane flavor concepts. "Coca-Cola Cabbage", "Carrot Cake Coke", if this gets past "concept stage" I'd like to see Carol Burnett be the spokes woman. "Super Cold Coke". I've no idea how this one'll taste, but what a name huh?

Did I mention I get all the Coke I can drink for free! That alone makes the job worth doing. I have a few other flavors I'm working on. I'll keep you posted. I think I've knocked it out of the park with 3 men on base with this one though. Ready for this?!? . . . MONEY SCENTED COKE! Need I say more?

Take THAT Andy Warhol!

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