Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Sale of Coca Cola in 1886

Top Ten Things not to do

 

This week marks the anniversary of the first time Coca-Cola went on sale at a drugstore in Atlanta in 1886. Its inventor, Dr. John Pemberton, claims it can cure anything from hysteria to the common cold. This is something we have to try. If you go, please take the following list so that you can be safe from the faux pas that could alter history forever.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Sale of Coca-Cola in 1886.

10 If you go, do not ask for a big gulp to go. If you do, at best, the server will pretend not to hear you. At worst, the police will be called. (The problem is, Kaiser, the first formula contained cocaine and the cops think you are a drug fiend.)

9 If you go, do not ask Tiny the WWF champ and soda jerk to add some cherry juice to your glass. If you do, at best, Tiny will let you know he has no cherry juice. At worst, Tiny, who has been sampling the product all morning, so your request triggers unpleasant memories about not telling the truth about chopping down a cherry tree. (You see, Kajatan Tiny has been on a treatment plan, and your request just sent him over the edge. I think if you start running now, you’ll be out of there before he finds his hatchet.)

8 If you go, do not ask for a bottle of Coca Cola. If you do, at best you’ll get a funny look. At worst, Dr. Pemberton will want to talk to you in the back room. (There is a problem, Kala. You see, Coco-cola was a syrup that was combined with soda water. It wasn’t until 1899 that the first bottle was sold. Now Dr. Pemberton want’s to know where you got the idea for a bottle. By the look on his face, I think I would opt for an insanity plea.)

7 If you go, do not think you will amaze the crowd with an exploding mentos trick. If you do, at best you won’t find mentos and a bottle. At worst, you locate a bottle, and since mentos were not invented until 1932, a big ole mint. (You managed to get Coca-cola and mint all over the pharmacy, Kalani. Dr. Pemberton is looking feverously through his desk drawers. I happen to know he keeps a Smith & Wesson .44 caliber revolver in that desk somewhere. I think it is time to say your apologies and hot foot it through the door.)

6 If you go, do not order a Coke. If you do, at best, the clerk won’t understand you. At worst, you’ll be surrounded by steelworkers. (The term Coke referring to Coca-cola was not coined until 1941 in an advertising campaign, Kalen. Therefore the steelworkers are more than happy to take you to the plant and give you a big ole bag of coke. Your super worry now is how to get away from your new best friends. Muldoon wants to buy you a drink.)

5 If you go, do not mention the name Pepsi-cola. If you do, at best, no one will hear you. At worst, since Pepsi was not introduced until 1894, Dr. Pemberton is thinking you are having a stroke. (Just lay back and let the good doctor put those leeches on you, Kalin. If you try to get away he’ll know something is up.)

4 If you go, do not let anyone know that the name Coca-cola was not trademarked until 1892. If you do, At best, the people you are talking to have no idea what a trademark is. At worst, you happen to mention it to Asa Griggs Chandler. (So Chandler spent about $2,300, which is worth $67,455 today acquiring the assets of the company and trademarked the name in 1892. You gotta believe, Kalle, he never would have thought the scheme up on his own.)

3 If you go, do not order a “Black cow.” If you do, at best, you’ll be asked to leave. At worst, someone will take you out back where the animals are kept. (You know a “Black cow” is ice-cream and Coke, Kami. Since such a concoction was not developed until later, you could not expect folks to understand you even though the ice cream soda was invented in 1874 in Philadelphia. I hope you are happy with your new milk cow. I’m not sure it will transport back here all that well. Those brown eyes are sure cute, though.)

2 If you go, do not talk about diet Coke. If you do, at best no one will care. At worst, you’ll be overheard by the local distributor and will be asked to meet him outside. ( It looks like he has a number of clients who use cocaine to maintain their weight, Kamron. I would not try to tell him he was mistaken. Afterall you now know who he is and that could get you. a free swimming lesson in cement overshoes.)

1 If you go, do not ask for a second glass of Coca-cola. If you do, at best, the clerk will refuse. At worst, Dr.Pemberton will enroll you in his newly established “Coping Clinic.” (Yes, a fiction writer would make up the story that one of the reasons he formulated the drink the way he did was to provide a funnel to his new sanatarium business. Do not deny you are hooked on his concoction, Kanishka. He’ll just use that as evidence that you are besides even if the story is not true why take a chance?)

68 comments

  1. What a delicious post, dear John! Open a Coke, open happiness! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For sure, Maria.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, dear John, my budgie Gregory used to drink Coca Cola. I guess that he enjoyed babbles tickling his beak 🙂 🙂 🙂 About his friend, elephant Peter, I cannot say…he has always kept silence 🙂 🙂 🙂 Which one do you prefer, by the way? I like vanilla version from MacDonalds.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do not drink Coca Cola but I do like the original.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Gwen M. Plano · ·

    Your list took me back to the drug store Soda Fountains of the 1950s. I haven’t thought about them since Ozzie and Harriett. Good grief, I’m getting old! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahaha. We all are getting old, Gwen. 😁

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  3. This was great, John! My mother used to make us “Black cows” on Sunday evening when we watched The Wonderful World of Disney. Thanks for the great memory!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a great memory. I can imagine how fun that woud be too. Thanks for sharing, Jill.

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      1. We had popcorn, too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OOOOOOO Luckyyyyyyyyyyy.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Good one! I particularly like #10. No one wants to end up in the Coping Clinic.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am thirsty. This was great, John, but now I want a cherry coke and a black cow. Do you think I could make a black cow with cherry coke? That would not help my diet. Of course, I got a lot of exercise running away from Tiny.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You can make a balck cow with cherry coke. I would imagine it would be quite good too. Thanks, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I may have to try that 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. With cocaine being in it back then – they should have served it to the WWI Allied troops. The war would have been won in a week!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good idea, GP. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. #1 is really interesting. Kind of a dark history there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the final version a line was left out about a fiction writer making up the story. He really did not formulate the product to serve as a funnel. I corrected the text. Thanks, Charles.

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      1. Ah. Cause I would have believed that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know. Glad you caught it.

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  8. I’m a Diet Coke fan and I had no idea Coke had been around that long. And I had no idea it was originally a syrup. Thanks for the lesson, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Teri. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  9. And for heavens’ sake, don’t break out in a chorus of “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” or you might have Tiny and his friends deciding to change your tune!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. Thanks, Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I didn’t realize Coca-Cola was that old, John. I learn so much from my talented online friends — thank you! Of course, now I’m thirsting for one and don’t have any in the house. Nor do I feel like braving the grocery store, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would have some wine instead.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! Coca-cola has been around since 1886. Who knew! I guess it wouldn’t be good to mention Coca-cola’s association with Santa Claus, would it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that came about in the 40s., Darlene. Was an ad campaign.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sounds like a well supervised event. I shudder to think what Tiny would deliver if I order a highball.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let see….you on the chandelier.

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  13. What a fascinating post, John! I did not know this history of Coca-Cola!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan

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  14. LOL, poor Tiny. John, I do enjoy the “cold, crisp taste of Coke.” I can tell that you’d “like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,” because that’s what your posts make me want to do. “Things go better with coke” and with you, because you “catch the wave.” You’re “the real thing,” my friend. Okay, I’ll stop. 😉 Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You made me laugh out loud, Tegan. Thanks and hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a brilliantly witty blog post! I personally love diet coke, and I was happy to learn about these facts!
    Best Wishes, Charlotte

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charlotte.

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  16. I never knew that. It goes in the file, to quote Marc. Wow…1886

    Liked by 1 person

  17. We made Black Cows with root beer and called ice cream mixed with Coke a Brown Cow. Either one would go down really well right about now…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The black cow was originally root beer. Then the the coke thing started.

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  18. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    Great list, John. I forgot about Mento in come explosion:)

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    1. Thank you, Denise.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve never heard the term “Black Cow” before. Is that a Midwest thing?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is. You are wise to stay away from them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember they would call chocolate milk and seltzer an Egg Cream in New York.

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      2. I think they still do.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I am not a fan of Coca Cola as my mother would not let us drink it because of the caffeine. We were allowed orange soda or God help me now, cream soda (I cannot even take a sip, it is so sweet). So, I never developed the taste for the stuff. Except. It doesn’t taste the same when it comes in those little glass bottles…. Oh dear. I have rambled.
    Excellent list, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale. Rambling is okay.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Great info, as usual. I’m sorry, but I read these more for the history lesson than the humor. I ain’t sayin’ the humor ain’t no good, but I love a good history lesson.

    I’ve got a Coca-Cola story. Back in 1968, I was hitchin’ somewhere in Missouri when an old school bus, brightly painted with psychedelic swirls and flowers stopped and picked me up. It was filled with hippies … or flower children if you prefer. I sat up front with the driver. The rest of the cabal ignored me.

    As the miles rolled on, the driver and I got to talking. And wouldn’t you know it, he was the heir to the Coca-Cola fortune. He told me about his private schooling in Switzerland and how he had been groomed to take over and run the company. But he didn’t want anything to do with that kind of life. So he dropped out, grew his hair long, and dropped acid.

    The next thing he knew, he had bought two old school busses and had them outfitted for some heavy duty traveling. He told me to look back behind us and I would see the other bus following in our wake.

    The gist of the story is that when they were passing through Kansas, they happened upon a field of marijuana. Of course they stopped both buses and picked all they could carry and then some. They had bags and bags of the stuff. They didn’t know it. And I didn’t know it, but it was not the getting high kind of marijuana, it was the NOT getting high kind of marijuana, hemp. I later learned that the U.S. Government had planted the stuff back during the war for making ropes for the navy. But we didn’t know that at the time.

    The guy was very generous. When he let me out near Atlanta (Coke’s headquarters), he gave me about a pound of the stuff. Back then a pound of pot was a really big deal. So I hitchhiked back to Miami with a bag of what was then—and still is—listed a Class A narcotic. By some miracle, I was not busted. Cops were always checking me out when they saw me standing on the side of the road with my thumb out. But I got back to Miami unscathed.

    I gave the pot to my brother. He told me the next day that it was crap. So, that’s my Coca-Cola story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked the story. I can’t imaging anyone giving up a pretty soft life for a bus (or two) full of smelly hippies. But that’s just me. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you like the history.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sometimes wonder how his life played out. I’m pretty sure he’s not a hippie anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m thinking he came to his senses or OD’d

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  22. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    It’s another great top ten list from John Howell’s blog. This one is the TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO AT THE FIRST SALE OF COCA COLA IN 1886

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Don.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. A fabulous post, John and you didn’t even need to mention the red and white Santa connection to coca cola. I didn’t know what a brown cow was, I have never heard that expression before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is pretty local here. Thanks, Robbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Hope all is well with you John.

    Regards Thom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All is Thom. I hope the same for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This was one of your best, John. From cocaine finding its way into many parts, to Diet Coke, and a Black Cow and much more. I loved this! The family story is, my grandmother was offered stock in Coca Cola early on and refused. 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie. Should have taken the stock.

      Liked by 1 person

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