I had a photoshoot about 30 miles north of us today (a 3 month shoot with the sweetest little boy!!) and on the way home, I had a hankerin' for a Coke. So, I stopped at the McD's in town before I left and got a li'l kiddie meal w/ a Coke and a toy for Josefine. I guess I'd forgotten just how SMALL a small Coke is! Before I was halfway done with the fries, the Coke was gone...bummer! I couldn't possibly finish my fries without Coke. Well, at least that's what my pregnant brain was telling me. :)
It was then, I realized I was going the wrong way. Usually, that's disappointing, but this time, I was relieved to have to turn around and pass McD's again. I was entertaining the idea of getting another small Coke. Well, in my absent-mindedness, I missed the exit for the ONLY town in the area that has a McD's. I was doomed. 30 minutes left on the road, 1/2 a bag of fries and 4 chicken nuggets, and NO COKE. I called Jim and asked if there was a place to stop for a Coke in the next town I'd be entering before getting home. He assured me there was not. Deep down, I know this tiny town through which I was passing didn't even have a gas station, why would it have ANYthing else?
As I was passing through, I saw a sign that said "business district." Perfect! So, I followed the sign and found...well, nothing more than a bunch of dilapidated buildings and two guys talking by their pickups. So, I stopped and rolled down my window. The guys approached me and asked what they could do to help.
"I know this sounds really dumb," I introduced, "But, I'm looking for a Coke."
One of the men looked as though he were thinking really hard. Seriously? He finally answered "Well, there's a vending machine around the..." then he paused.
"Wait," he continued. "Do you mean a real Coca-COLA?"
I thought to myself, "ummm, yeah...that's why I said COKE." But, instead answered, "Yep, a real Coca-cola."
His reply. "You're not gonna find one of those in this town."
You're kidding, right? Wow...I must be well, experiencing small-town-central-Iowa-culture-shock!
First, apparently around here a 'coke' is the general term for 'pop' or in other cases, 'soda'. And second...not a Coke (the brand) to be found in an entire TOWN!
Not sure how our conversation ended, but he did suggest that maybe the bar would have something, so I thanked him for helping and found my way back to the main road out of town.
On the way out of town meant that I would be passing the bar. How in the WORLD could a BAR be a temptation for ME? Well, it was. I really, really, really wanted a Coke. When I passed the bar, I saw that there were two entrances. One said...well, "bar" on the door and the other door said "Pizza Pick-Ups". I figured I couldn't possibly get into an awkward situation if I went to the Pizza Pick-Up door. So, I did. Desperate for Coke.
No one was there...but, someone came over from the "other" side of the building and asked what they could help me with. I told them I was looking for a Coke.
"Sure!" the man chimed. "Just come on over here!"
Well, I followed him into a little place that didn't look like a bar at all. It looked like a little sit- down restaurant. There were two guys eating lunch and a nice lady at the counter who kindly got me a fountain Coke (just what I was looking for!) and bid me a good day. That was it? No, smoke-filled room with beer-drinking brawlers? Ok, then. I can handle that. One would think that a small town bar would be just that...well, I did anyway. And I'd never want to say I went into a small town bar either...because the one in OUR small town is NOT like that at all. Not sure how to interpret all of this...or how to feel about it, necessarily...
But, I got my Coke. It was a happy ending, at least.