Ordinarily, I am devoutly against unfair brand associations. I go out of my way to say "adhesive bandage" when others might say Band-Aid, "tissue" rather than Kleenex, "hook and loop fastener" instead of Velcro, so on and so forth.
In addition, I am a staunch advocate of patent reform; in the case of Lego v. Megabloks, I have to agree with the verdict which stated Lego cannot own the shape of the block, and thus other companies are allowed to make blocks that interact with Lego blocks. This is a good thing for both culture and the marketplace.
There's one product, however, that I actually advocate associations, provided the association causes a total domination of the market. That product is ketchup.
To me, there is only one ketchup, and if it were up to me only the Heinz corporation would be allowed to manufacture it. Conversely, I'd also be OK with forcing Heinz to allow other manufacturers to produce ketchup that falls within the guidelines they specify.
See, Heinz is simply the best, there is no contest. Many restaurants proudly serve Heinz because, as they should, their customers demand it. Some, however, decide they can defer costs by either refilling the Heinz bottles, or worse yet, refilling the Heinz bottles with inferior brands of ketchup, in the hopes that the consumer doesn't notice.
Let me tell you, sleazy businesses, I do notice. Those bottles say "do not refill" for a reason. See, when you top off a ketchup bottle, it allows the ketchup below the topped-off bit to ferment, thus ruining the flavor of the ketchup, and causing a misrepresentation of the glorious Heinz name emblazened across the bottle. This is a bad thing.
For a few years, I was considering writing a letter to the Heinz company, inquiring what the process to become a Ketchup Deputy entails. Could I have a badge to whip out of my billfold whenever I spot the telltale signs of ketchup corruption (tiny bubbles on the side of the bottle, or a foul non Heinz flavor)? Then I thought about trying to get Heinz to require licenses to display a Heinz bottle; only restaurants that pass the weekly ketchup inspections would be allowed to use the Heinz name. Then I realized that both of these measures are too costly, and ultimately would hurt America.
The way I see it, the only two options are: a) the total elimination of all other ketchup manufacturers, or b) a dilution of the trademark which would, in essence, make all ketchup into Heinz ketchup.
Either one of these would be O.K. by me, so lets go ahead and get on it. You can decide amongst yourselves which way you want to go, but clearly, America needs to unite under one ketchup. This country was founded on ketchup, and it is vital that we work together as a country to maintain our quality ketchup. Or ketchups, it's really up to you.
Every time that I order a hamburger at a restaurant, I enjoy having a carbonated beverage made from a nut fallen from the kola tree. What I've found is that most restaurants have some sort of exclusive deal with one of 3 large corporations: Coke, Pepsi and RC. 1 Honestly, I don't give a flying offensive reproductive slang term which brand I drink, I just want a cola and to be efficient about it.
What has always happened in the past is that I would try to premptively guess which company they have a relationship with and order that. Example: "I'd also like a... Coke... please."
"Is Pepsi OK?" my helpful server asks.
So next time I try it the other way: "I'd also like a... Pepsi... please."
"Is Coke OK?"
Tired of this crap, I recently decided to just premptively cover my bases and order a non-brand-specific beverage type: "I'd like a... cola please.."
to which has been responded with, "Is Pepsi/Coke OK2?" every single time.
The only thing I can think of to rectify this situation is to order like this: "I'd also like one of whichever cola flavored carbonated beverage your soft drink partner provides you with -- and don't you dare ask me if one or the other is OK, or it's no tip for you," but that will undoubtedly make me look like the asshole, so I can't do that.
This also brings up fast food drive-throughs. I always place my order followed with "and nothing else." They always ask "Do you want a Mountain Dew or some Mexi-fries??" No, I just flipping told you I wanted nothing else. Arg. But then if I angrily hit the talking clown speaker with my car, that makes me the asshole?
1: Essentially, it is only Coke and Pepsi, I can probably count the number of restaurants that have offered me RC Cola on my offensive gesture finger.
2: I seriously wish that the failed cola company named "OK Cola" were still around so that I could hear "Is OK OK?" from a helpful server.
While looking through stuff yesterday, I found a menu that I snagged from the restaurant atop the Space Needle 4 or 5 years ago. I apparently saved this due to the outrageous prices. See, they charge $16 just to go up in the Space Needle, but if you want to eat at the restaurant they waive the fee add it to the cost of food.
I present you with that menu.
Click to enlarge
Note how at the bottom, it says theres a $25 food charge; this doesn't include drinks or desserts.
A year or so ago I went there again, and had a $30 cheeseburger. $30. Cheeseburger. It was pretty good, but for $30 it should really be made of Angus Human.