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This is my entry for Week 21 of LJ Idol (therealljidol), Season 10. This week's topic was Current Events. It's supposed to be inspired by a story in your local or state news. Mine was inspired by this story about the Philadelphia soda tax being upheld: https://billypenn.com/2017/06/14/pennsylvania-commonwealth-court-upholds-philly-soda-tax/

The heat was pushing 95 in Citizens Bank Park, sweat dripping down the backs of Phillies fans in regulation red. As the heat blazed down, threatening to fry their over-excited brains, a red-haired cowboy on a tiny white horse appeared next to the pitcher's mound. Turning his sweet gaze up to Joely Rodriguez, the goateed pitcher with sweat-sheened arms, he sang-squealed: "Eeeee, Little Sweet on the pitcher's mound!" The cowboy reached up and handed him a white and red metal can. "Find the sweet spot with a Dr. Pepper."

Surprised but relieved, the parched pitcher leaned down to take the soda can.

Immediately, sirens blared from across the field, and a group of Philly's finest marched up to the mound, looking stern. "Let me see that, Joely," one of them barked. He handed the can over to another boy in blue, sporting horn-rimmed spectacles.

This policeman looked carefully at the label, whipped out a calculator and pronounced, "The little guy owes 24 cents."

The Sweet One tossed his hair flirtatiously. "You mean little old me?"

As deadpan as a 1950s cop show, the policeman returned, "That's right, sir. One point five cents per ounce. Cough it up or hit the trail."

With the look of someone who never gets turned down, the cowboy gave his best pouty face. He half spoke, half sang: "All I want to do is bring a little sweetness to you."

The guy in glasses repeated. "That will be 24 cents, please."

With a coquettish glint in his eye, the Sweet one said, "Don't worry, baby. I'll bring the sweetness down like rain!"

As he disappeared in a puff of pink smoke, a shower of bright pennies rained down on the infield. Philly fans broke from their seats, grabbing the change by the handful. Throughout the crowd, gleeful voices rang. "We'll have soda tonight, baby!"

The drought was officially over. Sweetness and light filled the stands.

And scene.


"That's it?" the CEO demanded. "Do you think anyone will get it outside of Philly?"

The curly-haired former "American Idol" singer grinned saltily. "Does it really matter, as long as I sell it with my sweet smile?"

The CEO shrugged. "I don't really get any of it, so why the heck not?"

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 16th, 2017 04:56 pm (UTC)
Soda tax!!!! When is it going to stop???? Government as a naggy finger wagging parent. Ugh. Perfect response is PERFECT! I don't have TV and have never seen Lil' Sweet - thank you for including that hysterical montage of commercial sweetness!
Jun. 16th, 2017 06:37 pm (UTC)
This was really cute! And I love the image of police officers personally showing up to extract their taxes.
Jun. 17th, 2017 06:55 am (UTC)
Those commercials were pretty funny. I admit that I was lost on the first read. After watching the commercials, your piece made a lot more sense.
Jun. 19th, 2017 12:50 am (UTC)
That is as good an explanation for the Lil Sweet commercials as any I've heard. The soda taxes are spreading, I'll be curious if they move beyond cities.
Jun. 19th, 2017 09:26 pm (UTC)
Nice satirical commentary! I love the idea of the police coming out to the pitcher's mound to collect the tax.
Jun. 20th, 2017 02:34 am (UTC)
Thank you! I wanted to go sort of Pythonesque with it.
Jun. 20th, 2017 07:05 am (UTC)
That commercial idea... what in the world? It's only slightly less weird than the Burger King mascot, who is dead-clown creepy.

We have soda tax too, though not as prohibitive as $0.24 per can. Mostly, we have cigarette taxes, proceeds from which are used to fund health and proventative advertising. Which seems like poetic justice, really. Ideally, the funding disappears when the need for the ads does.

Jun. 21st, 2017 05:47 pm (UTC)
I think then Mayor Bloomberg of my hometown was the one who really pushed the "prohibitive tax" on soda and insisted that people should not be allowed to purchase 2 liter bottles because they might drink it all in one go!

Of course, Bloomberg became known as "Nanny Mayor" preventing people from having Big Gulps at 7-Eleven since consumers have no self-control! Or maybe it's just a chance for the state to cash in on the poorest by making them pay more for what they can afford. It seems like every sword these days is a double edged one.
Jun. 21st, 2017 06:33 pm (UTC)
I forgot about the whole Big Gulp issue! Yes, that's more than a little extreme. :(
Jun. 23rd, 2017 04:19 am (UTC)
Love the commercials!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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