Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Magic of Pop

I overheard a participant in a neighboring food program comment to another that the food wasn't so good tonight. The second woman answered, I don't go for the food, I go for the coca cola.

I was somewhat primed to hear this comment. A couple of weeks ago a client told me he goes to the food program (aka soup kitchen) for the pop. Now, I've volunteered in the same soup kitchen on a few occasions and had the food each time. I've enjoyed it. It's a similar menu from month to month, main dishes usually include meat, and meals are fairly healthy but flavorful. 

These incidents (another recent one took place where I overheard a similar comment) got me thinking about the allure of pop. Now I do enjoy my soda drinks. I certainly appreciate another person's enjoyment of them. I also know I would be blowing it out of proportion to think about this too much, but it had already been the third time I heard a client comment about going to the cafe for the drinks. And while maybe the woman was joking about coming to eat for coca cola, the other two weren't. What's this great appeal? It's one thing if a person is experiencing homelessness and say access to drinks are much more difficult. Two clients aren't homeless and should be able to afford a big bottle of soda. Is it that it's free and they can have a lot of it during the meal? Is it the comfort in reliable flavor? Do they really not enjoy the food so much?

Of course a lot of people eat at the food program and I'm putting a lot of weight to three comments. Maybe it was just a coincidence I heard all three in close timing to one another. I suppose the idea that a person would enjoy the drinks more than the food -- to the point it would be deciding factor in bringing them back -- is hard for me to understand (unless a person really has difficult access to soda).

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