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  • John M. Campbell

Coke vs. Pepsi

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Jesse Seals was a smart young man who tested our software before we released it to Operations. He showed up every day in a T-shirt and jeans and cowboy boots with a ball cap folded up and stuffed in his back pocket. He worked in our air-conditioned computer room we called the Testbed. And he had a nasty habit better suited for a ranch.

Coke vs. Pepsi

Just imagine you're in Texas on a lonely, dusty road,

When you come upon a Texan, dressed in jeans and pigeon-toed,

Leaning back against his pickup in a faded baseball cap,

As he squints against the sunlight, wad of chew stuck in his yap.

In one hand he holds a Pepsi, and he sometimes takes a sip

Just to kill the constant burning, and to moisten up his dip.

In the other hand's a Coke can with the top removed completely,

Where spits the noxious juices (which he thinks he does discreetly).

That could easily be Jesse when he comes to work in boots,

In a baseball cap and jeans, and the other attributes.

On a cold day in the Testbed on a table it would sit,

With a wisp of vapor rising from this steaming crock of spit.

And it truly is a shame that when you think of Jesse Seals,

You remember not so fondly how tobacco juice congeals.

So the only explanation why we put up with this bloke

Is the hope that we might be there when he takes a gulp of Coke.

John M. Campbell

14 May 2004

Next poem: B-2 Bomber Blues

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