Life of a Diet Coke Can

September 25, 2008
As I sat, impatiently and suffocating on the hot air in my mother’s parked car, waiting for her to come out of the building in which she religiously inhabited, Publix, I set my gaze on a repressed, discontent looking soccer mom, and not the trendy Ann Taylor kind. Clad in a washed out navy blue sweat-suit, a few sizes too big, and ratty old tennis shoes, either not caring that she looked this way or didn’t want to bother putting the effort into doing anything about it. She bore a can of Diet Coke in one hand and hastily grasped her snobby little kid’s arm in the other. She savagely flung open the sliding door to the family minivan and let the kid climb in, then stepped in the driver’s seat and slammed the door shut. As the last of this wretched woman’s Diet Coke was chugged, she rolled down the car window and carelessly chucked the can out of the window.

Sure, I’ve seen people toss a cigarette butt out of a car window or maybe even an infant or two, but a whole can of soda? How low can the morals of the heartless American
people possibly go?

So as the minivan sped off, leaving a smog of ozone depletion in its place, the lowly, abandoned can of soda rolled towards the trail of the departing car, succumbing to the incline of the parking lot as if chasing after its heartless owner.

I started to sympathize very greatly with this neglected inanimate object. What would happen to it after I had gone? Would it keep rolling and rolling around the expansive supermarket parking lot, never really finding its place, just waiting for some kind soul to notice it? Would a mischievous 3rd grader sadistically kick the poor, defenseless can while walking to the store? Would the defenseless soda can get run over by a massive 16-wheeler truck? Tripped over by an absentminded klutz?

Pondering the upcoming life of the Diet Coke can lead to once again visually stalking every person in the parking lot that traveled within my line of view….which eventually lead to the realization that, as amusing as it may be, you really can never predict or judge the imaginary life or personality of any person because one never truly knows the state of another person’s life.

So, since Diet Coke will cause you cancerous death, and global warming is eventually going to take care of that for us, why waste time mulling over the lives of others? Think about solving really unsolvable world issues, give someone an insincere compliment, or plant a particularly unsightly tree, because really, it’s the thought that counts.

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