New Castle News

March 30, 2013

Josh Drespling: Size Does Matter

Josh Drespling
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Maybe I'm turning into the old miser who chases the kids off his lawn while screaming some intangible string of expletives about staying off his grass. Maybe I'm stuck in my ways and afraid to embrace forward progress. But there comes a time to stand your ground and put your foot down. Such a time as this.

This past week I had the opportunity to take my daughter to a restaurant that has a combination of Mexican tacos and fried chicken on Wilmington Road here in New Castle. It was a little treat for her as she was playing hooky from school for a dentist appointment. Despite her initial apprehension about going to the dentist, she did great. She was a big girl and didn’t even flinch from the plethora of metal objects that were thrust into her mouth. For her bravery, she deserved a little treat.

We walked into the establishment and made our way to the counter. After waiting for a few other parties to place their orders, I began our order with the two soft tacos that she wanted and asked for a small fountain drink.

The tattooed girl controlling the registered replied with, “We don’t have smalls anymore.”

I thought I had misheard her and asked, “What?”

She responded with, “We don't have small drinks anymore. We just have medium and large.”

In disbelief, my mind spun. How can you have a medium and not have a small? The very meaning of the word medium is the middle ground between two extremes. Technically speaking, to eliminate the small eliminates the medium.

Furthermore, I don’t want my child to have a big ole' cup of soda. Nor do I want her carrying around that much sugary liquid which is only one misstep away from being a permanent part of the backseat of my car. The oversight and non-family friendly decision to squeeze an extra fifty cents out of every customer with children is frankly appalling in my opinion. It’s as if they are acting in defiance of the ambitious attempt to limit the size of sugary drinks by New York City's Mayor Bloomberg.

Rather than debate the logic of the oversight of this restaurant, I asked her to simply give me the smallest size they have. She once again said, “We don’t have smalls.” I responded by explaining that I didn't care what they called it, please just sell me the smallest size fountain drink you can. The employee went on mumbling about how so many people had been mad about the decision to eliminate the small size beverage as she placed a 20-ounce cup on the counter. I had to concur that this was a poorly-made decision.

We finally got our food and filled our cups at the self-service fountain machine. I made sure to fill her cup only part way. As we left, my daughter tossed her still half-full cup of soda in the trash and I thought, “There goes my extra fifty cents.”

After a little research into what I thought was a companywide decision, I could find no information about any other location operating in such a manner. To add just a little insult to injury, I discovered that in Japan this same restaurant serves only small and medium sized beverages. In that part of the world they are known as “S size” and “M size.” Maybe we Americans could learn a little from our human counterparts half a world away, or maybe not.