By Arnie Table | Guest Writer
I am in some deep, deep trouble. You know how there’s only two people on Earth who know the recipe for Coca-Cola? Well, I was one of them.
I was entrusted with this responsibility back in 1996. On a form, I lied and said I had excellent memory (I do not) and that I could make tasty beverages. From there I was immediately taken to Coca-Cola HQ, which was a strange building with sticky floors. It was there that they verbally told me the secret recipe. In exchange for my cooperation, I was granted free Coke refills for the rest of my life. Between then and last Tuesday, it was smooth sailing for the most part—me, slurping down copious amounts of free soda, and Coke, resting easy that I held their secrets in trust.
The precipitating incident occurred on July 28th. My son Calvin told me he was having a bassoon recital at 6:30pm on Monday. And like that, poof! That little factoid about my son’s wind instrumentation schedule must have pushed out the priceless 130+ year-old recipe. I was so devastated. I’m not sure if it was the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” or if it was that sequence of words that triggered a memory loss, or even if the twenty years of unlimited, round the clock soda consumption had something to do with my brain fart.
In exchange for my cooperation, I was granted free Coke refills for the rest of my life.
The reason for my writing today is twofold. Firstly, I was hoping the other individual who knows the Coca-Cola formula could shoot me an email. Craig, not sure if you’re reading this but I need your help, man. BAD. If not that, is there someone who could help me reverse engineer a bottle of Coke so I can fudge my way out of this? I’m not totally useless, I still recall some of the ingredients. I remember them telling me it contains sugar and corn syrup, so we can go from there. I will admit, I am at a complete loss when it comes to the bubbles. I tried adding Pellegrino to a sack of white cane sugar and all I got were bugs. And besides, what makes it brown? Every time I try to remember, I just keep getting the recipe for Diet Coke, and I have been trying to forget that for years.
Secondly, and I know this may not be the space for self-promotion, but I would like to offer my services to other soda companies looking to offload their secret recipe. I may have just admitted to losing a trade secret, but now I have the room in my brain for another one. I have over twenty years of experience in the field and feel reasonably confident that given another chance, I won’t screw it up again.
While I don’t think Coca-Cola will pursue legal action, I am worried that they will take away my free refills. At this point, I depend on Coke so much that even charging pennies per gallon would bankrupt me. Please advise.
And to Calvin: son, I am sorry I missed your bassoon recital. I forgot. ♦
Nate Odenkirk is on a diet, and only drinks Coke for the sugar.