Saturday, March 19, 2011

You Know They've Got The Bomb

Enjoying a refreshing glass of Double Cola,* I remarked to Tam that it is bottled in Chattanooga, "Yet another product of Eastern Tennessee. I swear, Eastern Tennessee's got a monopoly on all the good stuff"

Tam: "The region's done right well since the Yankees gave us that atom-bomb factory in war reparations."

RX: "Great, they've got The Bomb and we gave it to them. Should'a built the blame thing in Chicago...."

Tam: (Says nothing, gives me a very schoolmarmish look).

RX: "Oh, right, Northern unions. It would probably be ready just about now...."

(Yes, yes, I'm exaggerating, in Detroit alone union members worked enormous amounts of OT and turned out huge numbers of war-winning products, planes and jeeps and tanks; it's a joke. What's not a joke is that right to work states seem to get most of the new factories, while I've seen the local members of a certain auto-workers union that shall remain nameless vote to refuse concessions that would have kept a plant in town under new ownership; instead, they killed the place and all the jobs it would have provided. How long do you have to keep being underbid before you figure out you have priced yourself out of the market? It's not about what you deserve, we all otta have a shiny-new chicken in every garage and two cars in the pot; it's about what you can get).

(Also not a joke: Oak Ridge got built at Oak Ridge 'cos A] the terrain offered natural shielding and B] there was just about nothing there as far as Washington noticed. It wasn't America's Siberia -- that'd be Hanford and you'll note it's not all that Siberish either -- but you do not, in fact, build atom bombs next to B-17s: first, it's a mess if somebody slips; second, what folks don't see, they don't wonder at and gossip about. They distilled fisionables at Oak Ridge 'cos they would not have missed it much if it happened to blow up).
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* It's really quite nice, sweetened with sugar and lacking the phosporic acid "bite" of the big two even though it is in there, just not so darned much.

14 comments:

og said...

Double cola used to advertise "Twice the caffeine and three times the carbonation of regular soda!" My cousin's husband worked for them, the business belonged, for a while, to some fork kin of his. (the Littles)He used to joke that you could open the bottles without an opener, just by shaking them. Turned out it wasn't that uncommon.

Oh, and they're mostly from Evansville. The bottling plant in Chat was opened I think after the brits bought the company in the late 70's or early 80's.

Double Cola has the distinction of being the only real product mentioned by name in the original Willy Wonka movie.

Roberta X said...

On the "Twice the caffeine and three times the carbonation of regular soda!" Are you sure you're not thinking of Jolt?

Anyway, I really enjoyed it. Locally Grown Gardens has this thing about stocking all the hard-to-get brands -- Cheerwine alone makes it worth but they have soooo much more.

Stranger said...

Take a good look at the reasons Olin is moving its Winchester Ammo division to Oxford, Ms.

Much lower taxes, salaries just above prevailing wages, and many fewer palms to grease. Plus a young, largely college educated and highly dedicated workforce that is extremely glad to get work.

After Winchester is settled in I expect Olin's Alton chemical plant will move next door to the ammo plant.

Stranger

davidc said...

Used a "bug" many moons ago whilst on sea duty, i'm a mite rusty now.

og said...

Double Cola was Jolt before Jolt was cool.

I was just in my barber's shop today talking about Moxie. I'm a Diet Coke guy, when I drink pop, but I grew up on cheap, bountiful RC cola.

Hans said...

Phosphoric acid is what does that? Hmm, I rather like the "bite"

SFlorman said...

The old joke goes that, when asked during the war what they did at Oak Ridge, the workers responded that they assembled the front ends of horses - which were then shipped to Washington, where they made the other half.

Jim said...

Speaking of which, I read a story about a woman who in her elderly years recognized herself in a photo, sitting a control panel at one of the enrichment plants. She'd had then no idea what she was accomplishing.

Jim

wolfwalker said...

"Great, they've got The Bomb and we gave it to them. Should'a built the blame thing in Chicago...."

Doubly funny when you know that teh very very first controlled fission reaction ever (12/2/1942) was in a jerry-built reactor at the University of Chicago.

Roberta X said...

WW: I thought Prof. Fermi's merit-badge project at Stagg Field went without saying....

Roberta X said...

PS: you might be wondering, Where is CP-1 now? Why, it's right here, buried with CP-2 and CP-3, where it had been moved to. In the middle of the greater Chicago area, at the old location of Argonne Nat'l Labs..

...And why was CP-1 built under the bleachers at Stagg Field instead of at Argonne to begin with? And why did a bunch of grad students and professors build it? Umm, this is a bit of a blusher; see, they were having (aw, dammit) labor troubles out at Argonne....

Ancient Woodsman said...

Don't forget the hydropower connection at three sites: TVA for Oak Ridge, Grand Coulee for Hanford, and Hoover (wasn't it Boulder Dam at the time?) closer to Los Alamos. All three were in a grid of strong hydropower, and as you noted all in what the bureaucrats would have considered "the boonies".

Playing around with nuclear materials takes huge amounts of electricity.

Grand Coulee to this day is the highest-producing electric plant at one site in the U.S.

Roberta X said...

Very true -- no zap, no boom!

(Hans, AFAIK, it's the phosphoric acid that makes for the sharp edge in colas -- but IANAFC, in which the last two letters stand for "food chemist." It's a pity E. E. Smith is gone -- he'd know.)

tjbbpgobIII said...

I remember Double Cola, the sweetest of the big drinks, but Royal Crown Cola was right up there also. I never knew the brits bought Double Cola because I remember them as being next door to the local channel 12 tv station, and that was in the 60's. I still drive through there sometimes when visiting family.