Net: Now that we’v…

Net: Now that we’ve dispensed with all the hellos, it’s time to get down to business. There are issues to discuss! Advice to give! So don’t have a fuss, it’s time to live! And … Network!!!!!

HAVE A COKE AND A SNEER

From Mad Like Jethro: Ya know, I am sure you remember the days of Pepsi. Unlimited Mountain Dew with any meal Net: We still lie awake at night just thinking about it, or whatever your particular poison was. And, of course, the even 50 cents for a can — why, you could get two cans for a dollar, if you were so inclined. Net: Yep Sonny, them were the days.
Then came the days of Coke, when you now had the welcome choice of bottles (for 85 cents) and the unwelcome choices of Surge, Barq’s, Mr. Pibb and other sodas which shall remain nameless, not to mention the eternal presence of Coca-Cola’s name on every campus event, be it academic, athletic or asinine. Net: Often these terms can be interchangeably applied to the same phenomena.
And the insult of a 5-cent raise per can in order to fund the 28 million they shelled out for their little decade-long monopoly! Course that means they would have to sell 56 million cans a year to fund it merely with the proceeds from the price hike.
Now, two years later, they’ve decided we’ve forgotten 50 cent cans of Pepsi, we’ve forgotten the insult of Surge Mountain, we’ve forgotten The DEW. Have we?!? I SAY NAY!!! Cans are now 60 cents.
Conservative estimate. Eighty-five thousand students, staff and employees. One can each every two weeks. Thirty-three weeks in a school year (not even counting summer, that’s how conservative this estimate is). Net: Wow. We think there’s a place for you on the House Judiciary Committee. Five cents more per can. That’s $70,000 more they will rake in.
But let’s be a little more realistic. Many drink more than one can a week from the machines. Some drink more than one a day, and most people don’t stop drinking just because it is summer — I dare say they drink even more. So what’s to stop Coca-Cola Co. from making a million or more off this latest price hike? The government. Let’s have a tax on income from cola sales. After all, this stuff is dangerous. It will rot your brain, put you in an excited emotional state (note, for instance, this letter), it is illegal to throw it down the drain in a chemistry lab because the pH is too low, and it will eat the rust off your car, bike chain and/or love life. Net: But Coke makes us feel on top of the world! Oops. Wrong substance. Maybe we should just file a class-action suit. Protect the children! it would claim. I’m sure Surge is at least as dangerous as tobacco.

DRIVING LIKE CRAZY

From Newbie: I am a new driver. A green-hand. But I remember very clearly from the manual that there is a speed limit on every road. Net: Sorry. We’re all from Montana ’round here. And more importantly, no one under any conditions should exceed the (max.) speed limit, even in passing another car. Net: And people aren’t supposed to sin either. But we have fallen, and we refuse to let your pontificating get us up.
However, it is not like this when you are on the road. Most people (I dare not say all) drive, at the minimum, at the maximum speed limit. What’s worse, you will honk your horn if someone else is driving at or below the limit. They also give you dirty looks which say, “You stupid green-hand! Go back to driving in your backyard!” Some people even told me that driving at max. 10 mph over the limit is legal. I’ve been driving with a license for two months, but I almost always drive below the max. speed limit. Net: Ah, so it’s been YOU! Am I right, or should I follow the mainstream? You wise Net, please help me out! Net: Sorry, we have to go with the majority on this one. While all your legal arguments are correct, in this instance it’s best to conform to the culture. As long as you’re acting like everyone else, people know what to expect. Your efforts to preserve the letter of the law could get you in trouble when people wonder why you’re behaving so strangely. Put the pedal to the metal and let ‘er rip!

Net: And now, from our Italian bureau …
GLOBAL NETWORKING

From Firenzeboy: Great big Network, you’re so gigantic I can see you from the other side of the globe. Net: It helps that we have bureaus from all over Europe. In recent months Network has been produced from Madrid, Munich, Athens, Paris … the array of global wit is breathtaking. This is coming to you from Italy, where I am studying for the quarter, and there is very little punctuation in this letter because the keyboards here are very very different. Net: Yeah — all those weird C keys and stuff. And the cafe owners are breathing down your neck. We’re with ya, boy. All I really wanted to say is hi and let you know that you are being watched, so be very careful. Net: No — YOU be careful. NITWIT made some friends in Milan, and they’ll head up the country to kick some Florentine ass!
Oh yeah, and you forgot Monty Python/Simpsons quotes on your list of really-fun-every-day subjects. Net: We’re trying, friend. We’re trying. Just can’t get enough of those. P.S.: If you print this, I’ll send you a postcard… Net: Hey — we’re all about postcards. Send to: NITWIT, 2301 University Ave. S.E., Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A. Remember to affix exactly 1300 lira, and if you’re in Rome around the time you send your card, use the Vatican Post Office (much faster) and WATCH YOUR BACKPACK — folks steal things. And you’re making us nostalgic. And have a great day.