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DRINK COKE
PLAY AGAIN

A message found printed on the vast majority of Coke bottle caps when Coke is running a twist-off-and-win contest. This is the Coca-Cola beverage company's friendly, all caps, no tears way of saying "You are a Loser!"

Also has the connotations of "You've Been a Good Customer" and "You're a Real Gambler Now," to stroke your ego and keep you on good terms with Coke. Of course, it wouldn't really be a message from a modern megacorporation without a little bit of product pushing, so it also means "Buying More Sugar Water Will Make You a Winner."

Quite a bit of information density for a twenty-one character, punctuation free non-sentence, don't you think?

The popular DRINK COKE PLAY AGAIN meme at first seems like an impersonal mandate from the handlers of the corporate teat, ordering us to continue suckling the sweet, sweet nectar of conformity. In fact, the slogan's purpose is much more sinister.

Through extensive study, I have concluded that DRINK COKE PLAY AGAIN is nothing less than a plot to murder the rational, routine-oriented people of Earth. When taken as an order and followed to the letter, DRINK COKE PLAY AGAIN results in infinite iteration.

Try reading it top-to-bottom instead of left-to-right. The slogan reads DRINK PLAY COKE AGAIN, clearly a subliminal suggestion to make exclusive use of Coke when we find ourselves indulging in harmless beverage sport (and who doesn't experiment with Coke, on occasion)?

Much more dangerous, however, are the phrase's effects on the literal-minded procedural-following pencil pushers of the world. Upon seeing the instructions written inside the bottlecap, the routine-minded drinker must immediately seek another can of Coke (DRINK COKE) and open it (PLAY AGAIN), thereby ensuring that he will have to finish that can, as well. If the person is extremely routine-oriented, he may continue to open fresh cans of Coke without drinking them until he arrives at a bottlecap that doesn't say DRINK COKE PLAY AGAIN. He may accrue 20 or more open-but-unconsumed bottles in this way, before he finally wins. Being a rational person, he won't want to waste so much Coke, and will feel compelled to consume all of it in one sitting. This will likely cause him to die of caffeine overdose, diabetic coma, or a burst stomach.

This effect is similar to the chilling Shampoo Algorithm problem that caused a decimation of the computer science field in the 1960s, when shampoo companies first started printing the following damning instructions on their bottles:

  1. Lather
  2. Rinse
  3. Repeat
Within months of the new shampoo bottles' appearance, thousands of college professors and promising young graduate students were found dead in their showers, having succumbed to blood loss through the scalp after washing their hair hundreds of times on end.

So you see, DRINK COKE PLAY AGAIN is a dangerous weapon. Remember: the only way to escape their trap is not to conform. Next time you see the slogan do the exact opposite of what it suggests: pour your Coke into the gutter and never, ever play again.

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