What did they really mean when they said, International House of Burgers? This announcement set off an Internet-based conflagration not seen since the last silly thing that people got all worked up about for no particular reason. It made me think of how, once upon a time, Coca-Cola decided to ditch their old formula and start making New Coke, much to the dismay of human beings. This was back in 1985, when you had to use your MCI card to call friends across the country to rant and rave about this terrible rift in the pop culture stream. What was going through the hive mind at Coke headquarters that caused such a ridiculous notion to ever see the light of day, let alone set their plans for world domination back weeks by having to back fill in the wake of this glorious mistake with the "limited" return of Classic Coke? It wasn't long after the "New" and "Classic" distinctions were left in the dustbin of history and we were left with that singular pillar of American society: Coca-Cola.
Things change, but Coke stays the same. Except for that high fructose corn syrup replacing cane sugar thing. The secret formula that has been used since 1891 remains, essentially intact. Which doesn't keep the company from regularly trotting out variations of their soft drink on occasion. Very regular occasions. There are currently eight different variations available to sample at the World of Coca-Cola: Coca- Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Coca-Cola Life, Cherry Coke, Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, Vanilla Coke, Coke Zero Sugar Cherry. These flavor enhancements are by no means the only permutations of the Coke you know and love. You can mix your own secret formula at Coke Freestyle self-serve soda fountains at a location near you. There are, for example, twenty-five of these machines within a five mile radius of my current location, some of which are open late at night or early in the morning to allow me to be able to slake my thirst in whatever particular version of Coca-Cola I choose. Or to savor any of the thirty-three Coke-driven and supported beverages I have a mind to swill. Ain't this America? Isn't this the Future?
Or maybe all this is just the K-Mart Grill. You could get a pretty good burger there, and once you had your cup and a little ice, you could slide down the rail and mix your own disaster of a drink, made all the more "suicidal" by the goading of your friends. International House of Whatever. K-Mart has it all. Or did. Only change is constant.