November 17, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Soda shortage rattles small town


---- — The small town of Twelve Mile, Ind., already fighting to keep its name on the map, was delivered a crushing blow this past weekend when the local pop machine was depleted of its Mountain Dew supply.

Without a doubt the sole source of cold liquid refreshment, Mountain Dew accounts for around 80 percent of sales at the machine. These sales directly benefit the already ailing volunteer fire department and could have added up substantially each without its staple soft drink. We can only guess at how much income was missed out on, an exact figure could not be reached, nor a number on how many more infernos could have been contained from that lost revenue.

"It all started Friday evening when I was leaving for work," one local resident, Jon, recalls as we sit and discuss the catastrophe. A look of despair comes over his face as he continues his recount of the incident.

"I stopped at the machine, as I have every day for the past 10 years on my way to work, to find that it was out of Mountain Dew, my drink of choice, the same drink that I have consumed on every commute to work, for each of those days, for all of those years." His eyes glaze over and he pauses for a moment, "This was the icing on the cake. My wife left me; she took the kids, and my dog. I really loved that dog," he continues, tears rolling down his cheeks. "I just couldn't take anymore. I drove straight to the bar, instead of going to work. I hadn't touched the bottle in all those years. Well, in the end, I crashed my truck into a tree on my way home from the bar and I now have no vehicle, no job, and no family. And still, no Mountain Dew."

I have heard similar stories from other community members. One young lady, who wished not to be named, turned to hard drugs; crack and methamphetamine, may never get her life back.

Others have tried manufacturing their own homebrew Dew in their residences, only to cause more house fires, drawing out the local fire department, and literally adding fuel to the fire.

Back alley Dew sales have drawn gangs to the usually peaceful township, creating need for increased policing in an area without its own local constabulary. There have been no reports of violence as of yet, but some believe it is only a matter of time, and have already begun making sure their doors are locked and their pop is secure.

Where will it end? How many more lives will be affected? How many more quarters will be placed into the slots of other communities?

How can you help? The fire department is selling T-shirts ($15) and hoodies ($30). Please contact the fire department directly, or Abby at Community State Bank.

Jordan Beck

Twelve Mile