UPDATE: "Just Say No to H2O"

Shocking new evidence has recently surfaced that further exposes the full scope of the evil sugar water conspiracy.

Forging an unholy alliance, Coca-Cola and the Olive Garden restaurant chain have developed a "crew education kit" designed to train servers to discourage customers from ordering water with their meals. Olive Garden staff are taught "suggestive selling techniques" to promote their selections of profitable sugary and/or alcoholic beverages and reduce the undesirable "levels of tap water incidence." There's also an employee incentive program called "Just Say No to H2O."

I'm not making this up. I know this sounds like a joke, or an urban legend, or something out of The Onion, but I swear it's the real thing. All the sordid details were posted on www.coca-cola.com, in an area of their site intended for distributors and corporate customers, and not for the prying eyes of the general public. But of course someone publicized the despicable "successful campaign against water," and the next day Coke yanked the offending pages from their site.

Fortunately, after something's on the web just once, it never really goes away. As a public service, I present some incriminating screenshots courtesy of Stay Free! magazine. There's also a text document offering Five Strategies for pulling Jedi mind tricks on customers who order water. The original online article is long gone, but you can still bear witness to this staggeringly putrid horror for yourself.

"Many customers choose tap water not because they enjoy it, but because it is what they have always drunk in the past," the Coca-Cola "Success Stories" article explained. "In response, some restaurant chains are implementing programs to help train crews to sell alternative choices to tap water, like soft drinks and non-carbonated beverages, with the goal of increasing overall guest satisfaction."

Can't you just smell the brimstone? They don't even have the balls to admit it's the almighty dollar they're after -- they have to pretend like it's a matter of improving customer service! I tell you what, if some jackass ever tries to upsell me on some more experience-enhancing beverage besides water, I'll tell them to shove their bottomless salad bowl and breadsticks right up their ass.

"Come to The Olive Garden, where we'll treat you like drooling, brain-dead, locked-away-in-the-attic family!"

Let's all do our part to send tap water incidence soaring through the roof. Just Say Mo' to H2O!

What coca-cola.com Didn't Want You to See:

"Success Stories" Screenshot #1

"Success Stories" Screenshot #2

"Five Reasons Why Consumers Drink Water and Why They Might Switch"

Good Cholesterol