The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

2005.11.16.Training pays off

Written by David Green.

By JEFF PICKELL

I think it was during my sophomore year of high school that I went into training. Training is good for folks; it tests their might and determination, their willingness to transform into something new.

When I completed my training, maybe around winter of my junior year, I was indeed transformed—into a bigger, fatter slob than I was when I  started. You see, some people train for triathlons, or marathons, or dodecahedrons, but I spurn such health and geometry related pursuits. I was training for a true challenge, a challenge of the mind, of the spirit, a challenge that numbs the heart and bereaves the soul. A challenge only the manliest of men would undertake.

I was training for the Pepsi Challenge.

The Pepsi Challenge, for those who didn’t spend 1997 through, well, now planted in front of the television, begins with attractive marketing employees from Pepsi asking consumers whether they prefer Pepsi or Coke. The consumer then samples both Pepsi and Coke from separate dixie cups and reports to the employee which of the two they prefer. If the consumer says they prefer the Coke sample, Pepsi loses. If the consumer says they prefer Pepsi, Pepsi wins. At least, that was the gist I took away from the commercials.

At some point during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years, I resolved never to be a tool of corporations, so I quit my job at McDonald’s Corp. and took a position as a stock boy at CVS Corp. This wasn’t of my own choosing, however; my desire to not be throttled to death by my mother for not having a job ended up outweighing my desire to not be a corporate shrew.

But I decided that, even if I was forced to slave for the man, I should still try to stick it to him in some way. Since sitting around drinking pop all day is one of the few things I’m good at, training for the Pepsi Challenge seemed the best method of going about this.

So I sat around in the cooler at CVS, all day, a bottle of Pepsi in my right hand, a bottle of Coke in my right, trading sips, struggling to discern the subtle differences between the two, and growing fatter and grosser by the second. Truly, I stuck it to the man with no concern for myself.

I must say, I trained diligently. Toward the end, I could tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke by sight alone. The only problem was that I had no idea where one went to take the Pepsi Challenge.

The commercials portrayed the Challenge as if it were some kind of spontaneous extravaganza, as if the marketing employees burst onto the street from some hidden place, surprising and terrifying unwitting consumers. For a good spell I kept a reserved demeanor about my fat self, expecting reps from the Pepsi Corp. to explode onto the scene at any moment, expecting to totally stick it to them. However, Pepsi never came, and by graduation, I had to accept that my training was for naught.

But then, I went to Canada.

Specifically, I went to Canada for a rock and roll show, and was having an awful time.  It was a 90 degree day, and I was sweating and thirsty and marooned in a foreign land, far away from my couch. All around me Canadians were jabbering in their absurd and primitive dialect. It was like a buzzing in my ears, and at that moment I wanted nothing more than to stick it to the man. And then, when the sun was highest in the sky and it seemed I could bear it no more, I saw them: two attractive young marketing employees administering the Pepsi Challenge in the distance.

I marched over there gritting my teeth, years of pain and anguish and obesity replaying in my mind, and stepping up to the challenge booth dared the marketing employees to do their worst.

“Do your worst,” I said.

“Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?” asked the employee.

“I prefer RC Cola,” I snapped. “Now let me take the challenge.”

She motioned to the cups. I finished them in two gulps, then slammed them to the table and said, “That one’s Pepsi, that one’s Coke, and you’ll never make a dime off me again.”

Before she could respond, I wobbled off, satisfied, the fat on my upper arms jiggling.

There’s nothing like sticking it to the man.

   - Nov. 16, 2005

 

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